Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence

by Bill James

Scribner | May 3, 2011 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

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The man who revolutionized the way we think about baseball now examines our cultural obsession with murder—delivering a unique, engrossing, brilliant history of tabloid crime in America.

Celebrated writer and contrarian Bill James has voraciously read true crime throughout his life and has been interested in writing a book on the topic for decades. Now, with Popular Crime, James takes readers on an epic journey from Lizzie Borden to the Lindbergh baby, from the Black Dahlia to O. J. Simpson, explaining how crimes have been committed, investigated, prosecuted and written about, and how that has profoundly influenced our culture over the last few centuries— even if we haven’t always taken notice.

Exploring such phenomena as serial murder, the fluctuation of crime rates, the value of evidence, radicalism and crime, prison reform and the hidden ways in which crimes have shaped, or reflected, our society, James chronicles murder and misdeeds from the 1600s to the present day. James pays particular attention to crimes that were sensations during their time but have faded into obscurity, as well as still-famous cases, some that have never been solved, including the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Satisfyingly sprawling and tremendously entertaining, Popular Crime is a professed amateur’s powerful examination of the incredible impact crime stories have on our society, culture and history.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439182728

ISBN - 13: 9781439182727

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Crime as reported in the press Crime is always a front page spectacle. James takes us through the last century of crime reporting and reveals how popular attitudes sometimes allow crimes to take on a life of their own, and even alter the eventual outcome. James is quite glib with his commentary and his jokes are not always that amusing but he researched his field quite thoroughly so his approach is forgiveable. He takes us through many of the important crime stories such as the Lindbergh bay kidnapping to the O.J. Simpson trial and he gives us some of the evidence that might have been overlooked or even ignored. Some of his deductions might even surprise you. He also points out other authors that have covered these events and critiques these works in case you need more information. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on the JFK assassination - there was definitely a few things that I never knew about. If you like crime or you are interested in social values that are pushed forward from the media, you will probably enjoy this book. It is an off-the-wall sort of read but at 400 pages or so, it is not a big time investment for the casual reader.
Date published: 2013-07-19

– More About This Product –

Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence

by Bill James

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439182728

ISBN - 13: 9781439182727

From the Publisher

The man who revolutionized the way we think about baseball now examines our cultural obsession with murder—delivering a unique, engrossing, brilliant history of tabloid crime in America.

Celebrated writer and contrarian Bill James has voraciously read true crime throughout his life and has been interested in writing a book on the topic for decades. Now, with Popular Crime, James takes readers on an epic journey from Lizzie Borden to the Lindbergh baby, from the Black Dahlia to O. J. Simpson, explaining how crimes have been committed, investigated, prosecuted and written about, and how that has profoundly influenced our culture over the last few centuries— even if we haven’t always taken notice.

Exploring such phenomena as serial murder, the fluctuation of crime rates, the value of evidence, radicalism and crime, prison reform and the hidden ways in which crimes have shaped, or reflected, our society, James chronicles murder and misdeeds from the 1600s to the present day. James pays particular attention to crimes that were sensations during their time but have faded into obscurity, as well as still-famous cases, some that have never been solved, including the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Satisfyingly sprawling and tremendously entertaining, Popular Crime is a professed amateur’s powerful examination of the incredible impact crime stories have on our society, culture and history.