In this innovative study, Daniel A. Cohen explores a major cultural shift embodied in hundreds of early New England crime publications. Tracing the declining authority of Puritan ministers, he shows how the arbiters of an increasingly pluralistic literary marketplace gradually supplanted pious execution sermons with last-speech broadsides, gallows verses, criminal autobiographies, trial reports, newspaper stories, and romantic docudramas. Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace probes the forgotten origins of our modern mass media's preoccupation with crime and punishment.
DANIEL A. COHEN is associate professor of history at Case Western Reserve University.
"Provides fresh examinations of the central developments of New England society and culture: its growing secularization, the displacement of clerical by legal authority, the region's increasing social and ethnic diversity, the intensification of class and social conflicts, the spread of Enlightenment ideals, and, most fascinating, the symbiotic relationship among romanticism, legal authority, and popular culture in the nineteenth century."
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)