The Early Years and Becoming a Radical
This chapter traces Richard’s childhood experience on the family farm. Escaping the famine in Ireland, his grandfather had set up a homestead in Wisconsin. The young Richard diligently did his farm duties but yet often visited the pond at the bottom of the hill on which the farm was located. It was where the original house, the “old place,” once stood. There Richard would wonder about nature, the meaning of it all, the possibilities that still remain. We trace Richard’s moves on to college and toward his Ph.D., at times interested in a medical career, but the social sciences were to be the eventual draw. His initial teaching position was at St. Lawrence University and then University of Kentucky. Richard continues on to an appointment at the Department of Sociology, NYU, the crucible for activism, diversity, crime, and people “doing their own thing.” There his experiences further pushed him toward radical/critical criminology.