The reign of Frank Rizzo was also the era of the rising black political power in Philadelphia. Nowhere was the clash of racial interests more intense than the police department.
Two new biographies reveal that police work is not so simple and straight-forward—cops versus robbers, order versus chaos—as many might think. Those enlisted in the job of enforcing the law are more complicated in their impulses and motivations, more conflicted or contradictory as human beings about the meaning of what they are doing, than partisans of either side willing to concede.
“Wyatt Earp is one of the few men I personally knew in the West in the early days, whom I regarded as absolutely destitute of physical fear. I have often remarked, and I am not alone in my conclusions, that what goes for courage in a man is generally the fear of what others will think of him.”
The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.
Sign-up for email updates or “This Just In,” The Common Reader newsletter.Subscribe Now