Melvin Berger

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John Dawson Boniol, Jr.

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 280

The increasingly important role of the police laboratory in law enforcement work is skillfully presented in this well-written and profusely illustrated book [Police Lab]. Berger covers the entire range of the criminologists' work and explains very lucidly the scientific processes in such areas as serology, toxicology, spectrography, chromatography, and pathology. Although the text points out that laboratory tests can be used to corroborate innocence, the examples presented show mainly how these tests can be used to prove guilt. With an increasing general interest in police work, this is a very good and up-to-date addition…. (p. 43)

John Dawson Boniol, Jr., in School Library Journal (reprinted from the February, 1976 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co. A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1976), February, 1976.

"It is not really terribly important to put a label on every single song," says Berger, in a sensible attempt to define his subject—which he goes on to illustrate with representative ballads, work songs, protest music [in The Story of Folk Music]. The many examples, reinforced by repeated suggestions that the way to know folk music is to listen, sing and, if possible, play it for yourself, bolster a quick overview of the origins of ethno-musicology, the most popular folk instruments, the use of folk melodies by "art" composers, the careers of the Lomaxes, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie, and modern hybrids such as folk-rock. But the ten record discography that lists Judy Collins, Tim Hardin, and Bob Dylan, and then suggests sending away for a Folkways catalog, is indicative of Berger's overall slackness. A glancing introduction at best, but one that has no competition at this level. (p. 1096)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1976, The Kirkus Service, Inc.), October 1, 1976.

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