Pictures at an Execution: Inquiry into the Subject of Murder (Paperback)
  • Pictures at an Execution: Inquiry into the Subject of Murder (Paperback)
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Pictures at an Execution: Inquiry into the Subject of Murder (Paperback)

(author)
£11.95
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 05/09/1995
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This book is about murder - in life and in art - and about how we look at it and feel about it. At the centre of Wendy Lesser's investigation is a legal case in which a federal court judge was asked to decide whether a gas chamber execution would be broadcast on public television. Lesser conducts us through the proceedings, pausing along the way to reflect on the circumstances of violent death in our culture. Her book is also a meditation on murder in a civilized society - what we make of it in law, morality and art.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674667365
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 233 x 153 x 20 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
Lesser's mesmerizing study about the spectatorship of murder...demonstrates why a televised execution cannot succeed as either deterrent or moral instruction. A significant addition to the literature of capital punishment.--Robert Taylor "Boston Globe "
Unusually compelling reading, for the book suggests that the persistent interest in murder is in fact one of the threads of our common humanity, a prospect we can hardly entertain with complacency. Why murder should draw us is the question Lesser explores through a multiplicity of lenses in a sensitive and intelligent manner, abjuring sensationalism. This is a provocative, well-conceived, and well-written book.--James P. Hammersmith "Southern Humanities Review "
Her style is not dense but enviable, a joy to read, like listening to an old friend.--Douglas Dennis "Angolite "
What's most engaging about "Pictures at an Execution" is the way in which Lesser's intense involvement with her subject is mediated by a cool rationality that militates against sentimentality, cant, and disingenuousness. It's bracing to watch an active moral intelligence at work, ready to question anything, including the writer's own motives...We can read the book with pleasure, interest, and admiration.--Francine Prose "New York Newsday "

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