100 books like Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City

By David Churchill,

Here are 100 books that Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City fans have personally recommended if you like Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Collision of Wills: How Ambiguity about Social Rank Breeds Conflict

Jill Leovy Author Of Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

From my list on escaping the true-crime rut.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside, is a journalist and independent researcher who covered the Los Angeles Police Department and homicide for fifteen years, and who is currently working on a book dealing with murder and feud in human history. She has covered hundreds of street homicides and shadowed patrol cops, and she spent several years embedded in homicide detective units. More recently, she has been a Harvard sociology fellow and a featured speaker on Homer and violence at St. John's College, New Mexico. She is a senior fellow at the USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Jill's book list on escaping the true-crime rut

Jill Leovy Why did Jill love this book?

Here’s a radical idea: let’s think deeply about murder. Let’s imagine that understanding why we fight and kill each other is as lofty an intellectual challenge as any other great, sweeping mystery of human nature or human origins.

Roger C. Gould never came out and said that a higher vision of murder was his purpose, but his book Collision of Wills achieves nothing less. It set a new bar for theorizing on human violence, and is a great, complex, and surprising tour de force about petty street violence.

If you're interested in lawlessness, Collision of Wills is indispensable, right up there with Donald Black's Behavior of Law. On a personal level, I'm grateful to this Harvard sociologist simply because he took the topic of petty street violence so seriously. Gould related rampant argument violence to the problem of unstable status in the criminal underworld.

His ideas are game-changing. He died…

By Roger V. Gould,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collision of Wills as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Minor debts, derisive remarks, a fight over a parking space, butting in line-these are the little things that nevertheless account for much of the violence in human society. But why? Roger V. Gould considers this intriguing question in Collision of Wills. He argues that human conflict is more likely to occur in symmetrical relationships-among friends or social equals-than in hierarchical ones, wherein the difference of social rank between the two individuals is already established.

This, he maintains, is because violence most often occurs when someone wants to achieve superiority or dominance over someone else, even if there is no substantive…


Book cover of Police Power in the Italian Communes, 1228-1326

Jill Leovy Author Of Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

From my list on escaping the true-crime rut.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside, is a journalist and independent researcher who covered the Los Angeles Police Department and homicide for fifteen years, and who is currently working on a book dealing with murder and feud in human history. She has covered hundreds of street homicides and shadowed patrol cops, and she spent several years embedded in homicide detective units. More recently, she has been a Harvard sociology fellow and a featured speaker on Homer and violence at St. John's College, New Mexico. She is a senior fellow at the USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Jill's book list on escaping the true-crime rut

Jill Leovy Why did Jill love this book?

This is a much-needed antidote to the navel-gazing tendencies of American criminal justice thought.

Reading contemporary treatments, you might almost be fooled into thinking that certain types of police controversies have a specifically American – or at least modern origin. They don't. In fact, the peculiar challenges of policing and its inevitable discontents might even be universal.

Certainly, they were present at an early stage in medieval Italy, long before the first English "bobbies" ever dawned a uniform. Use-of-force controversies, weapons prohibitions, reluctant witnesses, hostile crowds, simmering beefs among local gangsters: it's all here. Roberts' medieval world so eerily resembles our own when it comes to law enforcement that one ends up surprised to encounter any differences at all.

Here's one, though: medieval town dwellers did not have cell phones with which to film the cops misdeeds. Instead, they hollered for notaries to scribble records on the spot.

By Gregory Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Police Power in the Italian Communes, 1228-1326 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Medieval states are widely assumed to have lacked police forces. Yet in the Italian city-republics, soldiers patrolled the streets daily in search of lawbreakers. Police Power in the Italian Communes, 1228-1326 is the first book to examine the emergence of urban policing in medieval Italy and its impact on city life. Focusing on Bologna in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, Gregory Roberts shows how police forces gave teeth to the communes' many statutes through a range of patrol activities. Whether seeking outlaws in the countryside or nighttime serenaders in the streets, urban police forces pursued lawbreakers energetically and effectively.…


Book cover of Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories

Jill Leovy Author Of Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

From my list on escaping the true-crime rut.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside, is a journalist and independent researcher who covered the Los Angeles Police Department and homicide for fifteen years, and who is currently working on a book dealing with murder and feud in human history. She has covered hundreds of street homicides and shadowed patrol cops, and she spent several years embedded in homicide detective units. More recently, she has been a Harvard sociology fellow and a featured speaker on Homer and violence at St. John's College, New Mexico. She is a senior fellow at the USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Jill's book list on escaping the true-crime rut

Jill Leovy Why did Jill love this book?

The University of Michigan professor-emeritus William Ian Miller is, of course, essential reading on violence and revenge, particularly his Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga, Iceland.

But Miller has been so deservedly lauded elsewhere – and his books so widely recommended – that I'm using this space to suggest that readers also open his sources. Among the sagas, Njal's Saga is much more complex than this one, and probably more revealing of the Saga tradition. But I'm a fan of the shorter, more readable Hrafnkel's, not least because I have a weakness for spooky horses.

Hrafnkel is a bully who would not pay compensation, and the arc of his distinctly pre-modern biography is not what you might expect. In fact, it will make you realize exactly how much what we call "modern" is really a product of legal development, including our ideas about satisfying narratives.

Also, dark…

By Anonymous, Hermann Palsson (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written around the thirteenth century AD by Icelandic monks, the seven tales collected here offer a combination of pagan elements tightly woven into the pattern of Christian ethics. They take as their subjects figures who are heroic, but do not fit into the mould of traditional heroes. Some stories concern characters in Iceland - among them Hrafknel's Saga, in which a poor man's son is murdered by his powerful neighbour, and Thorstein the Staff-Struck, which describes an ageing warrior's struggle to settle into a peaceful rural community. Others focus on the adventures of Icelanders abroad, including the compelling Audun's Story,…


Book cover of Street Justice: Retaliation in the Criminal Underworld

Jill Leovy Author Of Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

From my list on escaping the true-crime rut.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside, is a journalist and independent researcher who covered the Los Angeles Police Department and homicide for fifteen years, and who is currently working on a book dealing with murder and feud in human history. She has covered hundreds of street homicides and shadowed patrol cops, and she spent several years embedded in homicide detective units. More recently, she has been a Harvard sociology fellow and a featured speaker on Homer and violence at St. John's College, New Mexico. She is a senior fellow at the USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Jill's book list on escaping the true-crime rut

Jill Leovy Why did Jill love this book?

Street Justice is a terrific ethnography on an issue too seldom talked about in criminal justice textbooks, namely, payback in the context of drug dealing.

Jacobs and Wright did not set out here for any new philosophical insights about revenge. Instead, they are interested in its reality. What emerges from this study is a stark catalog of how retaliation actually works, among real people, in a real American city, and what a chilling picture it is.

Based on interviews with actual St. Louis offenders who related their personal experiences with loss, pain, humiliation, and anger, Street Justice is an eye-opener even for those of us who thought we knew something about this topic.

Read this book if you a cop. If you are just interested in law and violence, as I am, read this one alongside Miller, Gould, and a few of the Icelandic Sagas, and I guarantee you will…

By Bruce A. Jacobs, Richard Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Street Justice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Street criminals live in a dangerous world, but they cannot realistically rely on the criminal justice system to protect them from predation by fellow lawbreakers; they are on their own when it comes to dealing with crimes perpetrated against them and often use retaliation as a mechanism for deterring and responding to victimization. Although retaliation lies at the heart of much of the violence that plagues many inner-city neighborhoods across the United States, it has received scant attention from criminologists. As a result, the structure, process, and forms of retaliation in the real world setting of urban America remain poorly…


Book cover of Anti-Social: The Secret Diary of an Anti-Social Behaviour Officer

Rhona Morrison Author Of I Don't Talk to Dead Bodies: The Curious Encounters of a Forensic Psychiatrist

From my list on medical memoirs which take you 'behind the scenes'.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired, Scottish, NHS consultant forensic psychiatrist, who worked with mentally disordered offenders in prisons, hospitals, and in the community. I am passionate about raising awareness, destigmatisation of mental illness, and introducing the human beings behind the sensationalist newspaper headlines. They are all someone's son or daughter, who didn't ask to get ill. Occasionally mental illness makes good people do bad things. It was my job to find, treat and rehabilitate them. I believe entertaining medical memoirs can engage readers and inform thinking by challenging attitudes and assumptions.

Rhona's book list on medical memoirs which take you 'behind the scenes'

Rhona Morrison Why did Rhona love this book?

Whilst this book is not a medical memoir, I have included it, as it is written by a local authority worker dealing with the gritty side of life.

Often his clients may have crossed over into criminality and have wound up at scenes of crimes, in hospitals, or in custody, where they would have encountered some medics from the grittier specialties with which I am more familiar.

It was raw and funny, but underlying this there was a sadness about the state of humanity and the impact on the health of staff. Local authority service workers are overstretched and understaffed, but find themselves working with some of the most complex and challenging situations and individuals.

This fly-on-the-wall account takes us right into the situations and we feel the emotion. It provides a valuable insight into a less well-known occupation.

By Nick Pettigrew,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anti-Social as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of The Secret Barrister and Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt.
__________________________________
'Superb. This hysterically funny and moving memoir of an anti-social behaviour officer is a real eye-opener that hits all the right notes' FRANKIE BOYLE

'Anti-Social is brutally honest, exceptionally funny and terribly sad - a scything indictment of broken 21st century Britain. I could not put it down.' THE SECRET BARRISTER

'A fascinating insight into a job that stitches together the cracks in compassion in our communities' RENI EDDO-LODGE, bestselling author of Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race
__________________________________…


Book cover of Boom Cities: Architect Planners and the Politics of Radical Urban Renewal in 1960s Britain

Rosemary Hill Author Of God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain

From my list on the way that architecture reflects British history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood I have wanted to know why things look as they do. Every object expresses what was once an idea in someone’s mind. Looking from things to the people who made them and back again, we understand both better. This single question has led me through a lifetime of writing about material culture, architecture, applied art and craft. I have written books about Stonehenge, the Gothic Revival and antiquarianism in the Romantic age. I also hosted a podcast series, for the London Review of Books

Rosemary's book list on the way that architecture reflects British history

Rosemary Hill Why did Rosemary love this book?

The 1960s saw Britain destroy more of its own built environment than all the bombing of the second world war. The car was king, the high rise and the shopping precinct transformed city centres. In many cases this is now seen as a disaster. Otto Saumarez Smith, one of the brightest of the rising generation of architectural writers, tells us how and why it happened, why it stopped and why he has come to love some of it. 

By Otto Saumarez Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boom Cities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boom Cities is the first published history of the profound transformations of British city centres in the 1960s.

It has often been said that urban planners did more damage to Britain's cities than even the Luftwaffe had managed, and this study details the rise and fall of modernist urban planning, revealing its origins and the dissolution of the cross-party consensus, before the ideological smearing that has ever since characterized the high-rise towers, dizzying ring roads, and concrete precincts that were left behind.

The rebuilding of British city centres during the 1960s drastically affected the built form of urban Britain, including…


Book cover of The Making of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment

Jaime Salazar Author Of Legion of the Lost: The true experience of an American in the French Foreign Legion

From my list on the French Foreign Legion from someone who joined.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1999, I followed my childhood dreams and enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. In 2005, I published my first work, Legion of the Lost, which chronicles my swashbuckling experience serving in the French Foreign Legion. This is my story. 

Jaime's book list on the French Foreign Legion from someone who joined

Jaime Salazar Why did Jaime love this book?

This tome was the size of a phone book but it has relevance even today. It's one of the slightly obscure classics but it speaks to the profound spiritual questions that transcend time. Parris was an idealist Englishman who served in the legion in the early 90s. but this was not a story of glory and medals. Parris saw action in Chad and had to spill blood. This chilling act never left him and he was haunted by his actions for years to come. The author passed from illness but dedicated the book to his son.

By Bill Parris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of a Legionnaire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penniless, divorced and AWOL from the British forces, Bill Parris volunteered for the French Foreign Legion in the early 1980s. Unlike many British volunteers to the Legion, Bill did not desert. He endured a horrendous training regime and, despite a fear of heights (!) joined the elite Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. He discovered how women from all over the world flock to Corsica where the Legion is based - so his R&R was almost as exhausting as the jungle warfare school he was later sent to. This is more than a war story - it is a personal journey too,…


Book cover of Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832

James Peill Author Of The English Country House: New Format

From my list on country houses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved visiting country houses ever since I was a child. There is something unique about the combination of art, architecture, and people. Over my lifetime, I have been privileged to visit all sorts of houses and castles. I used to work at Christie’s and during that time I visited many country houses, some of which were completely private. It was a natural progression when I moved to Goodwood and became the curator of the art collection, enjoying the house as part of my daily life. The view from my office looks out through the columns of the portico, across the park, with the sea glinting in the distance. What could be better?  

James' book list on country houses

James Peill Why did James love this book?

This book is a fascinating insight into the sisters of the 3rd Duke of Richmond and their lives played out among the country houses of England and Ireland. They were all brilliant letter writers, and although they were separated for long periods, kept up a constant correspondence. After reading it, I felt I knew the sisters personally, even though they had lived 250 years ago. It became an instant bestseller when it first came out over twenty years ago and was made into a film, with Julian Fellowes playing the 2nd Duke of Richmond. 

By Stella Tillyard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aristocrats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Lennox Sisters--great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers--lived lives of real public significance, but the private texture of their family-centered world mattered to them and they shared their experiences with each other in countless letters. From this hitherto unknown archive, Stella Tillyard has constructed a group biography of privileged eighteenth-century women who, she shows, have much to tell us about our own time.


Book cover of Parting the Veil

Mary Kendall Author Of Campbell's Boy

From my list on when you want some mystery with your history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in historic old houses. They were haunted too. (Think things that went bump in the night and were rife with the unexplained.) My imagination didn’t stand a chance and caught on fire. Later, I chose history as a career path with research as the job—which is really just solving mysteries. My fiction writing naturally extended from these beginnings and remains heavily influenced by the past. A bonus to the mix is the Celtic storytelling DNA coursing through my veins. I read and write stories that blend the mysterious with the historic and am especially inspired by all things gothic. I'm the author of The Spinster’s Fortune and Campbell’s Boy.

Mary's book list on when you want some mystery with your history

Mary Kendall Why did Mary love this book?

This book was so much fun. It rolls in so many nuances from historic gothic reads while adding its own special takes in clever ways. It brought back fond memories of so many other writers and books for me as I was reading it. It is clearly influenced by many of the greats. But it also stands on its own two feet with rich and layered language and detail. The twist near the end is crafty and pulls it all together. Paulette Kennedy knows what she is doing!

By Paulette Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Parting the Veil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some houses hold secrets that are meant to be kept forever...

When Eliza Sullivan inherits an estate from a recently deceased aunt, she leaves behind a grievous and guilt-ridden past in New Orleans for rural England and a fresh start. Eliza arrives at her new home and finds herself falling for the mysterious lord of Havenwood, Malcolm Winfield. Despite the sinister rumors that surround him, Eliza is drawn to his melancholy charm and his crumbling, once-beautiful mansion. With enough love, she thinks, both man and manor could be repaired.

Not long into their marriage, Eliza fears that she should have…


Book cover of Katherine

Linda O'Byrne Author Of Cassandra

From my list on fiction that doesn’t want to teach you history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write romantic historical fiction and am a lifelong lover of the works of Jane Austen. I am English, love historical novels but dislike books that give you “great lumps of facts” that slow up the storyline. I like stories and characters that capture your attention and your heart. Plots and backgrounds that make you think about what it might really have been like to live in those times.

Linda's book list on fiction that doesn’t want to teach you history

Linda O'Byrne Why did Linda love this book?

A glimpse into medieval times. It’s a sumptuous tale of passion and danger.

Katherine comes to the court of Edward III aged fifteen and turns the head of the King’s favourite son, John of Gaunt.  But their paths in life pull them apart until their love forces them back together. This is a wonderful book by a writer who manages to make you experience life as it was then, but without trying to teach you, and asks, ‘how much would you give up for love?’

By Anya Seton,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Katherine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Exhilarating, exuberant, and rich," Katherine is an epic novel of a love affair that changed history—that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family (Austin Chronicle).

Set in the vibrant fourteenth century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets—Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II—who rule despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king’s son, falls passionately in love with the already-married Katherine.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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