Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



In this little book, Leon Radzinowicz, Wolfson Professor of Criminology and Director of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, presents a brief survey of criminology in England, the United States, and eight countries of continental Europe. His perspective is historical as well as geographical: in discussing each nation, he begins with a sketch of the concepts and personalities that lent vitality to the development of its criminological teaching and research and concludes with an analysis of the contemporary scene, based on his own first-hand observations during a recent world tour "in search of criminology."With so vast a canvas, there are, understandably, some erring strokes of the brush; yet, Professor Radzinowicz is both an able researcher and an acute observer, and he has produced an eminently readable book: scholarly but never tedious, and succinct without being cursory. It is a significant contribution that will enhance the reader's understanding of the evolution and current status of the discipline--or disciplines--of criminology and of the contributions of its most dynamic figures. It provides a well indexed compendium of the leading criminological institutes and congresses and an excellent bibliography.Yet, the book is in many ways a disheartening one, presenting, in the words of one reviewer, a picture "rather too bleak than too rosy." Professor Radzinowicz notes: "One of the most disappointing conclusions I brought home from my tour was the continuing neglect of the teaching of criminology, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels." There is substantial evidence to support this conclusion in the data obtained in nearly every country.