The Cesare Lombroso Handbook  book cover
1st Edition

The Cesare Lombroso Handbook

ISBN 9780415509770
Published November 29, 2012 by Routledge
384 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso (1835 – 1909) is the single-most important figure in the founding of criminology and the study of aberrant conduct in the human sciences.

The Cesare Lombroso Handbook brings together essays by leading Lombroso scholars and is divided into four main parts, each focusing on a major theme. Part one examines the range and scope of Lombroso’s thinking; the mimetic quality of Lombroso; his texts and their interpretation. The second part explores why his ideas, such as born criminology and atavistic criminals, had such broad appeal. Developing this, the third section considers the manners in which Lombroso’s ideas spread across borders; cultural, linguistic, political and disciplinary, by including essays on the science and literature of opera, ‘La donna delinquente’ and ‘Jewish criminality’. The final part investigates examples of where, and when, his influence extended and explores the reception of Lombroso in the UK, USA, France, China, Spain and the Philippines.

This text presents interdisciplinary work on Lombroso from academics engaged in social history, history of ideas, law and criminology, social studies of science, gender studies, cultural studies and Jewish studies. It will be of interest to scholars, students and the general reader alike.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Paul Knepper and Per Ystehede 1. Lombroso and his school: From anthropology to medicine and law, Renzo Villa, 2. Cesare Lombroso, prison science and penal policy, Mary Gibson, 3. Gli Anarcichi and Lombroso’s theory of political crime, Trevor Calafato, 4. Demonizing being: Lombroso and the ghosts of Criminology, P.J. Ystehede 5. The Lombroso Museum from its origins to the present day, Silvano Montaldo, 6. Ceasar or Cesare? American and Italian Images of Lombroso, Patrizia Guarnieri, 7. New natural born killers? The legacy of Lombroso in neuroscience and law, Emilia Musumeci, 8. From subhumans to superhumans: Criminals in the evolutionary hierarchy, or what became of Lombroso’s atavistic criminals?, Simon Cole and Michael C. Campbell, 9. Lombroso and Jewish social science, Paul Knepper, 10. The melodramatic publication career of Lombroso’s La donna delinquente, Nicole Rafter, 11. Lombroso’s Criminal Woman and the uneven development of the modern lesbian identity, Mariana Valverde, 12. In search of the Lombrosian type of delinquent, Daniele Velo Dalbrenta, 13. Lombroso and the science of literature and opera, Jonathan R. Hiller, 14. A hidden theme of Jewish self-love? Eric Hobsbawm, Karl Marx and Cesare Lombroso on "Jewish Criminality", Michael Berkowitz, 15. The methods of Lombroso and cultural criminology, Dina Siegel, 16. Lombroso in France: A paradoxical reception, Marc Renneville, 17. Lombroso in China, 'Dong xue wei ti, xi sue wei yong'?, Bill Hebenton and Susyan Jou, 18. Lombroso but not Lombrosians? Criminal anthropology in Spain, Rafael Huertas and Ricardo Campos 19. The influence of Lombroso on Philippine criminology, Filomin Gutierrez, 20. Lombroso and the "men of real science": British reactions, 1886-1918, Neil Davie.

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Paul Knepper is Professor of Criminology in the Sshool of Law at the University of Sheffield, UK. 

Per Jorgen Yestehede works as a research officer at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo, Norway.


The Cesare Lombroso Handbook is a wonderfully rich and stimulating collection, driven by fresh thinking and innovative research into this major figure in the history of criminology. This book is a must for all who wish to get to grips with the work and reception of Cesare Lombroso.

Kate Bradley, Lecturer in Social History and Social Policy, University of Kent, UK.