What are we willing to sacrifice for the welfare of others? Can we face the suffering we have both given and received? Is there room for mercy in the heart of justice? These and other questions related to the moral depth and ethical inclination of the human condition are explored in the 24 original short stories that complete this book.
Morality Stories encompasses personal, social and criminal justice themes and dilemmas, such as Death Row, homelessness and prejudice. In each story, persons are judged as much by the good they omitted to do as by the bad actions they chose to carry out. Acknowledging regrets, expressing remorse and accepting responsibility are demonstrated in many of the stories as a means of moving toward moral courage and decision-making.
The fourth edition offers six new stories. One examines how young boys become aware of class and territorial differences at an early age. Armed with air rifles and bicycles, it is a hop, skip and a jump before they are terrorizing a hapless victim they perceive to be a member of the upper crust of their neighborhood. Two of the stories address issues in contemporary policing, one regarding the pressures on marriage and family relationships and the other, challenges in keeping the peace during volatile times of unrest and protest. Another story explores how a clockmaker who was concentration camp doctor during the holocaust of WWII tries to morally justify his treatment of helpless victims to a young journalist while he awaits deportation to face trial for war crimes. Finally, there is also a story that examines racial prejudice in an historical perspective when two decorated black soldiers return to the Jim Crow South where they are met with derision and disrespect.
"Morality Storiesholds a real fascination for persons concerned with good and evil. The book's moral is translucent: 'An evil act doesn't necessarily make a person who committed it evil...'" —Gilbert Geis, University of California at Irvine
"The authors, including the work of Scott Braswell in this volume, have once again produced an exemplary tool for ethical pedagogy in Morality Stories… [This book] is a well-done and valuable contribution to the literature of criminal justice and criminology… The book will serve as an excellent companion volume to a primary ethics textbook for the undergraduate, the graduate, or even the doctoral course in ethics." — International Criminal Justice Review (on the second edition)