This is a brilliant collection of essays on a show that has taken the art of television drama to new heights. "The Wire" is about survival, about the strategies adopted by those living and working in the inner cities of America. It presents a world where for many even hope isn't an option, where life operates as day-to-day existence without education, without job security and without social structures. Over its five season, sixty-episode run (2002-2008), "The Wire" presents several overlapping narrative threads, all set in the city of Baltimore. The series consistently deconstructs conventional narratives of law, order - and disorder - offering a view of America that has never before been admitted to the public discourse of the televisual. It is bleak and at times excruciating. By focusing on four main topics (Crime, Law Enforcement, America and Television), examines the series' place within popular culture and its representation of the realities of inner city life, social institutions and politics in contemporary American society.