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Criminal : the truth about why people do bad things

Author: Tom Gash
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 2017. ©2016
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
There are two myths about crime. In one, the criminal act is a selfish choice, and tough punishment the only solution. In the other, the system is at fault, and perpetrators will change only when society reforms. Both these narratives are wrong. Interweaving conversations and stories of crime with findings from the latest research, Tom Gash dispels the myths that inform our views of crime, from the widespread  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Tom Gash
ISBN: 9780241960431 0241960436
OCLC Number: 976424912
Notes: Originally published: London : Allen Lane, 2016.
Description: x, 336 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 24 cm
Contents: Mahine generated contents note: Cop shows, dramatic commentary and the two eternal viewpoints --
Myth 1 Crime is rising --
Tides of crime, shark attacks and reasons for optimism --
Myth 2 Taking up a life of crime --
Little angels, little devils and crime's rat race --
Myth 3 Criminals will stop at nothing --
Life's marshmallows and the routine of crime --
Myth 4 Organized crime is big, bad and booming --
Joe Valachi, American Gangster and the peculiarities of crime's economic laws --
Myth 5 Biology determines criminality --
Brain scans, genetic testing and what terrible twins tell us about biological influences on our behaviour --
Myth 6 Poverty is the real cause of crime --
Noisy neighbours, disappearing cities and the odd effects of money --
Myth 7 Immigration increases crime rates --
Little Poland, new El Paso and the unpredictable effects of porous borders --
Myth 8 We need more bobbies on the beat --
Wartime Denmark, experimental police chiefs and the side effects of terrorism --
Myth 9 Tough sentences are a sure-fire way to deter crime --
Crime and punishment from Finland to Los Angeles --
Myth 10 Leopards can't change their spots --
Gangsters who bake and the curse of premature policymaking --
Myth 11 We need radical reforms to reduce crime --
Metal theft, old-school bouncers and why little things can make a big difference.
Responsibility: Tom Gash.

Abstract:

There are two myths about crime. In one, the criminal act is a selfish choice, and tough punishment the only solution. In the other, the system is at fault, and perpetrators will change only when society reforms. Both these narratives are wrong. Interweaving conversations and stories of crime with findings from the latest research, Tom Gash dispels the myths that inform our views of crime, from the widespread misconception that poverty causes crime, to the belief that tough sentencing reduces it. He examines the origins of criminal behaviour, the ebb and flow of crime across the last century, and the effectiveness of various government crack-downs and in doing so reveals that crime is both less rational and much easier to reduce than many believe. Can we suspend our knee-jerk reactions, let go of cherished myths and embrace the truth about crime?

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Serious, but so startling that it is hugely readable, too. * James McConnachie, The Times Books of the Year *

 
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