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Death and Other Penalties Cover

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Death and Other Penalties

Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration

Edited by Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Mass incarceration is one of the most pressing ethical and political issues of our time. In this volume, philosophers join activists and those incarcerated on death row to grapple with contemporary U.S. punishment practices and draw out critiques around questions of power, identity, justice, and ethical responsibility. This work takes shape against a backdrop of disturbing trends: The United States incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country in the world. A disproportionate number of these prisoners are people of color, and, today, a black man has a greater chance of going to prison than to college. The United States is the only Western democracy to retain the death penalty, even after decades of scholarship, statistics, and even legal decisions have depicted a deeply flawed system structured by racism and class oppression. Motivated by a conviction that mass incarceration and state execution are among the most important ethical and political problems of our time, the contributors to this volume come together from a diverse range of backgrounds to analyze, critique, and envision alternatives to the injustices of the U.S. prison system, with recourse to deconstruction, phenomenology, critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. They engage with the hyper-incarceration of people of color, the incomplete abolition of slavery, the exploitation of prisoners as workers and as “raw material” for the prison industrial complex, the intensive confinement of prisoners in supermax units, and the complexities of capital punishment in an age of abolition. The resulting collection contributes to a growing intellectual and political resistance to the apparent inevitability of incarceration and state execution as responses to crime and to social inequalities. It addresses both philosophers and activists who seek intellectual resources to contest the injustices of punishment in the United States.

Death in a Prairie House Cover

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Death in a Prairie House

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders


     The most pivotal and yet least understood event of Frank Lloyd Wright’s celebrated life involves the brutal murders in 1914 of seven adults and children dear to the architect and the destruction by fire of Taliesin, his landmark residence, near Spring Green, Wisconsin. Unaccountably, the details of that shocking crime have been largely ignored by Wright’s legion of biographers—a historical and cultural gap that is finally addressed in William Drennan’s exhaustively researched Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders.
     In response to the scandal generated by his open affair with the proto-feminist and free love advocate Mamah Borthwick Cheney, Wright had begun to build Taliesin as a refuge and "love cottage" for himself and his mistress (both married at the time to others).
      Conceived as the apotheosis of Wright’s prairie house style, the original Taliesin would stand in all its isolated glory for only a few months before the bloody slayings that rocked the nation and reduced the structure itself to a smoking hull.
     Supplying both a gripping mystery story and an authoritative portrait of the artist as a young man, Drennan wades through the myths surrounding Wright and the massacre, casting fresh light on the formulation of Wright’s architectural ideology and the cataclysmic effects that the Taliesin murders exerted on the fabled architect and on his subsequent designs.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Outstanding Book, selected by the Public Library Association

Death in the Delta Cover

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Death in the Delta

Uncovering a Mississippi Family Secret

Molly Walling

Growing up, Molly Walling could not fathom the source of the dark and intense discomfort in her family home. Then in 2006 she discovered her father's complicity in the murder of two black men on December 12, 1946, in Anguilla, deep in the Mississippi Delta. Death in the Delta tells the story of one woman's search for the truth behind a closely held, sixty-year old family secret. Though the author's mother and father decided that they would protect their three children from that past, its effect was profound. When the story of a fatal shoot-out surfaced, apprehension turned into a devouring need to know.

Each of Walling's trips from North Carolina to the Delta brought unsettling and unexpected clues. After a hearing before an all-white grand jury, her father's case was not prosecuted. Indeed, it appeared as if the incident never occurred, and he resumed his life as a small-town newspaper editor. Yet family members of one of the victims tell her their stories. A ninety-three-year-old black historian and witness gives context and advice. A county attorney suggests her family's history of commingling with black women was at the heart of the deadly confrontation. Firsthand the author recognizes how privilege, entitlement, and racial bias in a wealthy, landed southern family resulted in a deadly abuse of power followed by a stifling, decades-long cover up.

Death in the Delta is a deeply personal account of a quest to confront a terrible legacy. Against the advice and warnings of family, Walling exposes her father's guilty agency in the deaths of Simon Toombs and David Jones. She also exposes his gift as a writer and creative thinker. The author, grappling with wrenching issues of family and honor, was long conflicted about making this story public. But her mission became one of hope that confronting the truth might somehow move others toward healing and reconciliation.

Death of the American Death Penalty Cover

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Death of the American Death Penalty

States Still Leading the Way

Larry W. Koch

The death penalty has largely disappeared as a national legislative issue and the Supreme Court has mainly bowed out, leaving the states at the cutting edge of abolition politics. This essential guide presents and explains the changing political and cultural challenges to capital punishment at the state level.

As with their previous volume, America Without the Death Penalty (Northeastern, 2002), the authors of this completely new volume concentrate on the local and regional relationships between death penalty abolition and numerous empirical factors, such as economic conditions; public sentiment; the roles of social, political, and economic elites; the mass media; and population diversity. They highlight the recent abolition of the practice in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Illinois; the near misses in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland, and Nebraska; the Kansas rollercoaster rides; and the surprising recent decline of the death penalty even in the deep South.

Abolition of the death penalty in the United States is a piecemeal process, with one state after another peeling off from the pack until none is left and the tragic institution finally is no more. This book tells you how, and why, that will likely happen.

Death on Base Cover

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Death on Base

The Fort Hood Massacre

Anita Belles Porterfield and John Porterfield

When Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan walked into the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Processing Center and opened fire on soldiers within, he perpetrated the worst mass shooting on a United States military base in our country’s history. Death on Base is an in-depth look at the events surrounding the tragic mass murder that took place on November 5, 2009, and an investigation into the causes and influences that factored into the attack. The story begins with Hasan's early life in Virginia, continues with his time at Fort Hood, Texas, covers the events of the shooting, and concludes with his trial. The authors analyze Hasan's connections to radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and demonstrate how radical Islam fueled Hasan's hatred of both the American military and the soldiers he treated. Hasan's mass shooting is compared with others, such as George Hennard's shooting rampage at Luby's in Killeen in 1991, Charles Whitman at the University of Texas, and Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho. The authors explore the strange paradox that the shooting at Fort Hood was classified as workplace violence rather than a terrorist act. This classification has major implications for the victims of the shooting who have been denied health benefits and compensation.

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Decoding Albanian Organized Crime

Culture, Politics, and Globalization

Jana Arsovska

The expansion of organized crime across national borders has become a key security concern for the international community. In this theoretically and empirically vibrant portrait of a global phenomenon, Jana Arsovska examines some of the most widespread myths about the so-called Albanian Mafia. Based on more than a decade of research, including interviews with victims, offenders, and law enforcement across ten countries, as well as court files and confidential intelligence reports, Decoding Albanian Organized Crime presents a comprehensive overview of the causes, codes of conduct, activities, migration, and structure of Albanian organized crime groups in the Balkans, Western Europe, and the United States. Paying particular attention to the dynamic relationships among culture, politics, and organized crime, the book develops a framework for understanding the global growth of the criminal underworld and provides a model for future comparative research.

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The Delinquent Girl

Over the past decade and a half, girls’ involvement in the juvenile justice system has increased. Yet the topic remains under-studied among criminologists. The Delinquent Girl is a “state-of-the-field” evaluation that identifies and analyzes girls who become delinquent, the kinds of crimes they commit and the reasons they commit them. The distinguished academics and practitioners who contributed to this volume provide an overview of the research on girls’ delinquency, discuss policy implications and point to areas where further research is critically needed.

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Devil's Game

The Civil War Intrigues of Charles A. Dunham

Carman Cumming

The first book-length study of one of the Civil War's most outlandish and mysterious characters, Devil's Game traces the amazing career of Charles A. Dunham, double agent. _x000B__x000B_Dunham was a spy, forger, journalist, and master of dirty tricks. Writing for a variety of papers (including New York's Tribune, Herald, and World) under alternate names, he routinely faked stories, even writing contradictory accounts for different papers. Dunham also used his journalism to create new identities and then boldly cast himself to play the roles. With the help of his wife, Ophelia, he passed in and out of at least a half-dozen personae. _x000B__x000B_His characters included the vicious "Colonel" Charles Dunham, under the command of General Early; Colonel James Watson Wallace, a wounded Virginian convalescing in Montreal; and Colonel George Margrave, "one of the most cool and reckless villains in the Confederacy." In the South, he was known as Isaac Haynes, with still more aliases for his Canadian travels. Dunham would reinforce his house of cards by going so far as to have the invented characters in his ersatz stories accuse each other of heinous crimes. _x000B__x000B_Dunham achieved his greatest infamy at the war's end. Called to testify in Washington, he was the most notorious of the witnesses to swear that Lincoln's assassination had been plotted by conspirators in Montreal and Toronto, on orders from Richmond. These intrigues continued even from behind bars, as he worked tirelessly to build a network of evidence implicating President Andrew Johnson in the assassination. _x000B__x000B_Although this testimony was later discredited, until now many parts of Dunham's wartime (and postwar) career have remained shadowy. Carman Cumming sheds new light on numerous escapades, including Dunham's effort to sell Lincoln on plans for a raid to capture Jefferson Davis and a complex effort in Canada to plan--and then betray--cross-border raids. _x000B__x000B_Exhaustively researched and unprecedented in its depth, Devil's Game is a shocking portrait of a consummate chameleon. Drawing together all previous Dunham scholarship, Cumming offers the first detailed tour of Dunham's convoluted, high-stakes, international deceits. A carefully crafted assessment of Dunham's motives, personality, and the complex effects of his schemes make Devil's Game an important and original work that will change some basic assumptions about the secret operations of the Civil War.

Diet of Worms Cover

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Diet of Worms

Quality of Catering in Kenyan Prisons

Prison-reformation has been a controversial and politically charged issue in Kenya. In the past it has elicited such legendary and emotional responses as ìWhat reforms? Prisons are not supposed to be five star hotels!î Recently, however, there has been a greater consensus between the public sector and the civic society in Kenya - than has ever in the past - of the need to revisit the human rights of inmates in various Kenyan prisons. Since 2003 a number of ground breaking reforms have been introduced in Kenyan prisons and more reforms seem to be on the way. Jacqueline Korir in this book takes a serious and despassionate look into a single variable: the quality of catering in Kenyan prisons. Her findings were both shocking and challenging. The food was lacking in both nutritive value as well aesthetic appeal. The site of food samples was only reminiscent of a grotesque meaning of the famous Council in Church History - The Diet of Worms! This book, grounded, in empirical data analysis by hard statistics and backed by rare photographs from inside Kenyan prisons serves as an eye-opener to both the prison-reformists as well as students and teachers of African sociology and institutional catering all over the world.

Dime Novel Desperadoes Cover

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Dime Novel Desperadoes

The Notorious Maxwell Brothers

John E. Hallwas

This thrilling historical true crime narrative recovers the long-forgotten story of Ed and Lon Maxwell, outlaw brothers from Illinois who once rivaled Jesse and Frank James in national notoriety. Growing up hard as the sons of a tenant farmer, the Maxwell brothers embarked on a life of crime that captured the public eye. Made famous locally by newspapers that dramatized crimes and danger, the brothers achieved national prominence in 1881 when they shot and killed Charles and Milton Coleman, lawmen trying to apprehend them. Public outrage sparked the largest manhunt for outlaws in American history, involving some twenty posses who pursued the desperadoes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. Nevertheless, the daring desperadoes were eventually portrayed as heroes in sensationalistic dime novels._x000B__x000B_A stunning saga of robbery and horse stealing, gunfights and manhunts, murder and mob violence, Dime Novel Desperadoes also delves into the cultural and psychological factors that produced lawbreakers and created a crime wave in the post-Civil War era. Every overview and encyclopedia of American outlaws will need to be revised, and the fabled "Wild West" will have to be extended east of the Mississippi River, in response to this riveting chronicle. With more than forty illustrations and several maps that bring to life the exciting world of the Maxwell brothers, Dime Novel Desperadoes is a new classic in the annals of American outlawry._x000B_

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