Gangs, guns, crack, Guardian Angels, police-chief mayors, and other major issues are succinctly characterized in this well-balanced summary of street crime and justice. Brown even manages to make sense of the various age-, race-, and poverty-based explanations of the crime epidemic, with appropriate cautions about overly broad generalizations. He also clearly summarizes its political effects and the role of news-media crime reporting and court rulings on civil and criminal rights. Illustrations are sharp, clear, and colorful, with informative captions and effective layouts; boxed insets highlight dramatic situations like citizen videotaping of police misconduct and graph statistics. But briefly summarizing the approaches that haven't worked leaves Brown with a weak finish: the crack epidemic might fade, preventive measures against poverty might help, but we don't know what other changes will be needed. Perhaps this clear, readable account will inspire readers to come up with better solutions. Chronology; further reading; index.