Uneasy Peace

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

Patrick Sharkey (Author)

Overview | Formats

“Remarkable.… The story of the crime decline is about the wisdom of single steps and small sanities.… It is possible to see this as a kind of humanist miracle, a lesson about the self-organizing and, sometimes, self-healing capacities of human communities that’s as humbling, in its way, as any mystery that faith can offer.”—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

Over the past two decades, American cities have experienced an astonishing drop in violent crime, dramatically changing urban life. 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. Many places once characterized by decay and abandonment are now thriving, yet pervasive inequality threatens these gains.

At a time when crime is rising again and powerful political forces seek to disinvest in cities, the insights in this book are indispensable.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • February 2019
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35654-0
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 272 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverUneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence


Endorsements & Reviews

“Fascinating and provocative.” — Los Angeles Times

“Insightful and engaging.… An excellent introduction to America’s up-and-down urban-violence roller-coaster ride.” — Edward Glaeser, Wall Street Journal

“Admirably connects two stories about the criminal legal system that are usually told separately. One is that the country that Americans live in is safer than it has been for a long time. The other story is that for some citizens, especially African-American men, the country that they live in is not free.” — Paul Butler, New York Times Book Review

Uneasy Peace has enhanced my understanding of the decline in urban violent crime. Compelling too is Sharkey’s discussion of ways to avert a possible new wave of national violence. This well-written and carefully researched book is a must-read for anyone residing in our nation’s cities.” — William Julius Wilson, author of More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City

“Patrick Sharkey explains with accessible precision just how much the massive decline in homicide since the 1990s has mattered to the most vulnerable of city-dwellers, African American men. Sharkey also makes clear why this public health triumph is precarious.… Any student of cities will regard this book as essential reading.” — Tracey L. Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor at Yale Law School

“Patrick Sharkey is the leading young scholar of urban crime and concentrated poverty.… Uneasy Peace is a must-read for mayors, city-builders, urbanists, and all those concerned with building and living in great urban places.” — Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class and The New Urban Crisis