Dead Opposite: The Lives and Loss of Two American Boys

Geoffrey Douglas, Author
Geoffrey Douglas, Author Henry Holt & Company $22.5 (207p) ISBN 978-0-8050-2686-3
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Open Ebook - 207 pages - 978-1-4668-6285-2
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Christian Prince, a 19-year-old Yale student from an affluent Maryland family, was fatally shot in New Haven, Conn., in 1991; 16-year-old ghetto resident James (Dunc) Fleming Jr. was accused of the crime. At trial, he was found guilty of conspiracy, but the jury reached no decision on the murder charge; in his second trial, Fleming was exonerated of murder. He is now serving a nine-year sentence. In his sociological exploration, Douglas (Class: The Wreckage of an American Family) explains that, as the offspring of a comfortable white family, he understands the Princes better than the Flemings, but his account is scrupulously fair to both families. His investigation of this tragedy led him to conclude that the Kerner Report's 1967 prediction has come to pass: there are indeed two societies in the U.S., which are, as Douglas puts it, ``not at war, not separate but totally estranged.'' He believes many African Americans, at least in urban areas, live in a world where conventional values have been turned upside down, with no expectation of reversal. A depressing report. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
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