Nachman Ben-Yehuda is Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His publications include Deviance and Moral Boundaries (1985), The Politics and Morality of Deviance (1990), Political Assassinations by Jews: A Rhetorical Device for Justice (1993), The Masada Myth (1995), Betrayals and Treason (2001), and Selective Remembrances (edited with Philip Kohl and Mara Kozelsky, 2007).
In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims. A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent living in the desert with his "family" of devoted young women and men. What was his hold over them? And what was the motivation behind such savagery? In the public imagination, over time, the case assumed the proportions of myth. The murders marked the end of the sixties and became an immediate symbol of the dark underside of that era.
Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only "two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi." The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers…these elements make for a true crime classic. Helter Skelter is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of The New Republic, a "social document of rare importance."Some images in this ebook are not displayed due to permissions issues.
Mods and Rockers, skinheads, video nasties, designer drugs, bogus asylum seeks and hoodies. Every era has its own moral panics. It was Stanley Cohen’s classic account, first published in the early 1970s and regularly revised, that brought the term ‘moral panic’ into widespread discussion. It is an outstanding investigation of the way in which the media and often those in a position of political power define a condition, or group, as a threat to societal values and interests. Fanned by screaming media headlines, Cohen brilliantly demonstrates how this leads to such groups being marginalised and vilified in the popular imagination, inhibiting rational debate about solutions to the social problems such groups represent. Furthermore, he argues that moral panics go even further by identifying the very fault lines of power in society.
Full of sharp insight and analysis, Folk Devils and Moral Panics is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand this powerful and enduring phenomenon.
Professor Stanley Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. He received the Sellin-Glueck Award of the American Society of Criminology (1985) and is on the Board of the International Council on Human Rights. He is a member of the British Academy.
Located in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park is a 9.75-acre public park that is perhaps best known for its historic Washington Square Arch, a landmark at the foot of 5th Avenue. Hundreds, if not thousands, pass through the park every day, some sit on benches enjoying the sunshine, play a game of chess, watch their children play in the playground, take their dog to the dog runs, or sit by the fountain or, sometimes, buy or sell drugs. The park has an extremely low crime rate. Sociologist, and local resident, Erich Goode wants to know why. He notes that many visitors do violate park rules and ordinances, even engaging in misdemeanors like cigarette and marijuana smoking, alcohol consumption, public urination, skateboarding and bike riding. And yet, he argues, contrary to the well-known “broken windows” theory, which suggests that small crimes left unchecked lead to major crimes, serious crimes hardly ever take place there. Why with such an immense volume of infractions—and people—are there so little felonious or serious, and virtually no violent, crime?
With rich and detailed observations as well as in-depth interviews, Goode demonstrates how onlookers, bystanders, and witnesses—both denizens and your average casual park visitor—provide an effective system of social control, keeping more serious wrongdoing in check. Goode also profiles the parks visitors, showing us that the park is a major draw to residents and tourists alike. Visitors come from all over; only a quarter of the park’s visitors live in the neighborhood (the Village and SoHo), one out of ten are tourists, and one out of six are from upper Manhattan or the Bronx. Goode looks at the patterns of who visits the park, when they come, and, once in the park, where they go. Regardless of where they live, Goode argues, all of the Park’s visitors help keep the park safe and lively.
The Taming of New York’s Washington Square is an engaging and entertaining look at a surprisingly safe space in the heart of Manhattan.