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The Great American Crime Decline (Studies in Crime and Public Policy) 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195378986
ISBN-10: 0195378989
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Editorial Reviews


"When you examine a complicated matter such as the crime reduction in the U.S., seeking the causes for such reductions, be prepared for statistics. But it is worth it, particularly when one finds that New York City's drop in crime in all seven index crime rates are 'roughly double the national average.' Reading this book will greatly enhance your understanding of this crucial issue and put you on the path to becoming an expert."--Edward I. Koch, 105th Mayor of New York City

"Zimring writes with a style and language that makes this book accessible to readers both inside and outside of academia. His comprehensive review and explanation of crime statistics will be understandable to more casual readers while his critical review of the various reasons offered to explain the crime decline is done in the careful, thorough, well-researched, and thought-provoking way that is expected in Zimring's work...this book is a rich compilation of numbers, analysis, and insight that is organized to give the reader a deeper understanding of American crime rates and the complex interplay of factors that might explain its decline in the 1990s."--Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

"'Success has many fathers,' and the Great Crime Decline of the 1990s is no exception. Who or what should actually get the credit? Frank Zimring provides an engaging guide to the data and the principal claimants for paternity. There are no simple answers here, but the reader will be rewarded with fresh and important lessons about crime, crime control, and the criminological enterprise, delivered with his usual wit and verve."--Philip J. Cook, Duke University

"I learned a tremendous amount from Frank Zimring's highly readable and penetrating examination of the US drop in crime in the 1990s. Zimring is unsurpassed in his mastery of the relevant crime literature and the wildly varying pronouncements that have emerged from it over the last 40 years."--Punishment and Society

"The crime drop of the 1990s was an important phenomenon that has led many scholars to search for the factors that contributed to it. Frank Zimring, one of the most prolific and important scholars of crime and criminal justice, addresses others' perspectives, some critically and some with valuable elaboration, and adds a number of his own. The result is a very readable volume that answers some questions and raises many more for future research."--Alfred Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University

"The Great American Crime Decline poses a vigorous and thoughtful challenge to existing theories and research on American crime trends. Zimring's engaging prose and provocative arguments should interest scholars, policymakers, and anyone interested in the causes and consequences of the nation's longest crime drop on record. A masterful contribution."--Richard Rosenfeld, University of Missouri-St. Louis

"To his credit, Zimring disavows simplistic, one-dimensional answers....Recommended."--CHOICE

"[Zimring] produced a masterpiece of scientific work, making sense of the data when possible and showing his readers when it is not possible to conclude anything. This is exactly what a scientific approach should yield...Zimring covers his topics comprehensively...His book demonstrates how research should be done to bring about understanding about changes in the crime rate."---Net: Business Network

"Zimring's book stands out as a much-needed roadmap for this rough terrain. It clarifies the main lines of contention, summarizes what areas of consensus exist, and tries to present a coherent view of the field, which is filled with mixed results and conflicting arguments. The Great American Crime Decline is an accessible and engaging book that invites readers to delve deeper into the subject." --Vanessa Barker, Assistant Professor of Criminology at Florida State University

About the Author

Franklin E. Zimring is the William G. Simon Professor of Law and Wolfen Distinguished Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. His recent books include The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment (2003), voted a Book of the Year by the Economist and American Juvenile Justice (2005).

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195378989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195378986
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ted Goertzel on March 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Great American Crime Decline is a model of what social science research can be. It deserves a place next to Durkheim's Suicide, Putnam's Bowling Alone, and Conley's The Pecking Order for its clear crisp writing, brilliant analysis and rigorous and understandable use of statistical graphics. The new information on Canada as a comparison fills an essential gap in the literature. The case study of the crime decline in New York City is better than anything else on a much discussed subject. This is the definitive book on the crime decline, building on Blumstein and Wallman's The Crime Drop in America. It should be read by anyone fed up with failed and futile efforts to force criminological data into econometric equations. I am using excerpts in my communications class at Rutgers University, as well as in the research methods class. No one interested in crime in America, or in American society, should miss it.
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Format: Hardcover
I can only give this book 3.5 stars. The book is well written and compelling but the author does not mention a great deal of research; he seems almost selective. The author makes several points worth noting.

1) "The decline in New York City was nearly twice that of the rest of the country." That may be mathematically true; however, the comparing the average of other urban cities in the US and the "rural" areas in the US may, and probably does, inflate the disparity. NYC did have the greatest decline in crime in the 1990s - there is no debate about that - but the degree to which it was twice the rate of the rest of the US is not methodologically sound.

2) The author states that Canada is an appropriate comparison to the US. If this is the case, why does the author not use Mexico? One can only wonder what happened to crime during that time and why did the author not mention it. If the argument is made that Canada's culture has more in common with the US than Mexico, then still why did San Diego have such a dramatic decrease in crime. (Many Canadians will also strongly disagree that the US and Canaga have "comparable" cultures.) In addition, the author (correctly) states that comparisons with other countries are appropriate to determine what was going on throughout the world during the crime decline in the 1990s. However, a better and more thorough account of international crime rates is offered in Michael Tonry's recent book "Thinking about Crime." In "Thinking about Crime," Tonry states that the crime drop in the US was concurrent with a general worldwide crime drop. I did not count but it seems that Tonry examines more countries than does Zimring in his analysis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good theme an you will not get bored while reading it.i am sure everybody will like that. Just read and enjoy it:)
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