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Criminal Man di [Lombroso, Cesare]
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Cesare Lombroso is widely considered the founder of criminology. His theory of the “born” criminal dominated European and American thinking about the causes of criminal behavior during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. This volume offers English-language readers the first critical, scholarly translation of Lombroso’s Criminal Man, one of the most famous criminological treatises ever written. The text laid the groundwork for subsequent biological theories of crime, including contemporary genetic explanations.

Originally published in 1876, Criminal Man went through five editions during Lombroso’s lifetime. In each edition Lombroso expanded on his ideas about innate criminality and refined his method for categorizing criminal behavior. In this new translation, Mary Gibson and Nicole Hahn Rafter bring together for the first time excerpts from all five editions in order to represent the development of Lombroso’s thought and his positivistic approach to understanding criminal behavior.

In Criminal Man, Lombroso used modern Darwinian evolutionary theories to “prove” the inferiority of criminals to “honest” people, of women to men, and of blacks to whites, thereby reinforcing the prevailing politics of sexual and racial hierarchy. He was particularly interested in the physical attributes of criminals—the size of their skulls, the shape of their noses—but he also studied the criminals’ various forms of self-expression, such as letters, graffiti, drawings, and tattoos. This volume includes more than forty of Lombroso’s illustrations of the criminal body along with several photographs of his personal collection. Designed to be useful for scholars and to introduce students to Lombroso’s thought, the volume also includes an extensive introduction, notes, appendices, a glossary, and an index.


Cesare Lombroso (born Ezechia Marco Lombroso; Italian; 6 November 1835 – 19 October 1909), was an Italian criminologist, physician, and founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Lombroso rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy, early eugenics, psychiatry and Social Darwinism, Lombroso's theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was inherited, and that someone "born criminal" could be identified by physical (congenital) defects, which confirmed a criminal as savage or atavistic.

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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 3339 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 448
  • Editore: Duke University Press Books (15 giugno 2006)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards") 5.0 su 5 stelle 3 recensioni
5.0 su 5 stelle A classic book in criminology 18 aprile 2017
Di susan robinson - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
A classic text in criminology that deals with criminality from a biological positivism perspective.
5.0 su 5 stelle Five Stars 17 luglio 2016
Di Monica - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Good item
1 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Obra de consulta obligatoria 28 luglio 2010
Di Juan Bircann - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Con esta obra de Lombroso nace formalmente la Criminología (llamada entonces Antropología Criminal; el término "Criminología" surge en 1885 con la obra de Garófalo).
Como referencia histórica, y dentro de un contexto general, la obra de Lombroso no ha sido superada, más bien sus postulados han venido a ser confirmados a la luz de los más recientes conocimientos. Su clasificación de los delincuentes se mantiene vigente. De igual manera sus observaciones respecto a los rasgos distintivos de la subcultura criminal: uso del tatuaje, jerga, vanidad, sobrenombres, religiosidad y superstición, insensibilidad moral, etc.
Esta obra clásica, la primera en su género, es referencia obligatoria para el criminalista y todos aquellos interesados en la criminogénesis o etiología del delito.
13 di 13 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Criminal Man: Classic Book of Criminology 1 settembre 2006
Di T.NAKAJIMA - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Though his theory of `the born criminal' is not likely to win many supporters today, Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), an Italian physician and criminologist, is now widely considered one of the most important founders of criminology. His once widely popular ideas about how and why some people commit crimes were very influential in the 19th century Europe and America, and this book is the first critically annotated translation of the book which still gives a chance for an intriguing read and deeper understanding of the Western culture.

Lombroso's theory is based on the idea of `the born criminal,' certain group of possibly dangerous people marked by what he called `anomalies.' According to him, certain people who have particular physical traits are more likely to commit crimes than other `normal' people, and by carefully checking the bodies and faces of the criminals, including their cranial capacities or tattoos, Lombroso established his unique theory that sounds unusual today. He insists, for instance, "Nearly all the criminals have ... thick hair and thin beard." (p. 53) Today this crude statement would never be convincing.

In short 'Criminal Man' is an analysis of the nature of crime, a pseudo-science based on empirical data. Over the five editions of `Criminal Man' Lombroso developed his theory by accumulating data, articles, photos, and even the poems and drawings by the criminals, and he developed his theory with more categories and sub-categories added to his original idea, later covering the territories of prostitution, insanity, and even botany.

[ABOUT THE EDITIONS] The original book was first published in 1876, and this one-volume edition later expanded to the fifth edition (3 volumes and 1 atlas) in 1896-97. Instead of choosing one particular edition as the basis of the English translation, editors/translators Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson made a sensitive decision. They divided their translation into five sections - EDITION 1, EDITION 2 ... and EDITION 5. The translated book's EDITION 1 includes every chapter of the first edition of the original book except for several chapters, which are postponed until their EDITION 2 section where they appear in fuller detail. The same pattern goes on until EDITION 5. According to the translators' notes, Lombroso never eliminated the older contents, and rarely revised them, so in this way the translation could keep the substance virtually intact, but within each chapter abridgement was done because of the numbers of the examples quoted by Lombroso, which they found too many.

The translation has all prefaces by Lomroso, notes by the editors, and the list of references. The book also has very useful glossary that explains the meaning and background of such words as atavism, physiognomy, positivism, recidivism, and others.

There is a "companion piece" titled "Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman" written by Lombroso and translated by Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson.
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