Praise for book at British Library, 16 July 2013

Launch of Crime book at the British Library 16th July

This book is a classic
Lord Taverne, ex-Home Office minister

This book is simply brilliant. It is a classic, a book in the same mould as The Selfish Gene. Scrupulously researched with a passion that evidence should trump political correctness, whatever the cost. It is simply the most important book on crime I have ever seen. It should be on every home secretary’s desk.

It should be in every airport bookshop
Prof Richard Wortley, UCL

This is a book I wish I had written, except it is much better than anything I could have produced. This is an academic book. It just doesn’t read like one. And that is where its brilliance lies. ‘Crime’ is written in the best traditions of the popular science genre. It should be in every airport bookshop.

It attacks some of the sacred cows of both the left and the right. As you will all be too well aware, Nick Ross has paid the price for this in the media. It seems pretty clear to me that much of the reporting comprised willful and scurrilous misinterpretation of what he actually said. And I am afraid to say there were too many commentators from the chattering classes willing to jump on the bandwagon without ever going to the bother of actually reading the book. Their herd-like behaviour was shameful. They betrayed the fundamental principle of informed and reasoned debate.

Puts many full-time academics to shame
Prof Ken Pease, Loughborough, UCL

Ross is a seriously classy and talented bloke. And brave. He brings the naiveté of a little boy who noticed that the Emperor was naked. He thinks people should be able to have grown-up debates about anything. I winced at sensible but controversial passages as he explores arguments that you aren’t supposed to. What happened to him during serialisation was the sad consequence of that. It was a twitchhunt.

So what does the book provide? I can tell you that:

  • It was researched with a thoroughness that puts many full-time academics to shame.
  • It makes challenging things highly accessible, with a journalist’s skill and a scholar’s rigour.
  • It is a perspective on crime that makes sense.

In short this is a book by a man who wants to change things for the better. In establishing the Jill Dando Institute he has already done that. In writing this book he has done more.

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