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The Wire

Race, Class, and Genre
Edited by Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro
Wide-ranging perspectives on "the best dramatic series ever created"

Description

Few other television series have received as much academic, media, and fan celebration as The Wire, which has been called the best dramatic series ever created. The show depicts the conflict between Baltimore's police and criminals to raise a warning about race; drug war policing; deindustrialization; and the inadequacies of America’s civic, educational, and political institutions. The show's unflinching explorations of a city in crisis and its nuanced portrayals of those affected make it a show all about race and class in America.

The essays in this volume offer a range of astute critical responses to this television phenomenon. More consistently than any other crime show of its generation, The Wire challenges viewers' perceptions of the racialization of urban space and the media conventions that support this. The Wire reminds us of just how remarkably restricted the grammar of race is on American television and related media, and of the normative codings of race—as identity, as landscape—across urban narratives, from documentary to entertainment media.

"This bravura collection of essays ratifies the opinion of millions of worldwide fans: The Wire is the urban Grapes of Wrath, with characters as vivid and enduring, and truths as radical and plain-spoken, as those in Steinbeck's masterpiece."
—Mike Davis, University of California, Riverside

"Across its seasons, The Wire set out to combine a highly entertaining television experience with trenchant social argument. In comparable fashion, the essays in this volume take on the challenge of offering consequential cultural analysis in a compelling manner, and they amply provide myriad insights expressed with verve and vitality. A rich, important collection."
—Dana Polan, New York University

"Kennedy and Shapiro have assembled a stellar collection of essays—these consistently smart and engaging pieces illustrate how high quality crime tv operates as a premiere showcase for the tensions and predicaments of early twenty-first century American life and how The Wire in particular emerges as a crucial, compelling cultural text." 
—Diane Negra, University College Dublin

Photo: Dominic West as Detective James McNulty, Larry Gilliard, Jr., as D'Angelo Barksdale, and Wendell Pierce as Detective Bunk Moreland. © HBO, Paul Schiraldi. Courtesy of Photofest.

Liam Kennedy is Professor of American Studies and Director of the Clinton Institute for American Studies at University College Dublin. 

Stephen Shapiro is Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

Praise / Awards

  • "Kennedy and Shapiro have assembled a stellar collection of essays—these consistently smart and engaging pieces illustrate how high quality crime tv operates as a premiere showcase for the tensions and predicaments of early twenty-first century American life and how The Wire in particular emerges as a crucial, compelling cultural text."
    —Diane Negra, University College Dublin

Look Inside

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 312pp.
  • 12 B&W photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2012
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07178-4

Add to Cart
  • $80.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2012
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05178-6

Add to Cart
  • $30.95 U.S.


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