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Book Launch

Book Talk | Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, The Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence

01/18 Thursday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for a book talk for Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, The Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence. The author Patrick Sharkey will be present in conversation with Matt Desmond and Maya Wiley.

*Please note: seating for this event is first come, first served. An RSVP does not guarantee admission.*

Livestream here.


Over the past two decades, American cities have experienced an astonishing drop in violent crime, dramatically changing urban life. In many cases, places once characterized by decay and abandonment are now thriving, the fear of death by gunshot wound replaced by concern about skyrocketing rents.

In 2014, most U.S. cities were safer than they had ever been in the history of recorded statistics on crime. 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.

Sharkey also delineates the combination of forces, some positive and some negative, that brought about safer streets, from aggressive policing and mass incarceration to the intensive efforts made by local organizations to confront violence in their own communities.

From New York’s Harlem neighborhood to South Los Angeles, Sharkey draws on original data and textured accounts of neighborhoods across the country to document the most successful proven strategies for combatting violent crime and to lay out innovative and necessary approaches to the problem of violence. At a time when crime is rising again and powerful political forces seek to disinvest in cities, the insights in this book are indispensable.


Patrick Sharkey is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at New York University. He is Scientific Director at Crime Lab New York, and is affiliated with NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service. At NYU, Sharkey teaches undergraduate courses on urban policy, crime, and violence, and doctoral courses in statistics and criminology.

Matthew Desmond is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The principal investigator of The Eviction Lab at Princeton, Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography.

Maya Wiley is a nationally renowned expert on racial justice and equity. She has litigated, lobbied the U.S. Congress, and developed programs to transform structural racism in the U.S. and in South Africa. Ms. Wiley is currently the Senior Vice President for Social Justice at the New School and the Henry J. Cohen Professor of Public & Urban Policy. Ms. Wiley holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and a B.A in psychology from Dartmouth College. She resides in Brooklyn with her two daughters and her partner.


Co-sponsored by the NYU Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC)

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