Shadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justice

Rajiv Sethi (Author)

Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
April 15, 2019
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Rajiv Sethi is Professor of Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University, and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He has published widely on stereotypes, segregation, communication, and inequality.


A gripping work full of technical virtuosity, human decency, and moral seriousness.--Glenn Loury, Brown University
Convincing, inspiring, and galvanizing, Shadows of Doubt is a major contribution to the literature on crime, race, and the criminal justice system in the United States.--Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute
Shadows of Doubt is compelling and readable; its message needs to be heard and understood more widely in America, and in the world.--Paul Seabright, Toulouse School of Economics and Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse
This book is extraordinary. I cannot conceive of a more important, judicious, well-reasoned, imaginative, comprehensive contribution to the debates about criminal justice. I hope its influence will be broad, deep, and permanent. Every national, state, and municipal policymaker should not only read but study it, and every active citizen, too, should take in its penetrating analyses of the causes and consequences of mass incarceration. Shadows of Doubt takes the debate to a new level.--Danielle Allen, Harvard University
A comprehensive argument that stereotyping infects virtually all interactions informing America's criminal justice system...The authors also provide smart, sophisticated insights into the conditions that lead to high homicide rates and police use of lethal force...and America's globally unmatched incarceration rate...Illuminating and constructive.--Publishers Weekly (03/11/2019)
Shadows of Doubt is neither timid nor narrow in its approach to many of the key issues of crime and justice facing the U.S. The scope of the book is broad and in most respects it sheds new light on old problems with thoughtful analyses. While most economists are content to focus on a single topic (drugs, capital punishment, guns), O'Flaherty and Sethi employ a comprehensive approach to explaining crime.-- (06/13/2019)
A fantastic and sobering book.--Diane Coyle"Enlightened Economist" (04/28/2019)
Exceptional...Examines our troubled, racist criminal justice system with depth, maturity, pragmatism, and focus.--Scott Page"Crooked Timber" (08/14/2019)
The central thesis of Shadows of Doubt is that stereotypes cause interactions to play out in ways which make those very assumptions self-fulfilling.--Cate Brown"RightsInfo" (10/30/2019)
Important analysis...O'Flaherty and Sethi offer hope that by shifting public discussion and changing the minds and hearts of legislators, errant criminal justice policies just might be reformed.--Choice (09/01/2019)