Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence

Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence

by Patrick Sharkey


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An eye-opening account of the transformation of cities and an urgent call to action to prevent another crime wave.

Over the past two decades, American cities have experienced an astonishing drop in violent crime, dramatically changing urban life. In many cases, places once characterized by decay and abandonment are now thriving, the fear of death by gunshot wound replaced by concern about skyrocketing rents.

In 2014, most U.S. cities were safer than they had ever been in the history of recorded statistics on crime. Patrick Sharkey reveals the striking consequences: improved school test scores, since children are better able to learn when not traumatized by nearby violence; better chances that poor children will rise into the middle class; and a striking increase in the life expectancy of African American men.

Sharkey also delineates the combination of forces, some positive and some negative, that brought about safer streets, from aggressive policing and mass incarceration to the intensive efforts made by local organizations to confront violence in their own communities.

From New York’s Harlem neighborhood to South Los Angeles, Sharkey draws on original data and textured accounts of neighborhoods across the country to document the most successful proven strategies for combatting violent crime and to lay out innovative and necessary approaches to the problem of violence. At a time when crime is rising again and powerful political forces seek to disinvest in cities, the insights in this book are indispensable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356540
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 529,340
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Patrick Sharkey is professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at New York University. He is also scientific director of Crime Lab New York, an independent organization dedicated to applying and evaluating new methods for addressing crime, violence, and poverty.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface xi

Part I The New American City

1 The End Of The Era Of Violence 3

2 The New American City 14

3 The Transformation Of Urban Space 39

Part II The Benefits Of The Crime Decline

4 The Preservation Of Black Lives 63

5 Learning In Fear 76

6 Inequality After The Crime Decline 96

Part III The Challenge Of Violence And Urban Inequality

7 Abandonment, Punishment, And The New Compromise 115

8 The End Of Warrior Policing 146

9 The Next Urban Guardians 162

10 A War On Violence 180

Notes 187

Index 229

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