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James Q. Wilson's Rise to Fame

HARWOOD - 1975 - Debunking the Mythology of Crime.pdf

“Debunking the Mythology of Crime”, the Wall Street Journal’s feature article on Wilson published in 1975, highlighted the intellectual and political appeal of Wilson’s thoughts on the great crime debate of the 1970s. This snapshot of public reaction toward Wilson’s arguments illuminated how and why Wilson rose to prominence as the intellectual powerhouse behind “tough on crime” policies enacted under the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. The author, Edwin Harwood, explained how Wilson’s perspective on the problems of crime differed from traditional liberal and conservative camps. Specifically, Harwood described how Wilson’s “contribution to the series of seasoned and scholarly challenges to the liberal perspective…offers refreshing insights into the crime problem that go beyond the stereotyped either-or policy choices of liberals and conservatives.”[1]

[1] Harwood, Edwin. “Debunking the Mythology of Crime (1975).” Wall Street Journal  (1923 -Current File). July 7, 1975.

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