Violence in American Society
An Encyclopedia of Trends, Problems, and Perspectives [2 volumes]
by Chris Richardson, Editor
August 2020, 635pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5467-5
$214, £165, 187€, A294
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5468-2
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Firearm deaths in the United States rose by 32% between 2014 and 2017.

While many books explore such specific issues as gun violence, arson, murder, and crime prevention, this encyclopedia serves as a one-stop resource for exploring the history, societal factors, and current dimensions of violence in America in all its forms.

This encyclopedia explores violence in the United States, from the nation’s founding to modern-day trends, laws, viewpoints, and media depictions. Providing a nuanced lens through which to think about violence in America, including its underlying causes, its iterations, and possible solutions, this work offers broad and authoritative coverage that will be immensely helpful to users ranging from high school and undergraduate students to professionals in law enforcement and school administration.

In addition to detailed and evenhanded summaries of the key events and issues relating to violence in America, contributors highlight important events, political debates, legal perspectives, modern dimensions, and critical approaches. This encyclopedia also features excerpts from such important primary source documents as legal rulings, presidential speeches, and congressional testimony from scholars and activists on aspects of violence in America. Together, these documents provide important insights into past and present patterns of violent crime in the United States, as well as proposed solutions to those problems.


  • Addresses all aspects of violence in American society, past and present, including societal factors and legal, political, and law enforcement responses
  • Includes lists of research resources for additional study
  • Highlights insightful primary documents of key events and patterns of violence in America
  • Features contributions from prominent scholars in a wide range of fields related to crime, violence, and law
Chris Richardson, PhD, is assistant professor of communication studies at Young Harris College, GA. He is coeditor of Covering Canadian Crime: What Journalists Should Know and the Public Should Question and Habitus of the Hood.


LJ Best Reference of 2020—Library Journal, March 1, 2021


"An ideal overview of American violence that will pique the interest of general readers and provide high school students and undergraduates with an outstanding resource for reports and background research."—Library Journal, Starred Review, November 1, 2020

"This work provides essential reading for anyone interested in violence. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers."—Choice, October 1, 2021
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