Hayes proposes a fractured country: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we appreciate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear overrides civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation examines the surge in crime that began in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s, and the unprecedented decline that followed. Drawing on close-hand reporting at flashpoints of racial conflict, as well as deeply personal experiences with policing, Hayes explores cultural touchstones, from the influential “broken windows” theory to the “squeegee men” of late-1980s Manhattan, to show how fear causes us to misjudge options and choices, both in our society and at the personal level.
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