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The City That Became Safe: New York's Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control (Studies in Crime and Public Policy) Hardcover – November 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199844429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199844425
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Provocative and hopeful." --New York Review of Books


"Accessible to both undergraduates and postgraduates, this is an excellent statistical study. The reader should not expect the master code that unlocks all of the secrets of New York's crime decline; however, The City that Became Safe should be considered a standard work on this fascinating phenomenon." --New York Journal of Books


"One of the best studies of the psychology of crime, and of cities, that I have ever read."
--Adam Gopnik, newyorker.com


"The City That Became Safe" is thoughtful, provocative, and quite brilliant. Zimring demonstrates that big cities can cut crime and reduce incarceration at the same time. New Yorkers, and all city dwellers, will feel safer after reading this powerful book." --Herbert Sturz, Open Society Foundations


"Franklin Zimring's examination of the astonishing New York City crime decline is fascinating and totally convincing. Reading this brilliant book is mandatory for criminologists and students of policing, and it's a damn good idea for everyone else." --Albert Alschuler, Northwestern University Law School


"Franklin Zimring boldly takes on one of the most important yet ill-understood social facts of the late twentieth century: why crime dropped like a stone for almost twenty years in New York. He hones in on the significant portion of crime that is 'situational and contingent' rather than rooted in urban structure, and identifies police policies and practices that go a long way toward explaining crime rates fell so precipitously. At the beginning of the 1990s New York was in trouble; now it is back, in large degree because of the story told here." --Wesley Skogan, Northwestern University


"A doubly profound book-in its withering demonstration that the New York City crime drop undoes much of the conventional social science wisdom about the embeddedness of American criminality, and in its optimistic lesson about the power of social policy to alter the supposedly endemic nature of urban crime." --Robert Weisberg, Stanford University


"The City That Became Safe sets the standard for reasoned analysis of one of the most important public-policy issues of our time." --Richard Rosenfeld, University of Missouri-St. Louis


"This is a wonderful, startling, and important book. It is a masterpiece of statistical rigor; but also of insight and common sense. All serious scholars of modern urban life, and, hopefully, all policy makers and criminologists, should read and absorb the lessons of this profound exploration of the riddles of crime and punishment in America." --Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanford University


"Using an array of statistics and a meticulous approach, Zimring, one of the nation's preeminent criminologists, convincingly argues that an identifiable human strategy does deserve most of the credit, but it was neither a single approach nor a single elected official. This is a model policy study on a crucial community concern demonstrating that, when it comes to public safety, government can make a difference. Highly recommended."
--CHOICE


"Zimring does a wonderful job letting the statistics tell the story of New York City's drop in crime... The result is a study that adds much to our knowledge of crime and crime policy while reminding us just how much we still have to learn. Recommended for all practicing criminologists and graduate students studying in the field." --International Social Science Review


"This book advances the discussion of urban crime policy by an order of magnitude for academics... [and] criminal justice instructors will need this book as an antidote for the plethora of 'it wasn't really the police' books available until now." --Journal of Urban Affairs


About the Author


Franklin E. Zimring is the William G. Simon Professor of Law and chair of the Criminal Justice Research Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2005, he has been the first Wolfen Distinguished Scholar at Boalt Hall School of Law. Professor Zimring's recent books include The Great American Crime Decline and The Next Frontier (with David T. Johnson) .

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bookie on January 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loyd seems to have missed Table 1.5, which supplies the data supporting Zimring's textual notation that LA had a remarkable post-2000 surge in rate of decline for major crimes, and also shows that LA's accomplishment still fell short of that for NYC in that SAME post-2000 interval.

Antone, on the other hand, seems to have entirely missed the last section of Appendix C in which Zimring discusses the methods used to verify declines in homicide and other major crime rates in spite of the fact that police reports of crime may be flawed by inherent conflicts of interest.

This is an immensely complex and extensively documented book. Its central thesis, that brutally high crime rates are NOT a necessary feature of life in large urban centers in 21st century America, is very well documented.

But be warned, this book's documentation and sophisticated statistical analyses are tough going. It deserves, and repays careful, critical and repeated reading. The novelty and hopeful character of its conclusions would warrant a steady climb in readership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Horwatt on February 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is chock-full of charts and diagrams, documentation and information. The amazing thing is that the old easy-answers about what causes crime and what reduces are wrong. The main thing is, we still don't know how New York did it for sure. But an 80% drop in violent crime since 1990 -- with no appreciable change in demographics, or all those other variables too numerous to mention. Putting people in jail for a longer time doesn't explain the drop either because New York didn't.

I had to keep rereading and reviewing the book, though, because there's so much data I started to become a bobble-head.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a well written, well researched, and important book. (You can read an excellent summary of the main points, written by Zimring himself, at [...]
There are some caveats, however. After you read "The City That Became Safe," be sure to read "The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation (Advances in Police Theory and Practice)" by John A. Eterno and Eli B. Silverman. There's a substantial free preview at this link: [...]
The NYPD recently released a review of Compstat, the city-wide computer system that tracks crime. You can download the report, free, at [...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had to keep reminding myself that the author is law professor at UC Berkeley. His analysis of large data is excellent and makes for some interesting observations on why policing in the 21st century in America matters.
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