White-Collar and Corporate Crime

A Documentary and Reference Guide

by Gilbert Geis


While white-collar crime and corporate greed and irresponsibility have recently received much attention, these misdeeds at the top of the financial food chain are certainly nothing new. Corruption, bribery, insider trading, securities fraud, stock manipulations, and illegal business practices have long been an ongoing problem in big business.

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Cover image for White-Collar and Corporate Crime

October 2011


Pages 351
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Crime/General

This reference guide documents white-collar crimes by individuals and businesses over the past 150 years, offering the most comprehensive array of documents and interpretations available.

From Gilded Age railroad scandals to the muckraking period and from the Savings and Loan debacle to corporate fallout during the recent economic meltdown, some individuals and companies have chosen to take the low road to achieve "the American dream." While these offenders throughout modern history may have lacked ethics, morals, or good judgment, they certainly were not wanting in terms of creativity.

White-Collar and Corporate Crime: A Documentary and Reference Guide traces the fascinating history of white-collar and corporate criminal behavior from the 1800s through the 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform measure. Author Gilbert Geis scrutinizes more than a century of episodes involving corporate corruption and other self-serving behaviors that violate antitrust laws, bribery statutes, and fraud laws. The various attempts made by authorities to rein in greed and the methods employed by wrongdoers to evade these controls are also discussed and evaluated.


  • Provides dozens of court documents, legislative hearing transcripts, muckraking articles, and accounts of crooked behavior in the upper echelons of power
  • Contains numerous photographs that illustrate the subject material
  • Includes a bibliography in each section that directs readers to supplementary sources


  • Showcases a collection of original documents to document a wide variety of white-collar and corporate crimes
  • Interprets the behaviors and crimes featured in a broader context
  • Provides eye-opening insights into examples of how power has been exercised to favor those who possess it and disadvantage the average person
  • Indicates tactics that should be employed to rein in future wrongdoing
Series Description

Documentary and Reference Guides

What does the U.S. Constitution really say about the right to bear arms? The controversy surrounding this single issue illustrates how important documents are to understanding history--and how they can be open to interpretation. How can students best understand the impact and nuances of the documents that frame America's story?

Expertly chosen primary source documents, analytical commentary, and comprehensive study resources present Americans grappling directly with complex social and political issues in ways that have had a deep and lasting impact on contemporary society.

Students often are unaware that hotly contested public debates have deep historical roots. Intended to allow readers to engage with history and discover the development of controversial social and political issues over time, the Documentary and Reference Guides series introduces such issues through carefully chosen primary source documents.

The documents analyzed in these volumes encourage critical thinking, offering fresh perspectives as they sweep away preconceptions and restore immediacy to debates that may have become stale. They encourage students to explore for themselves how important issues came to be framed as they are and to consider how contemporary discussion might advance beyond the assumptions and hardened positions of the past.


  •  Offers primary source documents--well known and less so--that are most important for understanding a given issue, selected and analyzed by subject-area specialists
  •  Presents document headnotes, text, and analysis in a consistent manner, making the book easy for readers to navigate
  •  Steers students and general readers to the most useful and reliable sources for further information, whether print, electronic, multimedia, or institutional resources


  •  50-100 primary source documents, topically and chronologically organized, including excerpts from legislation, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, manifestos, broadcast statements, controversial writings such as Thomas Paine's pamphlets and excerpts from the Federalist Papers, and personal writings, such as letters
  •  15-25 photographs
  •  Accessible analysis sections and lively sidebars illuminating documents that are crucial to the subject, but relatively legalistic or technical
  •  A Reader's Guide to the Documents and Sidebars, organized by subject, to enable readers to pursue particular lines of inquiry through more than one chapter
  •  A comprehensive, annotated, general resources section supporting student research needs
Author Info

Gilbert Geis is professor emeritus in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine, CA. He is the former president of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and recipient of the Edwin H. Sutherland Award for outstanding research from the American Society of Criminology.

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