Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case

Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case

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by A.M. Rosenthal
     
 

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"[Rosenthal] told a stunning, tragic story and called each one of us to account for averting our eyes—and hearts—and voices."
—Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes

It remains one of the most notorious deaths in New York City history not because of who was murdered but because of the circumstances: 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was

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Overview

"[Rosenthal] told a stunning, tragic story and called each one of us to account for averting our eyes—and hearts—and voices."
—Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes

It remains one of the most notorious deaths in New York City history not because of who was murdered but because of the circumstances: 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered, in an attack that took nearly thirty minutes and had thirty-eight witnesses...not one of whom did a thing to stop the murderer or even call for help.

A.M. Rosenthal, who would later become one of the most famous and controversial editors The New York Times has ever had, was the newspaper's city editor then; the murder happened on his beat. He first published this book in 1964, the year of the murder. It is part memoir, part investigative journalism, and part public service.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a most important book by perhaps the most important newspaper editor of the last half-century."
—Gay Talese, author of The Kingdom and the Power

"A memorable book...that needs to be available to...anyone who struggles to...live an honorable life within one or another community or neighborhood."
—Robert Coles, author of The Moral Life of Children

“It resembles a time capsule in some respects… several of the haunting questions Rosenthal raised, generalized to any such situation, remain unanswerable, and link as firmly to the present as they did to their own time.”
—Art Winslow, Chicago Tribune

“A look at our collective guilt for Genovese’s murder, the way we are all complicit when the rules of society start breaking down… It’s a vivid argument, and 44 years later, it has more to tell us than some moralistic tale of apathy.”
—David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“Now the classic book on the subject is out … stunning new introduction.”
—Liz Smith

“Years after its first printing, Thirty-Eight Witnesses remains a starkly terrifying morality play.”
Publishers Weekly

“Concerns an event that seemed to symbolize everything that was wrong with contemporary New York: a 30-minute attack, culminating in murder, on a young Queens woman, heard by 38 neighbors, none of whom called the police. Reissued in a series of classic works of journalism, this edition includes a preface by Samuel G. Freedman and an introduction by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.”
The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933633299
Publisher:
Melville House Publishing
Publication date:
01/01/2008
Series:
Melville House Classic Journalism
Pages:
100
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

A.M. Rosenthal was editor of The New York Times from 1969 through 1986, during which time he gained fame for the paper's coverage of the war in Vietnam, Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal, and in particular for his decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. Prior to that he was a foreign correspondent for the Times, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. He died in 2006.

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Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BuckeyeAngel 4 months ago
On March 13, 1964, 28 year old Kitty Genovese was murdered in Queens, NY. The murder took place in a course of about 30 minutes, with breaks in between. She was stabbed numerous times and sexually assaulted after she died. However, that’s not what’s so shocking about the crime. The shocking part, and the reason it’s still talked about and referenced, is that there were 38 witnesses to the attack. None of them called the police. None of them stepped out to see what was happening as a woman screamed for help. Once or twice someone would shout down, which would interrupt the murderer, who would sneak off, and then come back a few minutes later and carry on. This book was originally written about a year after the crime by an editor at the New York Times who assigned a reporter to the case a few days after it happened, making it one of the first true crime books. There’s also a preface from him that he wrote several years ago, giving his opinion in this day and age, which gives a great comparison of a man who heard about this crime when it happened, how he reflected upon it then, and how he reflected on it over 30 years later. There’s also a preface from several years ago from the reporter himself. I’ve read a number of true crime stories. I have the standard addiction to the true crime channel. I heard references to this crime in movies and recently watched a special on it. However, what the author does is a bit different. Yes, he gives the detailed information about the crime and the murderer. BUT, he points out from the beginning, what makes this crime so fascinating and what his original point was in writing the book: The human person and how we react to certain things. He asks the question of empathy vs. self-preservation and questions desensitization. Seeing his personal reflection on what he would’ve done then vs just several years ago and everything in between made me really question how I would react if I heard a woman scream or how I do react when I see people in need. I was so engrossed into the book, I read it within a few hours. I can’t remember the last book that really made me think like this. I highly recommend it. **I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i cant believe i spent $10.00 for 61 pages!