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Book and Media Reviews
September 14, 2011

Confronting Violence: Answering Questions about the Epidemic Destroying America's Homes and Communities

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix (joelthed@aol.com).

JAMA. 2011;306(10):1145-1146. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1302

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this book is the application of a public health perspective to interpersonal violence and suicide, a perspective with which I enthusiastically agree. Indeed, it represents society's only hope of getting a handle on this peculiarly American phenomenon and, more importantly, on how to reduce it. The United States' 40-year experiment in mass incarceration has had little direct effect on reducing violent crime. Worse, its indirect effects may have increased risk and helped produce a generation of poor, largely fatherless minority children and unhirable ex-convicts who were already at a vocational disadvantage. George Gellert's preventive, public health perspective provides readers with the information needed to reduce violence at its source.