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Centered on a series of dramatic murders in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Richmond, Virginia, ###The Body in the Reservoir# uses these gripping stories of crime to explore the evolution of sensationalism in southern culture. In Richmond, as across the nation, the embrace of modernity was accompanied by the prodigious growth of mass culture and its accelerating interest in lurid stories of crime and bloodshed. But while others have emphasized the importance of the penny press and yellow journalism on the shifting nature of the media and cultural responses to violence, Michael Trotti reveals a more gradual and nuanced story of change. In addition, Richmond's racial makeup (one-third to one-half of the population was African American) allows Trotti to challenge assumptions about how black and white media reported the sensational; the surprising discrepancies offer insight into just how differently these two communities experienced American justice. An engaging look at the connections between culture and violence, this book gets to the heart--or perhaps the shadowy underbelly--of the sensational as the South became modern. Trotti explores murder cases and media and community responses to them as a way of understanding the evolution of sensationalism in the south from the colonial era to the age of ragtime. As the country began to embrace modernity at the turn of the century, the growth of mass culture facilitated (and was facilitated by) people's interest in lurid stories of crime and bloodshed. Trotti argues that this trend was especially evident in the south. He looks at cases based in Richmond, a mid-sized city with a high population density and a range of industries. Richmond also allows Trotti to make comparisons between the sensationalism of the white press and public and how the black community framed crime sensations and justice more generally. He demonstrates what got sensationalized, and how, as well as how the nature of the sensationalism changed over the decades. Centered on a series of dramatic murders in 19th- and early 20th-century Richmond, Virginia, ###The Body in the Reservoir# uses these gripping stories of crime to explore the evolution of sensationalism in southern culture. In Richmond, as across the nation, the embrace of modernity was accompanied by the prodigious growth of mass culture and its accelerating interest in lurid stories of crime and bloodshed. An engaging look at the connections between culture and violence, this book gets to the heart--or perhaps the shadowy underbelly--of the sensational as the South became modern. Centered on a series of dramatic murders in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Richmond, Virginia, ###The Body in the Reservoir# uses these gripping stories of crime to explore the evolution of sensationalism in southern culture. In Richmond, as across the nation, the embrace of modernity was accompanied by the prodigious growth of mass culture and its accelerating interest in lurid stories of crime and bloodshed. But while others have emphasized the importance of the penny press and yellow journalism on the shifting nature of the media and cultural responses to violence, Michael Trotti reveals a more gradual and nuanced story of change. In addition, Richmond's racial makeup (one-third to one-half of the population was African American) allows Trotti to challenge assumptions about how black and white media reported the sensational; the surprising discrepancies offer insight into just how differently these two communities experienced American justice. An engaging look at the connections between culture and violence, this book gets to the heart--or perhaps the shadowy underbelly--of the sensational as the South became modern.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction — Discovering the Body
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. 1. The Origins of Virginia Crime Sensationalism
  2. pp. 13-42
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  1. 2. Sensational Crime Comes of Age: The Cluverius Case of 1885
  2. pp. 43-78
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  1. 3. The Disenchantment of Sensational Murder
  2. pp. 79-110
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  1. 4. African American Sensations: Jim Crow Justice and the Richmond Planet
  2. pp. 111-144
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  1. 5. Images of Murder: The Visual Revolution of the Halftone
  2. pp. 145-180
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  1. 6. The Public Suspense Is Over
  2. pp. 181-206
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  1. Epilogue — Mass Culture’s Search for Disorder
  2. pp. 207-216
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 217-294
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 295-301
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469604374
Related ISBN
9780807831786
MARC Record
OCLC
676699986
Pages
320
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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