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We enjoy liberty to an unparalleled degree, yet a hefty percentage of our citizens languish in jail cells David T. Courtwright, professor of history at the University of North Florida, explores the dark half of this national split personality in his incisive and frightening Violent Land. Courtwright has produced a fascinating, important, and impressive study of violence in the American past.
His approach is innovative and his methods creative. The book examines the recurring problem of violence in American history and argues, compellingly, that violence has most often been associated with young unmarried males who find themselves thrust into pockets of society in which males significantly outnumber females.
Unrestrained by marriage or family life, these males succumb to the violent propensities inherent in both their age and their gender This book will be a lasting and valuable contribution to the study of violence in America Documenting this male violence requires scholarship; explaining it requires cultural insight.
Courtwright combines both in a work of compelling timeliness, showing that the same kind of male aggressiveness that once flared into brawls in Dodge City and Abilene is now erupting in the form of drive-by shooting in our inner cities No one who cares about America's future can ignore Courtwright's disturbing thesis. Booklist Timely, rich, and surprisingly nimble, Courtwright's orderly examination of patterns of violence and disorder in American history ranges from the "passing migratory anomalies" that created the cultural ecology of the frontier to the critical collapse of familial mechanisms of social control in the inner city of today An authoritative contribution.
Kirkus Reviews In Violent Land, the author takes a long view of violence in American history, examining social disorder from the colonial period through the present. He does so by asking three broad questions: "Who has been responsible for it? Why, relative to other nations, has there been so much of it? The resulting narrative, as befits his approach, is broad, sweeping, and provocative Courtwright's work is a model interdiscip. He was an inaugural recipient of the highly competitive NEH Public Scholar Grant and is a regular media commentator on the history of addiction.
Courtwright, a professor of history at the University of North Florida, acknowledges that alcohol, racism, honor, and social influences on young men have contributed to their involvement in a disproportionate number of violent incidents throughout US history, but he argues that the root cause of these incitements to violence has something to do with being single.
David T. Courtwright | AMERICAN HERITAGE
Consequently, says Courtwright, marriage and family life can "shape, control, and sublimate the energies of young men," thereby reducing violence. It may sound like wishful thinking, but Courtwright is dead serious. To support his case, Courtwright has amassed a wealth of historical anecdotes and perspectives from "anthropology, biology, criminology, demography, epidemiology, psychology,.
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Save Preferences. 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
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