- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (April 14, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807831786
- ISBN-13: 978-0807831786
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,190,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Body in the Reservoir: Murder and Sensationalism in the South New edition Edition
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Offers an interesting and detailed picture of Virginia journalism. . . . [Trotti] does a particularly effective job at putting the Madison case in its larger context, comparing the coverage of her murder with that found in other regions at other times.--Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Fascinating. . . . An engaging, rich, and imaginative work and a valuable contribution to the study of American history.--Journal of Southern History
Refreshingly written . . . Trotti's work is deeply researched [and] its conclusions are well supported by its evidence.--Virginia Magazine
In the South's effort to stay neck and neck with the North during the race for modernization, there is a shadowy underbelly of lurid crime and criminals not often exposed. Trotti brings this part of human history and criminal behavior into the daylight.--ForeWord Magazine
Helps illuminate Richmond's gendered and racialized cultural history. . . . Recommended.--Choice
Meticulously researches the coverage given to sensational crimes by individual newspapers compared to that of other journalistic venues, thus revealing which stories and at what moments southern newspapers opted for sensationalized accounts of crime, thus revealing the evolution of sensationalism.--American Journalism
A cultural history of sensationalized murder coverage in Richmond, Virginia, from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era, Michael Trotti's judicious study refines our understanding of American crime journalism and reveals some fascinating southern variations on national trends. The Body in the Reservoir also challenges a number of facile assumptions about violence, race, gender, and popular culture in the New South. Don't think you know 'who dunnit'--or who covered it--or why--until you've read this book.--Daniel A. Cohen, Case Western Reserve University
Accessibly and often compellingly written and will appeal to academic and popular audiences. . . . Will be required reading for students of the history of southern journalism, crime, and American print culture.--American Historical Review
Contributes original insights.--Journal of American History
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Trotti's book represents a milestone in Virginia's cultural and journalism histories. For the first time [that I am aware] one work summarizes the crimes of Phillips, Cluverius, Marable, McCue and Beattie and their individual and collective significances. The book also reports on the newspapers' handlings of piracy, insurrections, lynchings [especially that of Thomas Smith] and other famous outrages peculiar to the Commonwealth. The author draws comparisons from a broad base of relevancy while maintaining focus on major cases.
The author traces development of newspaper sensationalism in Virginia from colonial days to the early twentieth century. Trotti credibly shows how cultural, technological and developments in social sciences encouraged such reporting. He identifies elements common to the South and unique to Virginia. In chapter five, he pauses to further hone his earlier work on image technologies.
Trotti's style is precise and logical. His conclusions are astute. The roles of police/dectectives in later cases may be understated, but the author presents newly compiled facts and statistics important to better understand these influences.
Illustrations and endnotes support the text well. The endnotes double as an informal bibliography. The index is optimal.
For scholarship, analysis and historical value, "The Body in the Reservoir" ranks high. The work compliments Lebsock's "A Murder in Virginia" by expanding the contributions of the African-American publisher/editor John Mitchell. Trotti's research on sensationalism belongs on a shelf beside Hamm's "Murder, Honor and Law;" each illuminates a different, key aspect of Virginia's legal psyche and that of the "New South."
Trotti covers all the great murder sensations of Virginia's yellow journalism period . . . . . all, of course, but the last one. The sensational Hall Case and its subsequent cover-up were only revealed recently in "Murder At Green Springs."