The American response to professional crime, 1870-1917 /

Main Author: Hartsfield, Larry K.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1985.
Series: Contributions in criminology and penology, no. 8
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Review by Choice Review

Originally an interdisciplinary dissertation in communications, this book seeks to view crime from the perspective of several academic disciplines. Hartsfield examines the image of the professional criminal between 1870 and 1917 in autobiographies of professional criminals, nonfiction accounts of crime and criminals, popular fiction, and the emerging science of criminology. The discussion of each of the individual topics is competent and readers interested in a brief introduction to one or more of them will find the book useful on those grounds. Unfortunately, no general thesis unifies the author's approach. In the end, readers do not gain any new insights into either American society or the world of crime. The epilogue is particularly weak; Hartsfield does not prove his case that ``the professional thief played an important role in American civilization'' during the period studied.-S. Walker, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.