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Wide-ranging perspectives on "the best dramatic series ever created"

Look Inside


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.

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.