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The Oxford History of Popular Print CultureVolume Six: US Popular Print Culture 1860-1920$
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Christine Bold

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.001.0001

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Rough Justice

Rough Justice

Crime, Corruption, and Urban Governance

Chapter:
(p.555) Chapter 27 Rough Justice
Source:
The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture
Author(s):

Christopher P. Wilson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.003.0028

This chapter examines visions of crime and violence in American cities, along with corruption and urban governance, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. More specifically, it considers the role of popular print culture in the reconceptualisation and administration of criminal justice through subtle manipulations of mass representation in sensationalist fiction and professional criminology. The chapter focuses on the National Police Gazette and its graphic sensationalism of almost every kind of crime, along with its reporting of police court hearings. It also discusses municipal police histories, the so-called light and shadow narratives, and the influence of print markets on the depiction of crime and governance in Progressive-era, magazine-based muckraking.

Keywords:   crime, violence, cities, corruption, urban governance, popular print culture, criminal justice, National Police Gazette, sensationalism, muckraking

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