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Governing through crime : how the war on crime transformed American democracy and created a culture of fear / Jonathan Simon.

By: Simon, Jonathan, 1959-.
Contributor(s): ebrary, Inc.
Material type: TextTextSeries: ebrary.Studies in crime and public policy: Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2006Description: viii, 330 p.ISBN: 9780195181081 (cloth); 0195181085 (cloth).Subject(s): Crime -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Criminal justice, Administration of -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Crime prevention -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th centuryLOC classification: HV6789 | .S57 2006Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
HV6789 .S57 2006 (Browse shelf) Available ebr10161096

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2009. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This book examines the dramatic shift in the way social problems are confronted in contemporary America. In the New Deal era, social problems were regarded as imperfections in an otherwise well-functioning society. Currently, social problems are treated as the actions of evil agents that need to be rooted out and destroyed. Today, the author maintains, the most pressing social problems are understood as issues of crime, with government waging "war" on drugs and other social evils. The author's term for these new practices is "governing through crime." In this important new book, Simon traces the rise of governing through crime to the collapse of the New Deal approach to social problems; welfare has been replaced by "warfare"--hence the succession of ever-widening "war and crime" campaigns. This powerful book demonstrates just how corrosive to a healthy society this approach has been. It divides communities, undermines institutional integrity, and fosters cynicism. It provides powerful and emotive slogans successful for mobilizing political support, but little else. It provides no basis for serious social policy. Every thoughtful citizen should confront the arguments that are so lucidly presented in this book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduates through practitioners. M. M. Feeley University of California, Berkeley

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<br> Jonathan Simon is Associate Dean of Jurisprudence and Social Policy and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Co-editor of the journal Punishment & Society, he is also the author of Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990 and co-editor of two other volumes.<br>

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