. The Hidden Realm of Rural Property Crime / 1 / 5
From Robbery to Organized Crime: Gangs, Bandits, and Horsethieves
The Economics of Property Crime
5. From Insult to Homicide: Honor, Violence, and
Crimes against Persons / 145
Insult and Honor
Assaults and Fights
6. Questions of Belief: "Superstition," Crime, and the Law / 1 7 6
Foundations of Persecution: Crimes against the Faith
Exploiting Popular Belief
Fine Lines: From Superstition to Crime
Powers of the Dead
7. Varieties of
. Its rural markets regularly attracted
pickpockets and horsethieves who plied their trade or sold its fruits, not to
mention smugglers, swindlers, forgers, and bootleggers. According to one
former justice of the peace, "Our winter bazaars and summer markets are
places where petty thieves find the greatest freedom. There they pick pock-
ets and steal goods for domestic use for which they otherwise would have to
spend money."17 Larger markets served as sites where lucrative frauds might
be attempted. At the start of 1916, for example, a Voronezh peasant showed
school early, "unstable moral foundations,"
alcoholism and bootlegging, an excessive number of holidays, the unavail-
ability of rational entertainments, an explosion of rural household divi-
sions, and the granting of internal passports to family members without the
household head's permission. Within this array of problems, the final pro-
vincial report gave particular attention to the growth of alcohol consump-
tion and bootlegging that followed the state's 1894 introduction of a liquor
monopoly. Together with outwork, this explosion of public drinking was
of total of-
fenses. Crimes against persons (insults to honor, threats, and violence)
made up 15.9 percent of the caseload, and administrative infractions
(mostly passport violations, breaking of fire regulations, and bootlegging)
claimed 16.8 percent.33 During 1905, the five land captains of one Riazan'
district heard 629 criminal cases, of which 369 (58.7 percent) were property
offenses. Nearly half of this number (172 cases, or 27.3 percent of all
crimes) involved theft of wood from forests. Infractions of fire safety regula-
tions accounted for another 8
being lost little by little, and there are even habitual thieves in
some villages." T h e result, he claimed, was a sizable increase in the number
Officials and members of educated society had long argued that igno-
rance, immorality, and vice lay at the root of most crimes perpetrated by
peasants. As an inspector (revizor) of state peasant settlements noted in the
late 1830s, villagers of both sexes were quite simply being ruined by liquor.
"In the bootlegging establishments people . . . gather, drink together, en-
tertain one a n o t h e r
harmed its interests—robbery, bootlegging, and similar offenses. For peas-
ants, then, the already poor performance of police and courts only grew
worse at a time when the countryside had become far more dangerous. It is
little wonder that the years 1 9 0 8 - 1 3 witnessed a sharp increase in the num-
ber of bitter complaints from villagers concerning courts, police, and the
problem of crime.
These complaints, it should be stressed, most commonly concerned
crimes perpetrated by peasants against one another. T h e instability brought
to village organs of
in Lucand, Le pinard des poilus, 114.
306 / Notes
45. Ibid., 115.
46. Philippe Roudié, Vignobles et vignerons du Bordelais, 1850–1980
(Bordeaux: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 1994), 244–45.
47. Ibid., 247–49.
48. Ibid., 248–51.
49. Ellen NicKenzie Lawson, Smugglers, Bootleggers, and Scofflaws:
Prohibition and New York City (Albany: State University of New York Press,
50. Ibid., 105.
51. Daniel Deckers, Im Zeichen des Traubenadlers: Eine Geschichte des
deutschen Weins (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2010), 85–86.
52. Treaty of Versailles
have tens of thousands of books in twelve languages ready for the mar-
ketplace on exactly the same date, 28 June 1890. This was just two months
after Stanley finished writing his work.102
Marston’s strategy of simultaneous publication maximized sales by pre-
empting bootleg translations and unauthorized versions of the book.103
The first edition, thought to be the largest ever in British publishing his-
tory, sold out within a week, as did a fancy two- guinea (£2.1) printing,
t h e “ s t a n l e y c r a z e ”1 5 0
whose price exceeded the weekly earnings of