Plummeting crime rates were front-page headlines throughout the 1990s, but criminologists have yet to provide a satisfactory explanation for this historically unprecedented decline. This new text fills that gap by using published research and available data to assess the various explanations offered by law-enforcement officials, political leaders, and criminologists in the New York Times during the 1990s. Why Crime Rates Fell also assesses the validity of the explanations offered in the newspaper for the decline in crime rates. Hypotheses put forth by political leaders, law-enforcement officials, and criminologists are assessed using published research and available data. The author's goal is to provide understanding of why crime rates fell in order to point the way to measures that can save more lives and property. This new text will teach undergraduates what criminologists have discovered about the causes of crime and show them how research can be used to understand a social phenomenon that has received extensive media coverage in recent years. One reviewer describes it as ...a much needed breath of air in criminology. It is well-written, extremely timely, academically sound, and statistically documented-the manuscript addresses the major topics and issues surrounding fluctuations in crime rates. The examples are good and the [text] challenges critical thinking skills and objectivity of the reader.