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Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case Paperback – March 31, 1999
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Thirty-five years after its first printing, Thirty-Eight Witnesses remains a starkly terrifying morality play, shocking the reader with the now-infamous tale of Catherine ("Kitty") Genovese, murdered on her Queens, New York, doorstep in full view of acquaintances, neighbors, and friends--all of whom did nothing, even though the woman was stabbed repeatedly and stalked by her killer for more than an hour. The book's republication adds a haunted echo to its story, reminding the reader that things have changed since 1964, and not at all for the better. The furor and anger toward the silent witnesses after Genovese's death, as Rosenthal documents it, seems almost quaint by today's standards. But if society has lost its ability to feel horror and shame, perhaps it's time to let someone like Rosenthal speak calmly and quietly to our potential to reignite the outrage: "Every man must fear the witness in himself who whispers to close the window," he concludes. The prose of Thirty-Eight Witnesses--a slim, concise volume that includes only the scarcest hint of extraneous detail about Genovese's life--is calm and steady, with a thoroughness and lack of emotion belying the anger Rosenthal must have felt while he was typing, the shuddering fear of what the world had become... and possibly the nagging suspicion that it had always been this way. --Tjames Madison
"Now the classic book on the subject is out from the University of California Press...stunning new introduction." -- Liz Smith
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A.M. Rosenthal was the executive editor of the New York Times at the time of Catherine (Kitty) Genovese,...Read more