The New Centurions Summary
Joseph Wambaugh

Everything you need to understand or teach The New Centurions by Joseph Wambaugh.

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The New Centurions Summary

Wambaugh's major theme has to do with the difficulties involved in being a police officer in what he has called "The Big Sewer," the modern city.

Society recognizes the physical dangers policemen face, but does not recognize the emotional dangers which are far greater. The urban police officer is under constant emotional strain, knowing he can be killed at any moment, yet, paradoxically, he is often bored as he patrols the same streets, arresting the same criminals, seeing the courts release them almost immediately. His marriage often ends in divorce; he often succumbs to alcoholism, even suicide. Surrounded as he is by inhumanity, it is a terrible struggle for him to maintain his own humanity. He is sworn to protect the community but the community makes it almost impossible for him to do so because of ludicrous rules for obtaining evidence, incompetent supervision and general hostility. The worst of...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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The New Centurions Short Guide

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