The Introduction explores the thematic focus of the book and the theoretical underpinnings of its core argument. First, it introduces the general topic of homicide, explaining how a relatively unusual event occurs in distinct patterns that reveal larger social, political, legal and cultural forces. Second, the Introduction explains why I examine the 1920-1945 era, noting the impact of the powerful currents of the period, such as the Great Migration, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the institutionalization of Jim Crow, and World War II. Third, it discusses why I focus on New Orleans, the largest city in the South during an era of rapid change. And fourth, the Introduction identifies some of the theoretical perspectives on the connection between crime and criminal justice that inform my analysis.
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