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Violence in America, Volume 1: The History of Crime

NCJ Number
T R Gurr
Date Published
279 pages
Directed to professionals and students in criminology, history, victimology, political science, and related areas, these 12 papers examine recently developed theories and empirical research on the sources of violence in the United States, based on the assumption that group violence grows out of the dynamics of social change and political contention.
The discussions emphasize that the origins, processes, and outcomes of group violence, like the causes and consequences of crime, must be understood and addressed in their social contexts. Individual papers survey new research on the long-term dynamics of murder and other violent crimes, the circumstances surrounding the recurring epidemics of violent crime in the last 150 years, and the role of immigration, wars, and growing concentrations of urban poverty. Historical inquiries also focus on the need for both cooperation and violence in bootlegging as well as current drug trafficking and on the contrast between common views and reality about lawlessness in frontier mining towns. Other chapters evaluate the traits of political assassins and assess the advantages and disadvantages of gun control in reducing crime. Social trends and their probable effects on violent crime in the future are also examined. Figures, tables, chapter reference notes, and index. (Editor summary modified)