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A History of Murder Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present

by Pieter Spierenburg

A History of Murder Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present Synopsis

This book offers a fascinating and insightful overview of seven centuries of murder in Europe. It tells the story of the changing face of violence from medieval vendettas to modern-day serial killings offering a richly illustrated account of murder's metamorphoses.

A History of Murder Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present Press Reviews

A dead good read. BBC History Magazine A fascinating story about the control of private aggressive urges over seven centuries. Joanna Bourke, History Today A remarkable achievement in drawing together an unusually broad and cross-cultural collection of materials, summarizing a complex field and offering a strong and coherent statement about the causes and contexts of historical changes in violent behavior. Journal of Social History Engaging, well informed, and laden with insight. Journal of Interdisciplinary History News addicts may be forgiven for thinking that we live in a time of unprecedented violence, but this book, intended for a general audience as well as scholars, proves them wrong ... Spierenburg does an admirable job of outlining these trends and many other facets of violence. Times Higher Education A powerful work [which] should help us to better understand past and present patterns of violence, culture and power. Eras Spierenburg achieves success in [his] difficult task through a combination of elements: the hypothesis is clear and simple, individual cases are well chosen and well narrated, space is given to rival interpretations, and differences between scholars are clearly articulated and evidence is fielded on one side or the other. H-Net The broad sweep of A History of Murder, coupled with its accessible style, makes it an invaluable resource for researchers and teachers of crime history and criminology. British Journal of Criminology In A History of Murder one of the leading scholars of the subject provides in highly readable form the first thorough account of its changing patterns in Europe from the Middle Ages to our era. This work dispels many long-standing myths and fallacies, and puts in their place measured conclusions based on the most up-to-date research. The book provides a fascinating and accessible supplement to standard surveys of European history and essential historical context for the study of homicide and criminal violence today. Martin Wiener, Rice University Few would attempt to chart the pattern of homicide across Western Europe since the late Middle Ages; fewer still could carry it off as well as Pieter Spierenburg. He ranges widely across personal relationships, rituals, concepts of honour, and the growth of the state, as well as shifting attitudes to violence and homicide. He presents stimulating arguments about the development of modern society and about violence that merit careful consideration and deserve a wide audience. Clive Emsley, Open University This book is a triumph. Pieter Spierenburg has used his own research and others' to illumine the history of murder in the western world over many centuries, combining familiar literary sources with unfamiliar criminal statistics in ways that should appeal to scholars and general readers alike. Roger Lane, Haverford College

Book Information

ISBN: 9780745643779
Publication date: 18th July 2008
Author: Pieter Spierenburg
Publisher: Polity Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 300 pages
Categories: Social & cultural history, Crime & criminology, European history,

About Pieter Spierenburg

Pieter Spierenburg is Professor of Historical Criminology at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

More About Pieter Spierenburg

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