Title

Book Review

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

For many scholars, including the Canadian historian Tamara Myers, juvenile justice is an oxymoron. “The juvenile court,” according to Myers, “was a disciplinary instrument used to maintain and uphold the subordination of adolescent girls within a patriarchal family structure that was undergoing dramatic change.” Her nuanced argument builds on Anthony M. Platt’s The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency (1969), which claimed that the creation of the juvenile court expanded the state’s power over working-class children and their families. Her findings also support and extend a major theme in subsequent scholarship that emphasizes the role of parents in bringing their daughters to court. Myers presents a complicated history of negotiations among state actors, parents, children, private associations, volunteers and professionals, and politics. Her approach also crosses national borders to offer an international history of a local court.

Publication Citation

114 Am. Hist. Rev. 1061 (2009) (reviewing Tamara Myers, Caught: Montreal's Modern Girls and the Law, 1869-1945 (2006)).