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Documenting America's War On Crime From Within

Urban sociologist Alice Goffman decided to study the effects of America’s war on crime by living in a Philadelphia neighborhood for six years.

She witnessed first-hand the stops, searches, raids and beatings that many of the young men of that neighborhood routinely faced.

She experienced firsthand what it was like to be interrogated by the police and what happens when a SWAT team breaks down your door. And she witnessed a young man get killed as he left her car.

Goffman published her research in the 2014 book “On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City,” which is out in paperback today.

Here & Now’s Robin Young spoke with Goffman in May 2014; today we revisit that conversation.


  • Alice Goffman, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “On the Run.”

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