Leigh Buchanan Bienen: Works

Site header showing Leigh Buchanan Bienen (L) with book library (R)

Title:  Crimes of the Century
: Gilbert Geis, Leigh Buchanan Bienen
Publisher: Ontario Review Press
Description: In compelling narrative, the authors probe the sensational cases of Nathan F. Leopold, Jr., and Richard A. Loeb, the Scottsboro “boys,” Bruno Richard HauptmannAlger Hiss, and O.J. Simpson, highlighting significant lessons about criminal behavior and the administration of criminal justice. Each case study details the crime, the police investigation, and the court proceedings, profiles the major players, and examines the outcome and aftermath of the trial. The authors untangle the perplexities surrounding the cases and illuminate the many mysteries that remain unsolved today. These celebrated trials reveal issues of overzealous prosecution, sloppy police work, judicial bias, race, class, and ethnic struggles, and the role of wealth in securing a competent defense. They also show how the temper of the times and frenzied media coverage heightened the intensity of drama in the cases.


“The authors offer a fair analysis of celebrated cases that address the need to see that true justice is done.”—Kirkus Reviews

“What makes the book so enjoyable and worthwhile-beyond the riveting, sometimes gory details of the misdeeds it chronicles-is its sophisticated exploration of the myriad social and intellectual currents that combine to create a crime of the century.”
—Jonathan S. Shapiro, American Lawyer

“A gripping book.”
—Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun-Times

“For legal scholars as well as social historians, this work is a valuable tool, and laymen should find it an enjoyable read.”

“This book is clearly and dispassionately written. It is full of important information on five crucial trials, and throws considerable light on the strengths and weaknesses of the American administration of justice. One wishes the authors had included more cases. But, even as it is, it is a good book to assign to courses of criminal justice at the undergraduate level. For me, the strongest of the five articles is the one on the Lindberghs’ baby, in which the deleterious influence of unethical and sensationalistic media is well highlighted. And the weakest the O.J. Simpson case, perhaps because its proximity in time. The article on the Scottsboro Trials is very helpful in understanding how the Supreme Court has established precedents that are making justice for all more of a reality in America. In any case, excellent reading, both for people acquainted with the US criminal justice and for those who’d like to start getting to know it.”
—Professor R. Paris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Lightbox Plugin