While works about villains abound, the characters covered are generally fictional-taken from comic books, films, novels and video games. This two-volume set surveys real American villains from the 1700s to the present, infamous figures whose actions impacted the history of the United States at many levels, ranging from government and politics to law enforcement and criminal justice to popular culture. Each alphabetically-arranged, 1-3-page essay begins with ready-reference material that affords easy access to biographical information; each concludes with an assessment of the subject’s impact on history. Readers will encounter well-known criminals including Lizzie Borden, Butch Cassidy, Jesse James and Sirhan Sirhan, as well as less familiar figures like the child molester, serial killer and cannibal Albert Fish, whose letter to his victim’s parents is particularly chilling. Some of the profiles, such as those of Eric Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski and Scott Peterson, will evoke fairly recent headlines. The criminals’ categories alone are compelling; readers can explore Cult Leaders, Outlaws and Gunslingers, Racists and Hatemongers and Traitors and Spies. The boxed sidebars prove provocative as well; the white supremacist Tom Metzger asserts, for example, that, “Nothing changes without blood flowing. We care little about what the average citizen thinks.” Each volume begins with a complete list of contents and the set concludes with three finding aids: a chronological list of villains, a category index and a personages index. A list of annotated Web sites such as “Hunting Bin Laden,” “Kansa Gunfighters,” and “Pirates!” rounds out the set. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries.