Violent Land: Single Men and Social Disorder from the Frontier to the Inner City

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Harvard University Press, 1996 - History - 357 pages
2 Reviews

This book offers an explosive look at violence in America--why it is so prevalent, and what and who are responsible. David Courtwright takes the long view of his subject, developing the historical pattern of violence and disorder in this country. Where there is violent and disorderly behavior, he shows, there are plenty of men, largely young and single. What began in the mining camp and bunkhouse has simply continued in the urban world of today, where many young, armed, intoxicated, honor-conscious bachelors have reverted to frontier conditions.

Violent Land combines social science with an engrossing narrative that spans and reinterprets the history of violence and social disorder in America. Courtwright focuses on the origins, consequences, and eventual decline of frontier brutality. Though these rough days have passed, he points out that the frontier experience still looms large in our national self-image--and continues to influence the extent and type of violence in America as well as our collective response to it.

Broadly interdisciplinary, looking at the interplay of biological, social, and historical forces behind the dark side of American life, this book offers a disturbing diagnosis of violence in our society.

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Violent land: single men and social disorder from the frontier to the inner city

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Courtwright (history, Univ. of North Florida) has written a timely book on one of the most hotly debated issues, violence in America. Observing historical, biological, and social origins of the ... Read full review

Review: Violent Land: Single Men & Social Disorder from the Frontier to the Inner City

User Review  - Ben - Goodreads

I begin with a simple argument, an argument that can be stated in the form of a statistical syllogism. Young men are prone to violence and disorder; America attracted unusually large numbers of young ... Read full review


The Historical Pattern
Biological and Demographic Roots
Cultural and Social Roots

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When Crime Waves

Limited preview - 2005
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About the author (1996)

David T. Courtwright is John A. Delaney Presidential Professor at the University of North Florida.

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