The Corner

The Hills

The Hills of Homicide would be a good name for a police procedural drama on TV. Louis L’Amour thought of it first: It’s the title of one of his short-story collections of non-Western fiction. I recently wrote about L’Amour and his connection to Ronald Reagan in NRODT. Blogger Morgan Holmes comments on the article here, and unearths this L’Amour quote from The Hills of Homicide:

The idea that poverty is a cause of crime is a lot of nonsense. It is one of those cliches that is accepted because it seems logical. Crimes are committed by people who have some money and want more. More often they are committed by somebody who wants to have money to flash around, to buy fancy clothes, or spend on women, drugs, or whiskey.

By the way, I’m currently reading L’Amour’s Down the Long Hills to my kids. It wasn’t written explicitly for children, though they’re an ideal audience: The book focuses on a boy and a girl lost in the Wyoming wilderness. I have a couple of complaints: The boy is way too precocious for a seven-year-old, L’Amour sometimes changes perspective in a single scene, etc. So far, however, I like Down the Long Hills a lot better than Hatchet, a lost-in-the-wilderness tale for kids that’s proven enormously popular in the last twenty years or so.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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