{download Pdf} True Crime: An American AnthologyAuthor Harold Schechter – Gsagency.co

Whew 350 years of brilliant writing like took 350 years to finish reading Small printlots of pageslots of good writing, though It probably would be a good idea to mix in some lighter reading while delving into this tome as it is very lengthy murder porn which can be nightmare inducing Don t get me wrong, I regularly binge watch the Investigation Discovery channel until I convince myself that everyone is trying to kill me This book will convince you, too Enjoy Bound Oct 9, 2008, Miami Sun Posthttp miamisunpost.com archives 2008 Cold Hard Crime By John HoodAmericans dig their crime And why shouldn t we We re the most crime committing nation on the planet Hell, if I didn t know any better and I generally don t , I d say we commit crimes just for the fun of it We certainly commit em outta spite Outta spite is outta crime.Since we dig committing crimes so much, mad reason would indicate that we d also dig reading all about it, from the depths to the heights and beyond Which would kinda make editor Harold Schechter s mammoth True Crime An American Anthology Library of America 40 a book after our cold hard hearts now, wouldn t it Of course it would But to call True Crime a mere book is like calling Hearst Castle a simple house It is that massive Actually, at nearly 800 pages, Schechter s killer collection might better be called a doorstop for a walk in vault But you sure as hell wouldn t wanna use it as such, because then you d miss out on all the wildness within its ever liberating confines.And wild barely even begins to describe the utter insanity contained herein, which begins with the Pilgrims William Bradford s The Hanging of John Billington and ends with the Menendez brothers shotgun murder of their very own parents Dominick Dunne s Nightmare on Elm Drive.In between, the book is a beast, and it s teeming with the beastliest deeds ever chronicled by some of the best chroniclers ever to put ink to parchment, from the historical Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln to the hysterical W.T Brannon , and the classic of old Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain and not so old Alexander Woollcott, Theodore Dreiser There s fist bricked newspaper columnists Damon Runyon, Jimmy Breslin, H.L Mencken , one of their most brawl bearing magazine counterparts A.J Leibling , and a gentleman storyteller who bridged both worlds and came up unbeatable Joseph Mitchell And there are women here, among them Susan Glaspell The Hossack Murder , Zora Neale Hurston The Trial of Ruby McCollum , Elizabeth Hardwick The Life and Death of Caryl Chessman , and Miriam Allen deFord Superman s Crime Loeb and Leopold.Most infamously, perhaps, are the scribes whose crime writing would go on to make them famous on screens big and small Men like Herbert Asbury The Gangs of New York , Jim The Grifters Thompson Ditch of Doom , Jack Dragnet Webb The Black Dahlia , Truman In Cold Blood Capote Then It All Came Down , and James L.A Confidential Ellroy My Mother s Killer.But by far the most representative writer included in this crime Bible is one Jay Robert Nash The Turner Stompanato Killing A Family Affair , the cat whose than 70 works are fervent attempts to capture each and every criminal America s ever produced and put them between covers Then again, what do you expect from a scribe whose spillful, spiteful Bloodletters and Badmen subs out with A Who s Who of Vile Men and Women Wanted For Every Crime in the Book You want crime True Crime s got it And then some Just so long as you re not afraid to do the time. We politely call it sang froid that inscrutible quality held by the most criminally minded deviants in society, both past and modern And yet, those fixated on the horrendous crimes commited thereby are not associated with having cold blood running through their veins How can this be possible Editor Harold Schechter directs the reader, in his introduction, to Plato for an answer to the question The virtuous man is content to dream what a wicked man really does To paraphrase, it is in the unrealized impulse which differentiates the perverse from the pious.And with this slice of philosophy opens True Crime An American Anthology. Rather than providing the reader with case after case of gruesome details on murders, assassinations, and crimes turned ugly, this tome presents some of the best examples of the true crime genre for a genre is truly what it has been for over 350 years written since the Colonists first set foot upon North American soil Arranged chronologically by date of first publication, each of the tales reprinted in this anthology have a single defining principle over the majority of true crime fare disseminated for public consumption the detailed focus on literary merit.While the book does tend to rely heavily upon marquee value with such authors as one might expect Truman Capote, James Ellroy, Ann Rule, et al on such subjects Charles Manson, Eric and Lyle Menendez, Ruth Snyder, etc , there is also a number of articles written by anonymous 18th and 19th Century sources, and many written about virtually unknown or nearly forgotten about cases over the past few centuries An Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln details a bizarre case of murder that very few Americans will likely have heard about A string of American poets write unique Murder Ballads based on events either real or somewhat imaginary which had happened in the criminal history of their country And a host of many others weigh in with their stories, the impartial and the ecclesiastical alike, of fascinating murders, trials, investigations, or gangland activities of not so bygone times.This is not a collection of cheap pulp stories in a fancy binding It is, in fact, an important monument to an American literary heritage too often exploited by hacks or dullards looking to cash in on somebody else s norotiety. An interesting anthology with a plethora of different authors Most were very interesting I skipped over a few of the entries but for the most part I really enjoyed reading the entries that were written in the same time frame as the crimes Perspective can be everything. The Library of America is best known for its dedication to keeping obscure but worthy American authors in print Critics noted that this collection affirms this tradition, drawing attention to authors and characters most readers would otherwise miss James Thurber, Theodore Dreiser, Susan Glaspell, and Zora Neale Hurston, for example Reviewers consistently emphasized Harold Schechter The true crime story has always been an integral part of oral and written history Pirates, highwaymen, and political rebels were immortalized in ballads Thousands assembled for non Christian reasons to hear Puritan execution sermons and see the hangings that followed When crime became commercialized via the penny press, the reading public devoured stories about the axe murder of prostitute Helen Jewett in 1836 or the 1833 trial of Reverend Ephraim Avery for the death of his pregnant factory girl mistress In 1875, Celia Thaxter published an essay about a local mass murder called A Memorable Murder this nonfiction account told in story form foretold the works of Truman Capote, who described his bestseller In Cold Blood as a nonfiction novel If anyone did something heinous between 1880 and 1930 and stood trial for it, theirs was usually touted in the press as the Crime of the Century think Lizzie Borden or Leopold and Loeb True Crime An American Anthology is a series of faithfully reproduced stories, articles and essays that reveal how American crime reporting and writing has changed over the centuries Cotton Mather s Pillars of Salt is an extended religious tract, while Damon Runyon s The Eternal Blonde , written while covering the 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray, is as superficial and flippant as the era Truman Capote s And It All Came Down is a jailhouse interview with Manson family member Bobby Beausoleil that yields some unsettling clues into the mind of a convicted killer Beausoleil says, Good or bad It s ALL good If it happens, it s got to be good Otherwise it wouldn t be happening My personal favorite was Theodore Dreiser s commentary on the 1934 trial of 23 year old Robert Allen Edwards for the drowning murder of his pregnant girlfriend The circumstances of the girl s death mirrored the storyline of Dreiser s 1925 masterpiece An American Tragedy, so the New York Post sent him to cover the story Dreiser s insights into the social and sexual forces that propelled Allen are masterpieces in psychology.This remarkable collection is both a history of the true crime genre and a harrowing record of man s inhumanity to man. I would actually rate this 3.5 stars Overall, a very good anthology of true crime, but slightly below what I would call essential Schechter covers the bases documenting some of the most notorious crimes in American history, and he includes some of the essential writers A.J Liebling, Calvin Trillin , but to me,no crime anthology is complete without Edna Buchanan, who s routinely mentioned as one of the best crime writers of all time Given the size of this anthology, I m surprised that she wasn t included, while Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin were given of a cursory inclusion look at these important people, and they wrote about crime once Another thing I would have wished would be a little less focus on the big crimes of American history, and focus on just good quality writing There are plenty of great examples of exceptional journalism in areas like Miami, Birmingham, or Seattle Many of these cases failed to make national headlines, but as writing, they were first rate I think a few of these cases would have went a long way in making True Crime an indispensable anthology. A collection of true murder stories, some written by well known authors Some good, some not so good. Americans Have Had An Uneasy Fascination With Crime Since The Earliest European Settlements In The New World, And Right From The Start True Crime Writing Became A Dominant Genre In American Writing True Crime An American Anthology Offers The First Comprehensive Look At The Many Ways In Which American Writers Have Explored Crime In A Multitude Of Aspects The Dark Motives That Spur It, The Shock Of Its Impact On Society, The Effort To Make Sense Of The Violent Extremes Of Human Behavior Here Is The Full Spectrum Of The True Crime Genre, Including Accounts Of Some Of The Most Notorious Criminal Cases In American History The Helen Jewett Murder And The Once Notorious Kentucky Tragedy Of The S, The Assassination Of President Garfield, The Snyder Gray Murder That Inspired Double Indemnity, The Lindbergh Kidnapping, The Black Dahlia, Leopold And Loeb, And The Manson Family True Crime Draws Upon The Writing Of Literary Figures As Diverse As Nathaniel Hawthorne Reporting On A Visit To A Waxworks Exhibit Of Notorious Crimes , Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser Offering His Views On A Murder That Some Saw As A Copycat Version Of An American Tragedy , James Thurber, Joseph Mitchell, And Truman Capote And Sources As Varied As Execution Sermons, Murder Ballads, Early Broadsides And Trial Reports, And Tabloid Journalism Of Many Different Eras It Also Features The Influential True Crime Writing Of Best Selling Contemporary Practitioners Like James Ellroy, Gay Talese, Dominick Dunne, And Ann Rule This is a gem of old fashioned, true crime journalism at its finest.