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Public Safety

The War on Cops How the new attack on law and order makes everyone less safe

By Heather Mac Donald

This is a book that can save lives.

Thomas Sowell

About the Book

Violent crime has been rising sharply in many American cities after two decades of decline. While many experts may be puzzled, Heather Mac Donald’s longstanding argument continues to hold true: with cops under attack, it’s no coincidence that violent crime is on the rise.

Mac Donald gives voice to the many residents of high-crime neighborhoods who want proactive policing. She warns that race-based attacks on the criminal-justice system are eroding the authority of law and putting lives at risk. This New York Times bestseller is a call for a more honest and informed debate about policing, crime, and race.


The War on Cops is an important and timely book. Mac Donald’s clear-eyed analysis separates fact from fiction and provides keen insights into the politics at play and the consequences for law-enforcement officers and the communities they are sworn to protect.”
— Ray Kelly, Former Commissioner of the New York City Police Department

“If you have heard the rhetoric on all sides of the issues involving the police, and would like some facts to put that rhetoric to the test, there is no better source than The War on Cops. Whether you want facts about the explosive events in Ferguson, Missouri, or in Baltimore, or you want to know why murder rates in New York City fell sharply in the 1990s, this is the place to find solid information. If you want to understand the role of race in all this, that, too, is documented with data. This is a book that can save lives.”
— Thomas Sowell, The Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

“Heather Mac Donald has made an indispensable contribution to our public debates with her incisive and critical reporting on the thorny issues of race, crime, and policing in America’s big cities. Time and again, I have found myself turning to her writings for guidance. While I do not always agree with what I find, I often do. Moreover, I am invariably edified. All serious students of urban America today should read this book and reckon with its arguments.”
— Glenn C. Loury, The Merton P. Stolz Professor of the Social Sciences, Brown University

“Heather Mac Donald is an unsung hero in the transformation of New York into the safest large city in the United States. Her essays helped to lay out the rationale that gave me and my police commissioners guidance during the largest continuous reduction in crime ever accomplished in our city and nation. This book is a necessary read for anyone wondering what is happening in ‘the capital of the world.’ ”
The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City

The War on Cops offers a perspective that supporters of law enforcement have long been waiting for. It is informed by street-level reporting, knowledge of real-world policing, and empirical research. Unlike many in academia and journalism, Mac Donald understands that assertive policing protects law-abiding poor—and often minority—citizens trapped in ghettos where violence and crime are unfortunately making a comeback.”
— Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

“Thank you for your continued support and defense of police officers. Your courage in reporting the facts is inspirational and admirable.”
— Richard Wells, President, Police Conference of New York

“In our training Calibre Press uses your segment from Fox news as well as your testimony before Congress in an effort to educate our officers about the true statistics of the profession regarding use of force and our positive impact in the community.  And of course we endorse your incredible book, The War on Cops.  Keep up the great and honest work!”
— Lt. Jim Glennon (Ret.), Owner, Calibre Press

“It's refreshing to have someone willing to present facts and argue from a position of statistical data, as opposed to emotion. Thank you for a being a friend of law enforcement.”
— Brian Clay, Missouri Police Officer

“Thanks for bringing forward the truth regarding law enforcement and exposing the ‘spin’ used by the Obama administration, the media, and the far-left.”
— Scott Buck, Minnesota Police Officer

About the Author

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal, where she reports on crime, culture, race, and education. Congress has asked her to testify on sentencing reform, policing, and immigration, and she is frequently invited on Fox News, CNN, and other TV and radio programs.


The POLITICO 50 Reading List (recommended by Steven H. Cook, U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General)

AG Sessions Praises Heather Mac Donald (June 26, 2018. Video via CBS Los Angeles)