When I saw the story about the Amazon.ca unmasking anonymous reviewers, I took myself over there to see what I could find. Well, they had fixed the glitch, but I noticed that for some reviews, the location given for the reviewer was different on the Canadian site. This difference lets me more more certain that Lott has reviewed his own books, and also helped me find three more Lott self-reviews.
Amazon’s Canadian and US sites treat the location of the reviewer differently. On the US site, all the reviews by a reviewer have the same location—the one given for the most recent review. On the Canadian site the location is the one given when the review was posted. For example, in Lott’s review of Joyce Lee Malcolm’s book his location is listed as Swarthmore on the US site and as Washington DC on the Canadian site. There are several other reviews with the same pattern—these ones are certain to have been written by Lott. This table lists all the reviews for which there are two locations—notice how the Canadian location is always some place where Lott lived or worked.
|Title||Date||Amazon.ca location||Amazon.com location|
|More Guns, Less Crime||August 8, 1998||Chicago||Madison, Wisconsin|
|Are Predatory Commitments Credible?||July 29, 1999||Washington, D.C.||(none)|
|More Guns, Less Crime||July 30, 1999||Philadelphia||(none)|
|Gun Violence: The Real Costs||September 21, 2001||Washington, DC||Swarthmore, PA USA|
|More Guns, Less Crime||November 8, 2001||Washington, DC||Swarthmore, PA USA|
|Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control||December 31, 2001||Philadelphia||Washington, DC|
|Guns and Violence: The English Experience||September 16, 2002||Washington, DC||Swarthmore, PA USA|
|Nine Crazy Ideas in Science||October 23, 2002||Washington, DC||Swarthmore, PA USA|
And notice that two reviews did not have a location at the US site. I picked them as probable Lott reviews because of the style. The Canadian site places them in Philadelphia and in Washington, confirming that Lott wrote them.
Also this review, posted at Barnes and Noble on April 19, 1999 by “A reviewer, from Madison, Wisconsin”, was also posted to Amazon on January 15, 1999. Amazon.com doesn’t give any location, but Amazon.ca says it’s from Chicago.
There was no location given for the reviewer below at Amazon.com, and while the writing style is Lott’s it was too short for me to be certain enough to call it as another Lott review, but at Amazon.ca, the reviewer’s location is Madison, where Lott was living at the time.
Extremely well written book, August 10, 1998
Reviewer: A customer from Madison, Wisconisn
This book explodes many myths about crime and guns. Professor Lott has put together a truly monumental study on crime. This is one book that people will be discussing for many years to come.
This review has no location at Amazon.com. Lott was working in Chicago at the time.
A straight forward accounting of both the benefits and costs, April 30, 1999
Reviewer: A customer from Chicago, Illinois
This book may not have completely changed my mind on the issue of gun control, but I have certainly gone from automatically supporting controls to a much more agnostic position. A friend of mine had been begging me for a while to read the book, and I have to confess that I am glad that she did. It has surely caused me to think more critically about the current debate.
I must say I have been most impressed by Professor Lott’s ability to acknowledge both the costs and bennefits of guns. When there are costs or benefits Lott lays them out and tries to measure them.
I have also been learned that what might appear to be the most obvious response is not always the best. With all the heat that this debate has generated, it is nice to see someone clearly and dispationately lay out all the evidence.
Lott pretends to be a gun control supporter swayed by his book. And promotes himself to Professor again. Cute.
Anyway, I’ve found three more Lott self-reviews, and strongly confirmed Lott as the author of several other reviews.