Book Review Essay: War on Crime

Sample Essay

In the book, War on crime: bandits, G-men, and the politics of mass culture, The author has explored the first days of the FBI and through his discussion, has shown how the FBI was nothing more than a national police force before it became an elite crime fighting federal machine as it is now considered to be (Potter, 1998). The author has elaborated on the realization of how the 1930s and 1940s became legends over time and how the media exercised publicity and promotion to bring them to a point where they are now almost a part of American folklore.

The author starts off by presenting a picture of the Kansas City Union Station Massacre. It is evident that the author attempts to generate interest in the reader by mentioning a shootout in the very first few pages of the book (Potter, 1998). It is also essential to note that such suspense building paragraphs are customary to the discussion presented by the author as Potter mentions incidents in which law enforcers chose to directly engage bandits, outlaws and hardened criminals.

However, one cannot ignore the fact that the author has dedicated entire chapters in the book to show how the war on crime was more than for the pursuit of justice. The author has shown how one of the reasons for the modern day FBI was the momentum it acquired by tailing and eventually taking down bank robbers  (Potter, 1998). The author has very skillfully shown how choices between gangsters and bank robbers were made in light of the political advantages that the capture would bring rather than on account of the crimes that the felons had committed or the degree to which they were causing havoc.

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