Strain of Violence

Strain of Violence : Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism

3.33 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$14.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


These essays, written by leading historian of violence and Presidential Commission consultant Richard Maxwell Brown, consider the challenges posed to American society by the criminal, turbulent, and depressed elements of American life and the violent response of the established order. Covering violent incidents from colonial American to the present, Brown presents illuminating discussions of violence and the American Revolution, black-white conflict from slave revolts to the black ghetto riots of the 1960s, the vigilante tradition, and two of America's most violent regions--Central Texas, which witnessed some of the nastiest Indian wars of the West, and secessionist leader South Carolina's old Back Country. Brown's incisive look into the past holds profound implications for our present as well as our more

Product details

  • Paperback | 414 pages
  • 137.16 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0195022475
  • 9780195022476

Review Text

From Colonial times, Americans have been known as a rough, violent people. The generalization is perhaps unjust, for it is the special nature of our violence which sets us apart - whereas the 19th century English might turn out for a state hanging as for a holiday, Americans of the same period would more likely stage the necktie party themselves. Brown, Professor of History at William and Mary, details vast numbers of incidents of extra-legal violence - lynchings, riots, feuds, militant groups - which mar and enliven our past. Separate essays cover the Revolutionary period, the development of vigilante traditions in South Carolina, San Francisco, and central Texas, the early-tolerant attitude of the legal profession toward vigilantism, and the evolution of American racial violence. There's some fascinating marginalia - Lynchburg, S.C., was named for Colonel Charles Lynch, whose zeal for order also provided the terms "lynch law" and "lynching." Discover the true fate of Print Olive, Texas feuder, daredevil and' desperado. The essays seem designed to be read individually; taken together, they fail to develop and are often repetitious. Now and again, Brown succumbs to the inherent sensationalism of his subject - the essay on central Texas, for example, sometimes descends to a sort of shoot-em-up prose. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

6 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 17% (1)
3 50% (3)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X