Cover: American Homicide, from Harvard University PressCover: American Homicide in PAPERBACK

American Homicide

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$25.00 • £20.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674064119

Publication Date: 03/05/2012

Academic Trade

672 pages

31 charts, 1 map, 1 table

Belknap Press

World

In American Homicide, Randolph Roth charts changes in the character and incidence of homicide in the U.S. from colonial times to the present. Roth 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, even in the slave South; and by the early nineteenth century, rates in the North and the mountain South were extremely low. But the homicide rate rose substantially among unrelated adults in the slave South after the American Revolution; and it skyrocketed across the United States 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 in the United States and in other Western nations over the past four centuries, and why the United States is today the most homicidal affluent nation.

Also Available As

Jacket: American Homicide

HARDCOVER | $58.50

ISBN 9780674035201

Short

Awards & Accolades

  • 2011 Michael J. Hindelang Award, American Society of Criminology
  • 2010 Allan Sharlin Memorial Award, Social Science History Association
  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2010
  • A Reason Best Book of 2009
Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?, by Alexander Keyssar, from Harvard University Press

From Our Blog

9780674238084

Who We Might Have Been, and Who We Will Become

Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.