chapter  3
14 Pages

Direct Violence

Commenting on the extensive history of violence and use of force in the United States, Richard Hofstadter (1970, 3) asserted that "we have a remarkable lack of memory where violence is concerned and have left most of our excesses a part of our buried history." H. Rap Brown adds that violence is necessary and "as American as cherry pie" (Brown 2002, 144). Nevertheless, the use of violence and force against dissident citizens has yet to be charted in a comprehensive, robust way, in terms of the forms in which it occurs. Nor have the subtler, less violent forms of dissident suppression been identified and systematized. The following twelve chapters fill that fissure as they organize the actions taken by the state and mass media that suppress dissent. In these chapters I elucidate these actionsAction Modes, or Modes of Suppression-using historical data from a variety of contentious episodes that span twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. history.