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June 8, 2009

WHICH IS THE MORE USEFUL SOURCE FOR STUDYING THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF GANGSTERS IN PROHIBITION AMERICA?

WHICH IS THE MORE USEFUL SOURCE FOR STUDYING THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF GANGSTERS IN PROHIBITION AMERICA?
Source F is written by Ian Cameron a historian who specialized in film making or movies of the past. He wrote “A History Crime Films” was written in 1975, 55 years after Prohibition was approved, and criminals such as gangsters were seen as the superiors who were able to dodge the law. The author makes some useful points which fits with my own knowledge for example how much money gangsters earned this generally made the public think of them as a high regard to society and very respectable, I know this as Capone was a renowned respectable man known for his fame and fortune which usual caused envy and sometimes admiration throughout the communities. The text also includes what they spent their moneyon, such as bribing members of congress and judges. It looked bad to the public but positively towards those who were receiving the money with the raised profile of gangsters. It also mentions the violence which gangsters were usual well-known for at this time such as the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre which Capone was involved in. It is more unbalanced than anything, focusing on how film makers were so interested in gangsters and why.

Source G is written by Harry Hosent is another historian who again concentrates on the history of movies but more specifically to do with Gangsters rather than crime in general. Hosent wrote “A History of Gangster Movies” in 1974, another 54 years and the influence of gangster’s presentation and use of violence were in the public eye more than any time before this. The author makes some useful points which is familiar to me own comprehension of gangsters, case in point that some of the public viewed gangsters as popular heroes in America at the time as they were supplying them with all the things they desperately needed during the depression such as when Capone boldly resisted the tyranny and supplied alcohol regardless of the ban and risk. The fact that they believed that people who they would usually respect such as politicians had mislead them.

June 8, 2009

WHICH IS THE MORE USEFUL SOURCE FOR STUDYING THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF GANGSTERS IN PROHIBITION AMERICA?

It is mainly unbalanced as it omits specific areas about gangsters and the focal point is generally based on film stars in gangster films not the actual era he is writing about.

Source H is written by Neil De Marco a historian who wrote “USA: A Divided Union” in 1994, 70 years subsequent to the gangster era. The author makes some constructive points which is proverbial to my own awareness of gangsters at this time. It mentions how gangsters were generally cautious of harming members of the public, which is quite questionable as they have been known to use violence in public view such as St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which brought about a negative attitude towards gangsters. Oppositely it points out how people glamorised Capone’s criminal status and gained respect for them and how they became known as popular heroes, which then proved to create a positive effect on society. It is mainly balanced including facts on the negatives and positives of gangsters in the public view during the 1920’s. Overall, having looked at the content and provenance of all three sources, I think that the most useful source is Neil De Marcos extract because it actually focusing on gangsters at the period compared to the other two which centre on film making and stars in gangster films of the time. The actual content of the extract is a lot more even-handed and unbiased, creating a more reliable and useful source.