How has America's over-emphasis on the pursuit of materialistic gain contributed to the it's high rate of violent crime? CRIME AND THE AMERICAN DREAM is an easy-to-understand book that offers clear coveral of criminological theory, using institutional anomie theory as a foundation.
Using current statistics and analysis of crime rates to develop their theory, Messner (sociology, SUNY, Albany) and Rosenfeld (sociology, U. of Missouri, St. Louis) advance the argument that exceptionally high crime rates in the US are due to distinctive sociological patterns, in particular, the formula for the American Dream<-->a strong emphasis on the goal of monetary success and a weak emphasis on the importance of the legitimate means for the pursuit of success. They conclude with a proposal for a mature society built on mutual support and collective obligations. This new edition addresses recent drops in crime rates and is updated throughout. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)