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American Villains-2 Volume Set

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Another installment in Salem's "Magill's Choice" series, this set covers the most notorious villains of our time-defined broadly as criminals, terrorists, spies, corrupt politicians, and cult leaders. Of those 177 articles, 169 have been culled from Salem's three-volume Great Lives from History: Notorious Lives(2007). The remaining articles discuss such lesser-known individuals as Tom Bell, Tommy Lucchese, and Mildred Gillars. The 1000-word entries cover individuals like Lizzie Borden, Joseph McCarthy, David Berkowitz, Scott Peterson, and Darlie Routier but exclude O.J. Simpson, John Walker, and the military personnel involved in the Guantánamo Bay abuse scandal. Article titles and index entries appear inconsistent: the index does not include nicknames or monikers even though that information is included within the articles themselves. For example, the notorious Axis Sally appears in both the index and the table of contents only as Mildred Gillars, while the article on Charles Arthur Floyd is titled and indexed under Pretty Boy Floyd, with no cross reference to his legal name. Suggested web sites, which appear at the end of Volume 2, are accurate but not necessarily current to 2008. Of the 93 contributors, seven are independent scholars, and the contributors' list is limited to names and, where available, institutional affiliations.
—Laurie Selwyn

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

These essays first appeared in Carl L. Bankston's Notorious Lives (Salem, 2007), but several of the entries have been updated. The concise biographies of 177 disreputable Americans begin with essential background and then describe the subjects' criminal activities; punishment, if any; and lasting effect. An immense variety of wrongdoings is addressed in the profiles, which cover individuals from the 18th century to today. Subjects include Richard Girnt Butler, official spokesperson for the Aryan Nations; pirate Rachel Wall; mafia leader Frank Costello; and such well-known figures as Benedict Arnold, John Wilkes Booth, Al Capone, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Black-and-white photographs and primary-source excerpts accompany many entries. Back matter includes an annotated Web site list and a chronological listing of entries. This diverse set will supplement research in areas of history, psychology, sociology, law, and criminal justice.-Beth McGuire, Fannett-Metal School District, Willow Hill, PA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587654534
  • Publisher: Salem Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Series: Magill's Choice Ser.
  • Pages: 2
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 3.20 (d)

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