The Criminal and His Allies

The Criminal and His Allies

The Criminal and His Allies

The Criminal and His Allies

Excerpt

To every man and woman in America this book is a call to action. Its notes are trumpet toned.

For about ten years, or particularly since the close of the World War, it has been a popular pastime in the United States to write and speak of a "crime wave." The very phrase that is used suggests the attitude of the country toward the problem, which has been treated as if it were a temporary, passing hysteria, chargeable to the shell-shocked condition of all humanity after the great conflict in Europe, or to the suddenly-imposed prohibition laws in the United States, or to some other factor more or less remote. The word "wave" connotes in the public mind, consciously or unconsciously, something that ebbs and flows; and the popular conception of the high tide of lawlessness now assailing life and property all over the land is that it is bound to subside; that it will be succeeded in due course by a low tide, and thus maintain the average of safety and good order.

This conception is not only false, but it is dangerous. It is not a temporary wave, rising and receding, with which we have to deal. Nor will it do to charge the present orgy of crime in this country to any specific antecedent. As for the World War, there were about as many people murdered in the United States while the conflict was going on in Europe as there were American soldiers lost on the battle-fields. As for prohibition, the steady increase in major crimes, which have clogged the dockets of the courts, has kept . . .

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