Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Origins of Biological Criminology (Hardback)
  • Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Origins of Biological Criminology (Hardback)
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Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Origins of Biological Criminology (Hardback)

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£85.00
Hardback 296 Pages / Published: 30/09/2002
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Despite the popular perception that genetic explanations of the causes of crime are new, biological determinism dates back to the birth of criminology, and the ideas of the man widely regarded as its founder, Cesare Lombroso. His 1876 work, ^ICriminal Man^R, drew on Darwin to propose that most lawbreakers were throwbacks to a more primitive level of human evolution-identifiable by their physical traits, such as small heads, flat noses, large ears, and the like. These born criminals could not escape their biological destiny. The scientific appeal of these theories of criminal anthropology had a powerful and long-lasting impact on criminological theory and practice in contemporary Italy, Europe, and the Western world as a whole, and even today the stereotypes they created resonate in popular culture. But while these ideas had a wide influence, their origins were very much in a specific time and place-the political, economic, and social history of modern Italy. Gibson shows that understanding the development of Lombroso's thinking is much more complicated than merely pinning his ideas onto the left-right political spectrum; he influenced socialists and fascists, lawyers and doctors, policemen and social workers alike. In the end, she argues for a more subtle interpretation of his theories, emphasizing that Lombroso himself acknowledged the multifaceted nature of criminal behavior.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780275970628
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 581 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Born to Crime makes a clear and compelling case for the intellectual and practical significance of the theory of the born criminal and its varied expressions in the culture and practice of criminal justice in modern Italy. However, as Givson's very useful book convinces us, a belief that physical features reveal underlying pathologies of character, which criminal anthropology shared with racists, eugenicists, and antisemites all over the industrialized world in the first half of the twentieth century, prepared the way for far more sinister consequences."-Journal of Modern History
"What sets this book apart is the manner which Gibson describes the historical context in which this school of criminology developed."-journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
"Gibson has done a superb job of describing the history of criminology....A very readable account of Cesare Lombroso and his influence on the field of biological criminology. Recommended. All levels."-Choice
"Gibson's cool and informative appraisal of the origins of criminology and the adaptation of forensic science in the age of Mussolini is a significant contribution to the field."-The American Historical Review
"[A] most authoritative work on Italian physician Cesare Lombroso and the origins of positivist criminology...her book is a breath of fresh air...this book is an endlessly fascinating journey into the intricacies of early positivist criminology...anyone wishing to be informed about the Italian school of criminology is not likely to receive a more thorough education from any other single source anytime soon."-Human Nature Review
" A most authoritative work on Italian physician Cesare Lombroso and the origins of positivist criminology...her book is a breath of fresh air...this book is an endlessly fascinating journey into the intricacies of early positivist criminology...anyone wishing to be informed about the Italian school of criminology is not likely to receive a more thorough education from any other single source anytime soon."-Human Nature Review
?What sets this book apart is the manner which Gibson describes the historical context in which this school of criminology developed.?-journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
?Gibson has done a superb job of describing the history of criminology....A very readable account of Cesare Lombroso and his influence on the field of biological criminology. Recommended. All levels.?-Choice
?Gibson's cool and informative appraisal of the origins of criminology and the adaptation of forensic science in the age of Mussolini is a significant contribution to the field.?-The American Historical Review
?[A] most authoritative work on Italian physician Cesare Lombroso and the origins of positivist criminology...her book is a breath of fresh air...this book is an endlessly fascinating journey into the intricacies of early positivist criminology...anyone wishing to be informed about the Italian school of criminology is not likely to receive a more thorough education from any other single source anytime soon.?-Human Nature Review
?Born to Crime makes a clear and compelling case for the intellectual and practical significance of the theory of the born criminal and its varied expressions in the culture and practice of criminal justice in modern Italy. However, as Givson's very useful book convinces us, a belief that physical features reveal underlying pathologies of character, which criminal anthropology shared with racists, eugenicists, and antisemites all over the industrialized world in the first half of the twentieth century, prepared the way for far more sinister consequences.?-Journal of Modern History
"Born to Crime provides a lucid guide to criminology and criminal justice in post-Unification and Fascist Italy. It is a lively, sophisticated book by a leading European historian."-Nicole Hahn Rafter Northeastern University
"Intriguing in its topic and enjoyable in its style, this book finally puts Lombroso back in the picture as a major influence in a wide variety of fields in Italy and elsewhere. Gibson helps dispel a lot of myth surrounding this very controversial but very important character, all the while building a sound basis for future scholarship."-Dr. Steven C. Hughes Professor of History Loyola College, Maryland
"Mary Gibson's thoroughly researched, ground-breaking study of Lombroso and of the influence of Lombrosianism on Italy is full of fascinating insights and witty commentary. Gibson's nuanced analysis shows how Lombroso and his followers left a considerable, and often unacknowledged, impact on Italian policies and practices from the end of the 19th century to the 1930s. This is the best study of Lombroso in English, and one of the best in any language."-Richard Bach Jensen Professor, Northwestern State University

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