The Culture of Crime

The Culture of Crime

by Everette E. Dennis
     
 

ISBN-10: 1560008261

ISBN-13: 9781560008262

Pub. Date: 01/28/1995

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

There is no journalistic work more deserving of the designation “story” than news of crime. From antiquity, the culture of crime has been about the human condition, and whether information comes from Homer, Hollywood, or the city desk, it is a bottom about the human capacity for cruelty and suffering, about desperation and fear, about sex, race, and

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Overview

There is no journalistic work more deserving of the designation “story” than news of crime. From antiquity, the culture of crime has been about the human condition, and whether information comes from Homer, Hollywood, or the city desk, it is a bottom about the human capacity for cruelty and suffering, about desperation and fear, about sex, race, and public morals. Facts are important to the telling of a crime story, but ultimately less so than the often apocryphal narratives we derive from them.

The Culture of Crime is hence about the most common and least studies staple of news. Its prominence dates at least to the 1830s, when the urban penny press employed violence, sex, and scandal to build dizzying high levels of circulation and begin the modern age of mass media. In its coverage of crime, in particular, the popular press represented a new kind of journalism, if not a new definition of news, that made available for public consumption whole areas of social and private life that the mercantile, elite, and political press earlier ignored. This legacy has continued unabated for 150 years. The book explores new wrinkles in the study of crime and as a mass cultural activity—from exploring the private lives of public officials to dangers posed by constraints to a free press.

The volume is prepared with the rigor of a scholarly brief but also the excitement of actual crime stories as such. Throughout, the reader is reminded that crime stories are both news and drama, and to ignore either is to diminish the other. The work delves deeply into current problems without either sentimental or trivial pursuits. It will be a volume of great interest to people in communications research, the social sciences, criminologists, and not least, the broad public which must endure the punishment of crime and the thrill of the crime story alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560008262
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction1
1The Wicked World: The National Police Gazette and Gilded-Age America9
2Cosmology of Fear23
3The Reporter I: Cops, Killers and Crispy Critters35
4The Victim: Twice Wounded49
5The Criminal: Where the Sun Don't Shine55
6The Cop: Waiting for Good Dope65
7The Lawyer: "A Chill Wind Blows"75
8The Judge: Justice in Prime Time83
9The Court Officer: Meet the Press89
10The Reporter II: Better Than Real Life97
11Nervous in the Naked City103
12Kids and Crime111
13The Female Fear121
14Firearms Follies: How the News Media Cover Gun Control127
15Desperadoes and Lawmen: The Folk Hero137
16Making a Killing: An Interview with Elmore Leonard145
17You Want Me to Read a What?155
18Raskolnikov's Regret: Covering Crime in Russia163
19Glimpses of Gotham175
For Further Reading187
Index191

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