First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt

By Jeffrey S. Adler,

Book cover of First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt: Homicide in Chicago, 1875-1920

Book description

Between 1875 and 1920, Chicago's homicide rate more than quadrupled, making it the most violent major urban center in the United States--or, in the words of Lincoln Steffens, "first in violence, deepest in dirt." In many ways, however, Chicago became more orderly as it grew. Hundreds of thousands of newcomers…

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Why read it?

1 author picked First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Lynching is central to the late 19th century and thus the theme that I explore in my recommendations, but covers this tragic subject elsewhere. Instead, for my last book, I offer Adler’s study that explains the persistently high and even increasing rates of violence and homicide in Chicago during an era when varied modern social controls—urban reform, the discipline of the factory floor, expanding education and the bureaucratic state—swept over that city as they did over America, too. According to older theories about social turbulence and murder, these should have declined. Instead, the opposite was true, though the…

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