cover image Dying on the Job: Murder and Mayhem in the American Workplace

Dying on the Job: Murder and Mayhem in the American Workplace

Ronald D. Brown. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (268p) ISBN 978-1-4422-1843-7

Former assistant U.S. Attorney Brown repeatedly informs readers, twice in the introduction alone, that his is the first full-length book ever to cover workplace murder, in terms of killings involving employees and employers. This bent toward repetition, along with other flaws, ensures that his study falls short of its high-flown aims. Although Brown repeatedly states that his survey encompassed more than 350 separate incidents, the high-profile case of neurobiologist Amy Bishop takes up an inordinate amount of space. Unfounded assertions abound, such as that the actual number of workplace murders exceeds government statistics. The citations of sources such as wikiHow, for a list of safety recommendations, also do no favors to the actual evidence compiled. Discussions of the role played by race and gender tread dangerously close to stereotypes, while the concluding chapter's rambling discussion of "how the gun culture [is] antithetical to human industry and the work ethic" diverts valuable space from the workplace violence issue. Though no one can doubt the topic's importance, employees and employers alike may prefer to wait for others to cover it more satisfactorily. (Jan.)