Category Archives: Public Enemies

July 12, 2009, 3:52 pm

Steal This Book! Public Enemies, John Dillinger and Me


Don’t be surprised if you are channel surfing in the next couple months and suddenly see — me! There are at least four different made-for-TV documentaries in which I appear as a talking head because of my first book, War on Crime: Bandits, G-Men and the Politics of Mass Culture (Rutgers University Press, 1998). For a while I was an all-star on Third Street in Lower Manhattan because the History Channel is, apparently, one of the few things the inhabitants of the men’s shelter there can agree that they all like. Every once in a while I would be strolling by and a cigarette-ravaged voice would growl happily, “Hey! I know you!” Once I was at a tenure party for someone else, and that person’s father confided that he had really come to the party to see me. People write me mash notes from Australia, England and Canada — always men, which is really disappointing. I am also occasionally…

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