Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.
xv, 655 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Formatted Contents Note
"Cuttinge one anothers throates" : homicide in early modern Europe and America "All hanging together" : the decline of homicide in the Colonial Period Family and intimate homicide in the first two centuries "A sense of their rights" : homicide in the age of revolution The emergence of regional differences : homicide in the postrevolutionary period The rise in family and intimate homicide in the nineteenth century "All is confusion, excitement and distrust" : America becomes a homicidal nation The modern pattern is set : homicide from the end of Reconstruction to World War I The problem endures : homicide from World War I to the present Conclusion : can America's homicide problem be solved?
Randolph Roth charts changes in the character and incidence of homicide in the U.S. from colonial times to the present. He argues that the United States is distinctive in its level of violence among unrelated adults--friends, acquaintances, and strangers. America was extraordinarily homicidal in the mid-seventeenth century, but it became relatively non-homicidal by the mid-eighteenth century. Then the homicide rate skyrocketed from the late 1840s through the mid-1870s, while rates in most other Western nations held steady or fell. That surge--and all subsequent increases in the homicide rate--correlated closely with four distinct phenomena: political instability; a loss of government legitimacy; a loss of fellow-feeling among members of society caused by racial, religious, or political antagonism; and a loss of faith in the social hierarchy. Those four factors, Roth argues, best explain why homicide rates have gone up and down over the past four centuries, and why the United States is today the most homicidal affluent nation.--From publisher description.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 588-640) and index.
KF9305 .R68 2009
American Society of Criminology Michael J. Hindelang Award, 2011.
9780674035201 cloth alkaline paper 0674035208 cloth alkaline paper