Tempered Zeal: A Columbia Law Professor's Year on the Streets with the New York City Police

H. Richard Uviller, Author McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $19.55 (234p) ISBN 978-0-8092-4607-6
The subtitle, despite its exaggeration about the length of time the author spent with New York's finest (it was eight months), alerts us that an exciting caper is afootbut the reader is misled again. After 14 years as an assistant district attorney, then spending the next 14 as a Columbia law professor ``building classroom theories out of stale and secondhand materials,'' Ulviller, who is married to a judge, determined he was ``somewhat out of it'' and arranged to work in the field with the troops. The precinct he writes about in this banally written briefcops, in Manhattan at least, ``chuckle'' a lotis in the East Village. Most often the pedagogue in Ulviller takes over, squelching the raconteur with tedious, academic detail of law, and the human element only occasionally surfaces in glimpses of the personalities of suspects, victims and police. Law students, perhaps, will be interested in the author's interpretations of ``probable cause,'' ``search and seizure'' and other legal matters, but lay readers will be impatient with the lectures as they cruise in a police car, anxious to see more of the scene. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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