Crossing Over the Line

Author: David J. Langum
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226468704
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Crossing over the Line describes the folly of the Mann Act of 1910—a United States law which made travel from one state to another by a man and a woman with the intent of committing an immoral act a major crime. Spawned by a national wave of "white slave trade" hysteria, the Act was created by the Congress of the United States as a weapon against forced prostitution. This book is the first history of the Mann Act's often bizarre career, from its passage to the amendment that finally laid it low. In David J. Langum's hands, the story of the Act becomes an entertaining cautionary tale about the folly of legislating private morality. Langum recounts the colorful details of numerous court cases to show how enforcement of the Act mirrored changes in America's social attitudes. Federal prosecutors became masters in the selective use of the Act: against political opponents of the government, like Charlie Chaplin; against individuals who eluded other criminal charges, like the Capone mobster "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn; and against black men, like singer Chuck Berry and boxer Jack Johnson, who dared to consort with white women. The Act engendered a thriving blackmail industry and was used by women like Frank Lloyd Wright's wife to extort favorable divorce settlements. "Crossing over the Line is a work of scholarship as wrought by a civil libertarian, and the text . . . sizzles with the passion of an ardent believer in real liberty under reasonable laws."—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

Crimes of the Centuries Notorious Crimes Criminals and Criminal Trials in American History 3 volumes

Author: Steven Chermak Ph.D.
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1610695941
Format: PDF, ePub
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This multivolume resource is the most extensive reference of its kind, offering a comprehensive summary of the misdeeds, perpetrators, and victims involved in the most memorable crime events in American history. • Supports national standards curriculum • Offers an extensive selection of primary documents to encourage critical thinking and reading practice • Includes photos and illustrations to help bring content to life • Features sidebars with illuminating crime facts and interesting anecdotes

Global Anti Vice Activism 1890 1950

Author: Jessica R. Pliley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316688135
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Vice was one of the primary shared interests of the global community at the turn of the twentieth century. Anti-vice activists worked to combat noxious substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, and 'immoral' sexual activities such as prostitution. Nearly all of these activists approached the issue of vice by expressing worries about the body, its physical health, and functionality. By situating anti-vice politics in their broader historical contexts, Global Anti-Vice Activism, 1890–1950 sheds fresh light on the initiatives of various actors, organizations and institutions which have previously been treated primarily within national and regional boundaries. Looking at anti-vice policy from both social and cultural historical perspectives, it illuminates the centrality of regulating vice in imperial and national modernization projects. The contributors argue that vice and vice regulation constitute an ideal topic for global history, because they bridge the gap between discourse and practice, and state and civil society.

Policing Sexuality

Author: Jessica R. Pliley
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674368118
Format: PDF, Docs
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Jessica Pliley links the crusade against sex trafficking to the FBI’s growth into a formidable law agency that cooperated with states and municipalities in pursuit of offenders. The Bureau intervened in squabbles on behalf of men intent on monitoring their wives and daughters and imprisoned prostitutes while seldom prosecuting their male clients.

Delinquent Daughters

Author: Mary E. Odem
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 080786367X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Delinquent Daughters explores the gender, class, and racial tensions that fueled campaigns to control female sexuality in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. Mary Odem looks at these moral reform movements from a national perspective, but she also undertakes a detailed analysis of court records to explore the local enforcement of regulatory legislation in Alameda and Los Angeles Counties in California. From these legal proceedings emerge overlapping and often contradictory views of middle-class female reformers, court and law enforcement officials, working-class teenage girls, and working-class parents. Odem traces two distinct stages of moral reform. The first began in 1885 with the movement to raise the age of consent in statutory rape laws as a means of protecting young women from predatory men. By the turn of the century, however, reformers had come to view sexually active women not as victims but as delinquents, and they called for special police, juvenile courts, and reformatories to control wayward girls. Rejecting a simple hierarchical model of class control, Odem reveals a complex network of struggles and negotiations among reformers, officials, teenage girls and their families. She also addresses the paradoxical consequences of reform by demonstrating that the protective measures advocated by middle-class women often resulted in coercive and discriminatory policies toward working-class girls.

Threatened Children

Author: Joel Best
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226044262
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Child abuse, incest, child molestation, Halloween sadism, child pornography: although clearly not new problems, they have attracted more attention than ever before. Threatened Children asks why. Joel Best analyzes the rhetorical tools used by child advocates when making claims aimed at raising public anxiety and examines the media's role in transmitting reformers' claims and the public's response to the frightening statistics, compelling examples, and expanding definitions it confronts. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from criminal justice records to news stories, from urban legends to public opinion surveys, Best reveals how the cultural construction of social problems evolves.