This book sets out to show that modern-day fears about the supposed moral threat posed to the young by violent movies or interactive computer games have their roots in nineteenth-century anxieties about the ill effects of popular forms of amusement on the "children of the lower classes." Penny theatres, "penny dreadfuls," dime novels, gangster films, horror comics. All these are discussed, evaluated, and placed in context. A postscript refers to "video nasties," violence on television, "gangsta rap," and computer games, each in turn playing the role of "folk devils" which must be causing delinquency. The book argues that since "moral panics" over popular culture are perennial, this tells us a great deal more about adult anxieties--fear of the future, technological change, and the erosion of moral absolutes--than about the nature of juvenile misbehavior.