Print ISBN: 978-1-58765-453-4
# of Pages: 640
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $130
e-ISBN: 978-1-58765-455-8
eBook User Price: $130
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Magill's Choice: American Villains

Editors at Salem Press
August 2008


American Villains explores the lives, deeds and punishments of 177 of the most infamous villains of our time; the assassins, serial killers, frauds, gangsters, murderers, terrorists, thieves, and traitors.. What makes this set unique is that it focuses on U.S. criminals who are not generally covered in American biographical surveys.

The essays in American Villains have been selected from our Great Lives from History: Notorious Lives set. Each essay has been updated and reedited for accuracy. A broad range of personages is covered, including such notorious names as Benedict Arnold, Ma Barker, David Berkowitz, Al Capone, John Dillinger, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Sam Giancana, John Hinckley Jr., Jim Jones, Meyer Lansky, Timothy McVeigh, Lee Harvey Oswald, Scott Peterson, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Sirhan Sirhan, Tokyo Rose, Aileen Wuornos and Giuseppe Zangara.

Categories of Villain include:

  • Assassins
  • Con Artists, Cheats, and Frauds
  • Corrupt Politicians
  • Cult Leaders
  • Gangsters and Associates
  • Military Figures
  • Murderers and Accused Murderers
  • Outlaws and Gunslingers
  • Pirates
  • Political Rebels and Revolutionaries
  • Racists and Hatemongers
  • Scientists and Doctors
  • Serial Killers
  • Sexual Predators and Accused Predators
  • Terrorists
  • Thieves and Bank Robbers
  • Traitors and Spies
  • War Criminals

The essays in this set are approximately 1,000 words in length and are arranged alphabetically. Each essay begins with ready-reference information, including:

  • Name of Villain
  • Identity (e.g., Spree murderer, Gangster)
  • Born (date and place of birth)
  • Died (date and place of death)
  • Also known as (aliases, nicknames, full and birth names)
  • Major offenses (crimes)
  • Active (period of greatest offenses)
  • Locale (where operated)
  • Sentence (years in prison, other punishment)

"Early Life" is a summary of the upbringing of the villain and entry into crime. "Criminal Career" is a chronological overview of all criminal activities; "Legal Action and Outcome" identifies legal response, trials, sentences and punishments; "Impact" assesses why the person is remembered and what his or her significance is in history and popular culture; and "Further Reading" lists sources for further study.

View a Full List of Magill's Choice Titles