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Mass Murder in the United States: A History

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786431502
ISBN-10: 0786431504
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Well-rounded approach to the phenomenon of mass murder...an excellent historical analysis...an informative study." --Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture

"One of the most exhaustive histories of mass murder." --National Public Radio

"A fine piece of scholarship...detailed...very helpful." --Workplace Violence Prevention Report

About the Author

Grant Duwe is supervisor of research and evaluation for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. His research has been published in Crime & Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Homicide Studies and Western Criminology Review. He holds a Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from Florida State University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786431504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786431502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well written book covering the history of mass murder. Facts are interspersed with narratives of actual crimes making an easy yet informative read. Mr. Duwe writes in a non-biased manner, presenting the facts from his extensive study. It seems his only agenda is to present the results of his study, containing indisputable information that can not be found elsewhere. Mr. Duwe covers the incidents of mass murder from 1900-1999, not just the ones the media has chosen to show us. This book dispels some of the myths associated with mass murder and confirms others. It further explains why some experts, who only study incidents presented in the media, have reached false conclusions regarding their cause and prevalence. Mass murder seems to be on the rise as of late, but it is not a new phenomenon. This is a must read for any serious student of mass murder.
Andy Brown
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very informative and well-researched book, with numerous examples utilized. It's sad that there are such a plethora of material in the US to work from, with more added every month, but Duwe crafts an intriguing narrative from his gruesome subject. Closer to an academic work, the author shies away from sensationalism, avoiding the 'blood and guts' writing that characterizes Anne Rule or voyeuristic pulp magazines.

The prose does not always flow as well as one might hope, as an overall air of choppiness dogs the writing. However, the book is perfectly readable by any measure, and holds the reader's attention well. Deep detail is not an option, as the author is covering several decades in 220 pages, leaving little room for much of anything beyond an overview. This is a broad history, not a tell-all biography of a killer. Cheap thrills should be sought elsewhere.

Overall I would recommend this to any true crime enthusiast or academic scholar, as the information is solid despite the occasionally-drab writing. If you're interested in mass murderers in modern history, this is a very good resource.
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Format: Paperback
Mass Murder in the United States, Duwe

Grant Duwe has a Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from Florida State University. He is the supervisor of research and evaluation for the Minnesota Department of Correction, and has published articles. There were a number of highly publicized mass murders in the fall of 1991. Why does this happen (‘Preface’)? The most common form of mass murder involves a man who kills his wife and children. [“Wisconsin Death Trip” tells about the 1890s.] It examines how the news media publicizes mass murder. The perception of multiple murders as a recent event is based on newspaper reports, not reality (‘Introduction’). The year 1966 saw the murder of nurses in Chicago then the shooting at the University of Texas at Austin. The phrase “mass murder” was changed to “serial murder” to distinguish these events (p.8).

Mass murder was nearly as common during the 1920s and 1930s as it has been since the 1960s (p.11). This 2007 book examines the 909 mass killings that occurred from 1900 to 1999. It considers the effects of social, cultural, political, and economic trends. Why do journalists, scholars, and other commentators make statements that are not based on facts (p.12)? They have a political agenda in pushing restrictive gun laws and have succeeded (p.13). Chapter 1 discusses the patterns and prevalence of mass murder. It does not include collective violence. About ten serial killers are caught each year (p.17). About 27 mass murders take place each year. Does this correlate to the economy (pp.18-19)? [The drop in the 1940s-1950s may correlate to the higher percentage of young men in the military.]

These killers are described (p.21). Revenge is the most common motive.
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