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Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#1 by CataclysmicKnight
» 04 Jun 2017, 11:18

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "O Lord, how long?" by Jerome J Nadelhaft.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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Spouse abuse is a sad, horrible part of life. Although I have no personal connection to it, it's one of the hardest things for me to read about, let alone see in a movie or TV show. I made an exception for O Lord, how long: Wife Torture in American History by Jerome J Nadelhaft, a nonfiction book about wife torture (physical spouse abuse toward a wife) throughout American history. Jerome has decades of study regarding wife abuse starting in the early 1980s when he helped the police.

The majority of this 121 page book is broken up into two essays. The first essay covers the 1800s and early 1900s, an era when wife abuse was brutal and often little was done about it. Jerome discusses numerous recounts from different magazines and newspapers, as well as how wife abuse was so pervasive that all forms of media discussed it. Jokes about how every woman who was injured must be married, or how marriage is equivalent to accepting frequent beatings were everywhere. Jerome also covers possible causes of the rise of wife abuse and points out how frequently liquor was mentioned in relation. It became almost as political as it was informative, with numerous sources trying to initiate the prohibition of alcohol.

Courts were very different with abuse as well; while some states did a decent job of locking up offenders it seemed that most failed pretty terribly. The south was particularly evasive, prioritizing the sanctity of home life and even accepting that SOME correction of wives was acceptable. The north wasn't perfect either; Jerome wrote that in the 1900s "Police in Washington, D. C. employed a 'stitch rule,' which meant they would not take a wife's complaint seriously unless she required a certain number of stitches." These rules made it easy for men to work around the law while still torturing their wives, making sure not to leave marks or to hit their wives somewhere that the bruising wouldn't show (like the back of their head).

The most pervasive theme of the first essay, however, is the recollection of specific instances of wife abuse and murder. These get incredibly dark, depressing, horrific and even gory. With the first essay comprising more than half of the book I had to take numerous breaks and even felt nauseous at times. The knowledge that these things happened then and still happen now is just awful!

The second essay was shorter but also more focused, making it a good follow-up to the first essay. While the first covered all aspects of wife torture, the second spoke of the early days of America (the 1600s - early 1700s). Back then privacy was almost nonexistent; the author mentions that windows were almost never covered and there were cracks in houses the way they were built so people could always see and hear inside. There were even people who were in charge of ensuring home life and goodness were maintained with people being fined for even speaking badly against their spouse in public or attempting to cheat on them. Because there was much less privacy and religion was more prevalent physical spouse abuse was less common and looked down upon much more. It still happened, however, and as time went on privacy increased and religious attachment decreased. This lead to both wife abuse and divorce becoming more common. Divorce was initially almost nonexistent, and even when it was granted it often meant the two divorcing people could never marry again.

Both essays were excellent. The second one didn't force me to take breaks and felt more informative, but the first one covered the entirety of wife abuse (causes and effects, difficulties in getting away, the politics and what people did to try to stop it, how pervasive wife abusers were in the prison system and just how terrifying it can be). While the first essay doesn't actually have a list of references, the shorter second one does and uses 85 of them! If the first one did I have no doubt it would include over 100 itself. The book also utilizes bold font throughout which made it a lot easier to read. I'd definitely recommend the book for anyone interested in the topic of wife abuse, but keep in mind, as I mentioned before, the book DOES get rather gory and horrific in the brief recounts of abuse and murder. The first essay is also fairly repetitive at times with different recounts and quotes used two or three times throughout in relevant places. My official rating of the book is 4 out of 4 stars, although I would've given it 3.5 if I could have due to the repetition.

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O Lord, how long?
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#2 by Julie pearl l cruz
» 05 Jun 2017, 09:49

Its pretty good
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#3 by BookishBookkeeping
» 05 Jun 2017, 13:16

I saw this book cover come up on the bookshelves search and wanted to find out more about it. Thank you for a good review on a very difficult topic.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#4 by MarisaRose
» 05 Jun 2017, 13:20

Seems like this would definitely be a difficult book to read; that being said, the content also sounds very relevant and important. I like the author's choice of essay format for this book, it sounds unique. Great job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#5 by Jaime Lync
» 05 Jun 2017, 20:02

The stitch rule reminds me of the stand your ground law - laws so shady that evil abounds without a shadow of a doubt. Great review
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#6 by Josh0018
» 06 Jun 2017, 05:21

This book seems to be very difficult to review however, this is one thing that is very captivating on my part since there are many issues related to this. Thanks for this great review!

-- 06 Jun 2017, 05:41 --

This book seems to be very difficult to review however, this is one thing that is very captivating on my part since there are many issues related to this. Thanks for this great review!
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#7 by Terily
» 06 Jun 2017, 08:26

This sounds like a very informative book and it can be a very touchy subject and I like that you included the warning in your review and you covered alot it seems of what you read very good review thank you for sharing your insight.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#8 by John D Divine
» 10 Jun 2017, 09:11

It is so sad that hardened offenders always find ways of escaping the law, maybe because of its loopholes. I hope the laws in respect to spouse abuse are reviewed to prevent rampant cases of victimization. Nice review.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#9 by Mrsbellaz
» 13 Jun 2017, 15:05

Such a sad topic to have to address. I'm glad the author chose to reveal it. "The stitch rule"? How horrifying! Thank you struggling through the hard parts to bring us a great review.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#10 by fanni bwoy
» 14 Jun 2017, 08:40

Wow it seems pretty intresting good job on the review
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#11 by rs7658909
» 14 Jun 2017, 22:15

Nice reviews. I will add it in my read list. Want to read more stories of this kind.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#12 by Brigid Mokaya
» 16 Jun 2017, 12:54

Thank you for the review
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#13 by Rosemary Okoko
» 17 Jun 2017, 08:15

This must be a sad book to read though informative. I will read it. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: O Lord, how long? by Jerome J Nadelhaft

Post Number:#14 by carolwenyaa
» Yesterday, 16:19

Very interesting story indeed!!
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