History of Violence: A Conversation with Barry Latzer

with Barry Latzer

This podcast with criminologist Barry Latzer focuses on the surprising findings in his latest book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America. Latzer discusses the violent crime wave that began in the mid 1960’s and how its sharp fall in the mid 90s has recast urban life in America. However, Latzer urges humility in understanding the rise and fall of violent crime, pointing to an array of social, economic, and demographic factors as likely reasons for the good news about the downturn in violent crime in the last two decades. While not dismissing recent calls for sentencing reform and a relaxation of aggressive law enforcement, Latzer argues for caution and notes that we remain a violent society as measured by arrests, convictions, and national crime surveys.