CRIMINAL: THE TRUTH ABOUT WHY PEOPLE DO BAD THINGS was published by Allen Lane in May 2016 and in paperback by Penguin in March 2017.
It’s available on Amazon here and in major bookshops.
Here’s what some nice people are saying about it, including some very kind nominations for 2016 book of the year awards in a few publications.
“Serious… so startling that it is hugely readable” – James McConnachie, The Times Books of the Year
“Clear, compelling… as enlightening about crime in modern society as any book that I have read. It is accessible yet well-referenced, and I read it with pleasure in two sessions.” – Theodore Dalrymple, The Times
“Tom Gash’s Criminal: The Truth about Why People Do Bad Things (Allen Lane) should be read by everybody. What we think are the causes of crime, and the actual causes, tend to be different things, leading to terrible policy prescriptions to “cure” crime.” – Shane O’Mara, Times Higher Education Books of the Year
“A richly researched, supremely sane discussion of the causes of and ways of preventing crime… Gash’s important book may well change your attitude to criminality and the justice system.” – PD Smith, The Guardian
“Tom Gash takes eleven myths favoured by the right or left and does an effective job in demolishing them. By the end you might be persuaded that we don’t need more bobbies on the beat or that crime, despite shocking headlines, isn’t rising” – Robbie Millen, The Times
“An arresting take on crime” – Andrew Neather, The Evening Standard
“Enormously interesting and enlightening… a brilliant book” – Jacqui Smith, former Home Secretary
“Absolutely brilliant book” – Erwin James, author and Editor, Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners and detainees
“This guy is the like the Moneyball of criminal policy” – Tom’s new best friend on twitter
From the back cover
Is crime an immoral choice, eliminated by tough punishment? Or is poverty its main cause, and social reform the remedy? Neither, says Tom Gash. Using the latest research, he demolishes the myths around crime – revealing that it is both far less rational and much easier to reduce than we thought.
Tom Gash is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics. He appears regularly on BBC radio and television, and in print. This is his first book.
The evolving truth about crime
New evidence about what causes crime and what to do about it is emerging all the time, and our understanding should shift as we gain new knowledge. Most of the arguments in my book still stand, I think – but there are a few areas where I might now have a slightly different view or place a different emphasis (I started writing the book in 2008!). I’m also always open to changing my mind as new evidence, arguments and experience comes to light. If you think I’ve missed something – or just want to discuss anything, do connect via social media – particularly twitter.
One thing I think I’ve come to appreciate even more since writing the book is that most people working in the justice system are doing a good job, trying to make the world a safer, better place. We should thank them often, as well as help them find ways of doing even better.
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