Filled with painful stories of initiation rites that have ended in humiliation, legal action, and even death, this book deflates the notion that hazing is a harmless way to build group unity. It's shown, instead, as a power play of intimidation and peer pressure that, especially during the adolescent years, is nearly impossible to withstand. Nuwer examines a range of activities that can be considered hazing, from embarrassing stunts and alcohol consumption to real or simulated sex acts and beatings. He also links hazing to much more graphic rites, such as gang initiations. The organization of the text is too loose, and the narrative gets repetitive at times. But the author's passion is clear, and his closing chapters on legislation and ways to stop hazing make his book a real call to action. Source notes; list of resources and organizations. Randy Meyer
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