• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

Homicidal Death
Homicidal death

The history of the United States and the character of its people include a violent component in which the taking of human life has played an important role. Violence was common in the North American continent even before the nation was formed. The systematic destruction of Native American societies by Europeans who settled in the New World reflects the notion that might makes right. The Revolutionary War took a deadly toll on both sides of the conflict. The Civil War provides yet another example of extreme violence and megadeath. The lawlessness of the western frontier and the glorification of gunslingers and mob “justice” are further evidence of the deep roots of violence in the American culture. As the history of the United ...

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