Body Count: Moral Poverty...and How to Win America's War Against Crime and Drugs

William J. Bennett, Author, John P. Walters, With, John J. Dilulio, Jr., With Simon & Schuster $23.5 (271p) ISBN 978-0-684-83225-8
The authors bring vast amounts of varied expertise to the problems of crime and drugs in America. Bennett (The Moral Compass) was head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Bush administration; DiIulio is a professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton; Walters directs the Council on Crime in America. Jointly, they offer a depressing analysis of the growing crime problem in the U.S., treating subjects like gun control (they are for it), incarceration and the death penalty (they believe both are applied capriciously), alcohol abuse (they feel it is underestimated as a cause of crime) and drug abuse (they are alarmed it is on the rise after declining steadily between 1980 and 1992). Most shocking to them is the neglect of children: many parents do not want them or do not want to raise them; many schools do not educate them; many government agencies are too inundated to assist them. All this is giving rise to what the authors call ""superpredators,"" kids from 13 to 16 who apparently feel nothing as they kill, rob or rape. Refraining from any rigorous systemic or economic analyses, they ascribe this sad state of affairs to moral poverty and think that religion offers the best solution. Like Elikann, above, the authors argue their case intelligently, and with conviction. BOMC alternate. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
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