- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Duke University Press Books (July 6, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0822337231
- ISBN-13: 978-0822337232
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,230,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From the Back Cover
"Cesare Lombroso's "Criminal Man" has long been a classic of criminology. Mary Gibson and Nicole Hahn Rafter, in offering this finely annotated translation and showing the progression of Lombroso's thought through five editions of the book, have made a great contribution to a broader understanding of this towering, yet often misrepresented, figure and his classic text. With its lucid introduction by Gibson and Rafter, and many original illustrations, this book will be a precious resource for the history of criminology and for European intellectual and social history more generally."--David I. Kertzer, author of "Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State"
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Lombroso's theory is based on the idea of `the born criminal,' certain group of possibly dangerous people marked by what he called `anomalies.' According to him, certain people who have particular physical traits are more likely to commit crimes than other `normal' people, and by carefully checking the bodies and faces of the criminals, including their cranial capacities or tattoos, Lombroso established his unique theory that sounds unusual today. He insists, for instance, "Nearly all the criminals have ... thick hair and thin beard." (p. 53) Today this crude statement would never be convincing.
In short 'Criminal Man' is an analysis of the nature of crime, a pseudo-science based on empirical data. Over the five editions of `Criminal Man' Lombroso developed his theory by accumulating data, articles, photos, and even the poems and drawings by the criminals, and he developed his theory with more categories and sub-categories added to his original idea, later covering the territories of prostitution, insanity, and even botany.
[ABOUT THE EDITIONS] The original book was first published in 1876, and this one-volume edition later expanded to the fifth edition (3 volumes and 1 atlas) in 1896-97. Instead of choosing one particular edition as the basis of the English translation, editors/translators Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson made a sensitive decision. They divided their translation into five sections - EDITION 1, EDITION 2 ... and EDITION 5. The translated book's EDITION 1 includes every chapter of the first edition of the original book except for several chapters, which are postponed until their EDITION 2 section where they appear in fuller detail. The same pattern goes on until EDITION 5. According to the translators' notes, Lombroso never eliminated the older contents, and rarely revised them, so in this way the translation could keep the substance virtually intact, but within each chapter abridgement was done because of the numbers of the examples quoted by Lombroso, which they found too many.
The translation has all prefaces by Lomroso, notes by the editors, and the list of references. The book also has very useful glossary that explains the meaning and background of such words as atavism, physiognomy, positivism, recidivism, and others.
There is a "companion piece" titled "Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman" written by Lombroso and translated by Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson.
Como referencia histórica, y dentro de un contexto general, la obra de Lombroso no ha sido superada, más bien sus postulados han venido a ser confirmados a la luz de los más recientes conocimientos. Su clasificación de los delincuentes se mantiene vigente. De igual manera sus observaciones respecto a los rasgos distintivos de la subcultura criminal: uso del tatuaje, jerga, vanidad, sobrenombres, religiosidad y superstición, insensibilidad moral, etc.
Esta obra clásica, la primera en su género, es referencia obligatoria para el criminalista y todos aquellos interesados en la criminogénesis o etiología del delito.