Cover image for Crime in America
Crime in America
Meltzer, Milton, 1915-2009.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow Junior Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
170 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Discusses various aspects of crime in America, including crime in the streets, battered family members, the Mob, and law enforcement.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6789 .M45 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Discusses various aspects of crime in America, including crime in the streets, battered family members, the Mob, and law enforcement.

Author Notes

Historian Milton Meltzer was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1915. He attended Columbia University, but had to leave during his senior year because of the Great Depression. He got a job writing for the WPA Federal Theater Project. During World War II, he served as an air traffic controller in the Army Air Corps. After the war, he worked as a writer for CBS radio and in public relations for Pfizer.

In 1956, he published his first book A Pictorial History of the Negro American, which was co-written by Langston Hughes. They also collaborated on Langston Hughes: A Biography, which was published in 1968 and received the Carter G. Woodson award. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 110 books for young people including Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? about the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression; Never to Forget about the Holocaust; and There Comes a Time about the Civil Rights movement. He also addressed such topics as crime, ancient Egypt, the immigrant experience, labor movements, photography, piracy, poverty, racism, and slavery. He wrote numerous biographies including ones on Mary McLeod Bethune, Lydia Maria Child, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Sanger, and Henry David Thoreau. He received the 2000 Regina Medal and the 2001 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his body of work and his lasting contribution to children's literature. He died of esophageal cancer on September 19, 2009 at the age of 94.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-10. Meltzer describes a criminal as "a person who does something society defines as going beyond the limits of legally accepted behavior." In his excellent survey of crime, law enforcement, and the justice system, he uses that definition to cover a broad spectrum of situations, ranging from violence in the home and on the streets to organized crime to corporate and governmental offenses. While statistics and examples relate frequently to crime in New York City (most are gleaned from the New York Times), they still help to put matters into perspective. Meltzer carefully explains the roles of judges, juries, and lawyers, including both the strengths and the weaknesses of our judicial system. He argues most interestingly that the rise in crime is due to a general loss of moral values, and he underlines education and acceptance of individual responsibility as the ways to respond. A glossary, an afterword on sources, and an index are appended. ~--Candace Smith

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-- First come the grim statistics, and then the varieties: violence on the streets and in homes, drug-related crimes, the Mafia, government and business fraud, insider trading--all presented with facts and anecdotal specifics. All of this is overwhelming and at some points even misleading as in the chapter that discusses rape and date rape. However, the last third of the book is worth waiting for. The discussion of the apprehension of suspected criminals and the workings of the courts is insightful and expertly written, and demonstrates analysis to match the material. Meltzer paints the picture of a society at odds with itself, working with adversarial institutions seemingly contradicting their stated purposes. His chapter on prisons only heightens the dilemma. In his final chapter, ``What Can Be Done,'' he sharpens the focus and shows the uniquely American nature of what is truly a crisis. An ambitious and at least partly successful introduction to a less-than-uplifting topic. --Steve Matthews, Foxcroft School, Middleburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.