Tony Platt - October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010 | 4:00pm-6:00pm | Engineering 189
Tony Platt,  Visiting Professor
San José State University

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The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency

Hailed as a definitive analytical and historical study of the juvenile justice system, this 40th anniversary edition of The Child Savers features a new essay by Anthony M. Platt that highlights recent directions in the field, as well as a critique of his original text. Focusing on social reformers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Platt’s principal argument is that the “child savers” movement was not an effort to liberate and dignify youth but, instead, a punitive and intrusive attempt to control the lives of working-class urban adolescents. This expanded edition provides a renewed and distinguished contribution by placing it in historical context through insightful commentaries from cross-disciplinary academics, along with an essay by Miroslava Chávez-García examining how Platt’s influential study has impacted many of the central arguments social scientists and historians face today.


About the Author

Anthony M. Platt is emeritus Professor of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento, where he has taught since 1977. Previously, he taught at the University of California (Berkeley) and the University of Chicago. His first book, The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency (1969) has been translated into Italian, Spanish, and Japanese. His E. Franklin Frazier Reconsidered (1991) is a revisionist assessment of a leading African American intellectual. His last book (with Cecilia O’Leary, 2006) is Bloodlines: Recovering Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws, From Patton’s Trophy to Public Memorial. He is currently a regular reviewer for the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Anthony Platt has received three meritorious performance awards for teaching and research at California State University, Sacramento. He was also the first recipient of the President’s Award for Research and Creative Activity (1990). In spring 1995, he was a visiting Research Associate at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. In summer 1995, he was a visiting professor at the Institute of Comparative Law, Chuo University, Tokyo. In 1995-96, he was the recipient of the annual Scholarly Achievement Award at California State University, Sacramento. He was appointed a Mayers Fellow of The Huntington in 1999-2000.