Cover image for Revenge and retribution
Revenge and retribution
Wilker, Josh.
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Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Chelsea House Publishers, [1999]

Physical Description:
91 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Uses literature and case studies to chronicle the historic shift in the philosophy of punishing wrongdoers and examines the continuing tension between the desire for personal vengeance and public interest in lawfulness.
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HV8693 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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-- Focuses on popular subjects that are bound to capture the reader's imagination -- Provides a window into American culture -- Encourages moral reasoning and fundamental thinking Chronicles the historic shift in punishing wrongdoers.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-Dramatic black-and-white photographs of classical sculptures, reproductions of etchings and paintings, and stills from modern films illustrate the author's point that revenge and retribution have always played a role in human relations. Despite the fact that governmental and religious authorities throughout history have sought to take on the role of executioner in order to forestall the societal horrors of "private justice," the blood vengeance of Biblical times is still part of many modern communities. As the author relates incidences of revenge and punishment, he examines literary works such as The Iliad and Hamlet and emphasizes that private vengeance leads only to more violence. He also discusses the prevalence of the concept of personal retribution in contemporary society as promoted through films such as Death Wish and Rambo and witnessed in the initial overwhelming support of Bernhard Goetz for his act of subway vigilantism in 1984. The rights of victims and their families versus the safety of society as a whole are presented for consideration as well. A unique look at a complex subject and a solid platform for lively debate.-Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Throughout much of history, exacting revenge was a private matter for victims or their families. Today retributive, or public, justice is the norm. Using literature and case studies, this book chronicles the historic shift in the philosophy of punishing wrongdoers and examines the continuing tension between our desire for personal vengeance and the public interest in lawfulness. Excerpted from Revenge and Retribution by Josh Wilker All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.