The Tradition of Violence in the United States: A Multidisciplinary Survey (November 2014)

This essay first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Choice (volume 52 | number 3).


In the last three decades, violence has developed into an open avenue of inquiry and concern in American life. Once the domain of psychiatrists and psychologists, the study of violence in the United States is now explored by scholars in a diverse range of academic fields. From the humanities to the social sciences, violence—in particular the causes and prevention of violence—is a central academic concern. This essay identifies some of the best recent work on American violence in an attempt to note the most important trends in the scholarship. Few characteristics are believed to be more central to indi…

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About the author:

Scott Gac is Program Director of American Studies and Associate Professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He has written on protest music, violence, and the American Civil War. His current book project is Born in Blood: Violence and the Making of America.