Critics’ Reviews

If Maconochie’s methods worked under such extreme conditions, wouldn’t they work today in our supposedly enlightened times? Highly recommended for crime collections in public and academic libraries. – Library Journal (USA)

Maconochie’s Gentlemen displays Norval Morris’s large gifts as a fine narrative writer and a pre-eminent social scientist. This is a book that fits Aristotle’s directive that fine art should enlighten and entertain. It is, in the first instance, an illuminating story, told through the eyes of Captain Maconochie and the family and colleagues he brought with him to Norfolk Island in 1840, of Western society’s first efforts at penal rehabilitation.

The fiction is followed by incisive reflections by Morris in his role as one of America’s leading criminologists, relating Maconochie’s experiment to the circumstances today.

The book is engrossing in both modes and is thoughtful, moving, and revealing at all points. My hat is off to Norval Morris. – Scott F Turow

… Maconochie’s Gentlemen is a fascinating story. As Australian governments continue to bow to pressure to lock criminals up and throw away the key, this book serves as a reminder of our long history as a penal colony, and the basis of early prison reform. – Reform, Issue 83, 2003

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