Vol. 26:2 summer 2010 Book Reviews
suggests that “the gentle character of the practices constituting the world of L’Arche” are “necessary
for any polity that would be about the goods held in common” (92) and therefore provides a political
alternative to liberalism. According to Hauerwas, such an alternative is unintelligible without the God
of the Christian story.
Those familiar with the work of Hauerwas and Vanier will find in this book variations on a number of
familiar themes. Moreover, the usual polemical style of Hauerwas and gentle style of Vanier remain
intact, though perhaps Hauerwas is a bit gentler and Vanier a bit more polemical than normal as a result
of their mutual interaction. The essays do not build on each other in any obvious way, and readers seeking
concrete solutions to the difficult issues surrounding the mentally disabled might find this book a bit too
anecdotal and narratival for their concerns. Nevertheless, the questions raised and the reflections offered
on those questions are indispensable for anyone living with, working with, or reflecting on those with
mental disabilities. And if Hauerwas and Vanier’s analysis is correct, Living Gently in a Violent World
will be a valuable resource for the impending day when church is viewed as those peculiar people who
don’t kill the mentally disabled among them.
Reviewed by David C. Cramer, MDiv, MA (Philosophy or Religion), who is an Adjunct
Professor for the School of Religion and Philosophy at Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana,
The Criminalization of Medicine—America’s War on Doctors (Part
of the Praeger Series on Contemporary Health and Living, Julie Silver,
Ronald T. Libby. Westport, Connecticut and London, UK: Praeger, 2008.
I S B N - 1 3 9 7 8 - 0 - 3 1 3 - 3 4 5 3 4 6 3 , 2 2 4 PA G E S , C L O T H , $ 4 9 . 9 5
“Why would the government scapegoat the most humane and caring professional class in society?
Perhaps this happened to marginalized groups in society but could it happen to an entire professional
class—medical doctors? . . . If so, why would they do so?” (xi) Thus begins this provocative monograph
by Ronald T. Libby (Professor of Political Science at University of North Florida and Senior Research
Fellow at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Florida Center for Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions).
Painstakingly researched and grippingly conveyed, Professor Libby quickly lays to rest any conception
that this is one more conspiracy theory. He captures our curiosity and compels our belief that, while
most doctors may not personally feel the pains of unjust persecution, there are many of us who have
experienced these firsthand, or once removed. He contends that politicians, when unable to solve
important problems, frequently seek to divert criticism of their own ineptitude to whomever they can
successfully blame. (1) In particular, he highlights scapegoating in the war on medical fraud (2), ki