Lethal Imagination

Overview

By any standard, the United States is the most violent nation in the industrialized world. To find comparable levels of interpersonal violence, one must look to nations in the midst of civil war.

Most observers of modern American violence do not consider the historical roots of current levels of violence, preferring to criticize American liberalism, permissive child-rearing practices, and excessive greed and individualism as the sources of the ...

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Overview

By any standard, the United States is the most violent nation in the industrialized world. To find comparable levels of interpersonal violence, one must look to nations in the midst of civil war.

Most observers of modern American violence do not consider the historical roots of current levels of violence, preferring to criticize American liberalism, permissive child-rearing practices, and excessive greed and individualism as the sources of the problem.

This collection of original essays examines the role of violence in America's past, exploring its history and development, from slave patrols in the Colonial South to gun ownership in the twentieth century.

Contributors examine both individual acts, such as domestic violence, murder, dueling, frontier vigilantism, and rape, and group and state-led acts such as lynchings, slave uprisings, rifle clubs, legal sanctions of heterosexual aggression, and invasive medical experiments on women's bodies.

Contributors include Jeff Adler, Bruce Baird, Robert Dykstra, Lee Chambers-Schiller, Philip J. Cook, Laura Edwards, Uche Egemonye, Nicole Etcheson, Evan Haefeli, Sally Hadden, Paula Hinton, Arthur L. Kellermann, Laura McCall, Kate Nickerson, Mary Odem, Craig Pascoe, John C. Pettegrew, Junius P. Rodriguez, and Andrea Tone, Christopher Waldrep.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814712962
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 7.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael A. Bellesiles is the founding director of Emory University's interdisciplinary Violence Studies Program, and author of Revolutionary Outlaws.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Kieft's War and the Cultures of Violence in Colonial America 17
2 "Shee Would Bump His Mouldy Britch": Authority, Masculinity, and the Harried Husbands of New Haven Colony, 1638-1670 43
3 Colonial and Revolutionary Era Slave Patrols of Virginia 69
4 The Social Origins of Dueling in Virginia 87
5 Women and Domestic Violence in Nineteenth-Century North Carolina 115
6 Complicity and Deceit: Lewis Cheney's Plot and Its Bloody Consequences 139
7 Good Men and Notorious Rogues: Vigilantism in Massac County, Illinois, 1846-1850 149
8 Armed and "More or Less Dangerous": Women and Violence in American Frontier Literature, 1820-1860 171
9 Seduced, Betrayed, and Revenged: The Murder Trial of Mary Harris 185
10 To Live and Die in Dodge City: Body Counts, Law and Order, and the Case of Kansas v. Gill 211
11 Word and Deed: The Language of Lynching, 1820-1953 229
12 "The Deftness of Her Sex": Innocence, Guilt, and Gender in the Trial of Lizzie Borden 261
13 Treat Her Like a Lady: Judicial Paternalism and the Justification for Assaults against Black Women, 1865-1910 283
14 "The Negro Would Be More Than an Angel to Withstand Such Treatment": African-American Homicide in Chicago, 1875-1910 295
15 Homosociality and the Legal Sanction of Male Heterosexual Aggression in the Early Twentieth Century 317
16 "The Unspeakable Mrs. Gunness": The Deviant Woman in Early-Twentieth-Century America 327
17 Cultural Representations and Social Contexts of Rape in the Early Twentieth Century 353
18 Violence by Design: Contraceptive Technology and the Invasion of the Female Body 373
19 The Monroe Rifle Club: Finding Justice in an "Ungodly and Social Jungle Called Dixie" 393
20 Armed and Dangerous: Guns in American Homes 425
Contributors 441
Index 445
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2008

    Questionable accuracy?

    Readers should be aware that Michael A. Bellesiles' previous book "Arming America: The Origins Of A National Gun Culture" has been thoroughly discredited because of faulty research based on non-existent made-up "facts". In fact, Bellesiles lost his position at Emory University because his book was essentially a work of fiction to represent his extreme anti-gun views. Read his other books if you want but at least be aware of his history of false information in the above mentioned book.

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