×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

True Crime: An American Anthology
     

True Crime: An American Anthology

by Harold Schechter (Editor)
 

See All Formats & Editions

Americans have had an uneasy fascination with crime since the earliest European settlements in the New World, and right from the start true crime writing became a dominant genre in American writing. True Crime: An American Anthology offers the first comprehensive look at the many ways in which American writers have explored crime in a multitude of

Overview

Americans have had an uneasy fascination with crime since the earliest European settlements in the New World, and right from the start true crime writing became a dominant genre in American writing. True Crime: An American Anthology offers the first comprehensive look at the many ways in which American writers have explored crime in a multitude of aspects: the dark motives that spur it, the shock of its impact on society, the effort to make sense of the violent extremes of human behavior. Here is the full spectrum of the true crime genre, including accounts of some of the most notorious criminal cases in American history: the Helen Jewett murder and the once-notorious ?Kentucky tragedy? of the 1830s, the assassination of President Garfield, the Snyder- Gray murder that inspired Double Indemnity, the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Black Dahlia, Leopold and Loeb, and the Manson family. True Crime draws upon the writing of literary figures as diverse as Nathaniel Hawthorne (reporting on a visit to a waxworks exhibit of notorious crimes), Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser (offering his views on a 1934 murder that some saw as a ?copycat? version of An American Tragedy), James Thurber, Joseph Mitchell, and Truman Capote and sources as varied as execution sermons, murder ballads, early broadsides and trial reports, and tabloid journalism of many different eras. It also features the influential true crime writing of best-selling contemporary practitioners like James Ellroy, Gay Talese, Dominick Dunne, and Ann Rule.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Schechter (American literature, Queens Coll., CUNY; The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century ) has put together a sweeping anthology covering the history of crime in America and showcasing some of the best American crime writing. Arranged by publication date, the selections are mostly magazine-length retellings of American crimes, including Puritan execution sermons, murder ballads, and cringe-worthy heinous accounts. The authors selected vary from the colonial (e.g., Benjamin Franklin) to the literary (e.g., Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Truman Capote) to current best-selling experts (e.g., Dominick Dunne, Ann Rule, Calvin Trillin, James Ellroy). The all-too-familiar tales are here-Leopold and Loeb, Charles Manson, Son of Sam-but Schechter also includes some stories that received less press and may be new to readers, like the 1930s case of the Cleveland "butcher" and the 1873 axe murders on Smutty Nose Island, NH. Readers will find it difficult to put down this delightful treasury encompassing some of the best crime writing from colonial times to today. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Karen Sandlin Silverman, Library Svcs., Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598530315
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
09/18/2008
Pages:
900
Sales rank:
566,675
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 10.92(h) x 2.02(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Harold Schechter, editor, is a professor of American literature at Queens College, the City University of New York. He is the author of more than two dozen books and is best known for his historical true crime accounts, most recently The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century (2007). He is also the author of six novels, including a mystery series featuring Edgar Allan Poe.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews