Steve's Reviews > The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting

The Steal by Rachel Shteir
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's review
Aug 23, 2011

it was ok
Read from August 25 to October 03, 2011

I liked The Steal, but it started off very slowly and didn't get genuinely interesting until about a third of the way into it. Yes, I understand that Shteir needed to add some historical context to lay the groundwork for the second half of the book, but, still, I had a hard time getting into it at first. I enjoyed the parts later on in the book when she discusses what it's like to work in "Loss Prevention" and her thoughtful analysis of why people shoplift (hint: more often then not, it's not because they "have to"). I also think she raises some interesting points about kleptomaniacs and whether they should be treated as criminals who need to be punished, or people with a mental illness who need to be treated. But, all in all, I have a hard time saying, "you have to read this book", because, honestly, I'm not sure that many of the people I know would actually enjoy it.

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