Reviews

If you have a book, film, or report that you would like us to consider reviewing, please contact us at articles@shelterforce.org. We cannot promise to review every item that we receive a review copy of. If you would like to be a reviewer, please contact us at articles@shelterforce.org with a brief description of your experience and what you are interested in reviewing.

A New Way to Do Affirmative Action?

I was prepared to dislike Sheryll Cashin’s Place, Not Race, just based on the title. However, the author largely won me over.

A Voyeur’s View

The author's treatment of race is, at best, contradictory and, at worst, hypocritical and probably the book’s great failing.

Economic Security First

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. Times Books, 2013

Diversity Is Good for Everyone

How Non-Minority Students Also Benefit from Racially Diverse Schools, by Genevieve Siegel-Hawley.National Coalition of School Diversity Research Brief #8, October 2012.
The cover for the book, "I Got Schooled" by M. Night Shyamalan.

Filmmaker Needs to Look at the Whole Picture

I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Moviemaker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America’s Achievement Gap, by M. Night Shyamalan. Simon & Schuster. 306 pp. $25.00 (hardcover). Purchase here.

It’s Not Actually About Ownership

Private Property and Public Power: Eminent Domain in Philadelphia, by Debbie Becher. Oxford University Press, 2014. 334pp. $30.50 (paper) Purchase here.

Dispatches from Whose City?

City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis, edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb. N + 1. 2015, 496pp, $18 (paper). Purchase here.

Review of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime & Resistance in the Heart Of San Francisco

I learned about the history of the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s maligned neighborhood, through walks in it with my Great Uncle, Milton Hendrick, and listening...

Habits of the Heart

Habits of the Heart, by Robert Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton. 1986. Berkeley, California, University of California Press. Updated...

Adding to What We Know

The Rise of Residential Segregation by Income, by Richard Fry and Paul Taylor. Pew Research Center, August 2012.

Predatory Bender

Predatory Bender: A Story of Subprime Finance, by Matthew Lee. Inner City Press. 2004. 360 pp. $19.95 (paperback).www.atlasbooks.com or www.innercitypress.org/books.html. I have to...

Homes and Hands

How do community land trusts (CLTs) work? Can they be created in small as well as large communities? Do they require building or rehabbing...
Rubin cover, Advocacy for Social Change

Advocacy for Social Change: Coalitions and the Organizations that Lead Them

Many books discuss the corrosive effect of money in politics and lobbying organizations, but few are devoted to how those representing the have-nots organize on a national level to fight for laws and regulations that seek to empower communities.
cover this book changes everything

This Book Changes Everything

Book Review: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

We May Be Small, But…

Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World, by Catherine Tumber. MIT Press, 2012

Building Communities, Building Careers

A Guide to Careers in Community Development, by Paul C. Brophy and Alice Shabecoff. Island Press, 2001. 309 pp. $17.05. I come to this book...

Pro-Integrative Housing

The Suburban Racial Dilemma: Housing and Neighborhoods, by W. Dennis Keating, 1994 Philadelphia: Temple University Press.  288 pp $49.95 cloth, $22.95 paper Reviewed by Donald...
The cover of The One-Way Street of Integration by Edward Goetz.

Fair Housing Policy Approaches Exacerbate Inequality

A review of The One-Way Street of Integration: Fair Housing and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in American Cities, by Edward G. Goetz.

The Housing Crisis: How Did We Get Here? Where Do We Go?

In early October 2008, The Kirwan Institute hosted a national summit on subprime lending, foreclosure, and race. We didn't know it when we were planning the event, but a series of unfolding economic events spurred by our nation's housing crisis would have our government contemplating a $700 billion financial sector bailout on the eve of our convening.

Fleeced Again… Plundering Our Elders

Review of Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse

Holding America to its Commitment

The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and His Legacy. Produced by the Chicago Video Project and Media Process Educational Films, 1999, Time: 56:40. $225 purchase;...
A black and white photo of children playing at New Communities in Georgia, the largest African-American owned parcel of land in the U.S. in the 1960s.

Continuing the Dream

New Communities Inc. was the largest African-American owned parcel of land in the United States the late 1960s. For more than 15 years, it survived attempts at sabotage and other challenges thanks to the collective efforts of as many as 500 families.

After the Election

America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty and Our Democracy, by Gar Alperovitz. 2nd edition, Democracy Collaborative, 2011, 372 pp. $11.53 (paper).

The Fortress of Solitude

The Fortress of Solitude, by Jonathan Lethem. Doubleday. 2003. 528 pp. $26 (hardcover). When I first read excerpts from Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress...

School and Community: Repairing the Bridge

Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform by Jean Anyon. 217 pp. New York: Teachers College Press, 1997, $18.95 Waiting for a Miracle:...
The book cover for The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism By Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak.

The Fate, and Power, of Cities: A Review of The New Localism

The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism by Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak. Brookings Institution Press, 2018, 304 pp., $25.99 hardcover, also available on e-book. Purchase a copy at brook.gs/2LOjunA

In It Together

The latest book by Bill McKibben, the well-known environmental journalist and activist, poses a provocative question for community economic developers: How do we improve...

Weaving Storytelling and Theory

Renewing Hope Within Neighborhoods of Despair, by Herbert J. Rubin. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY. 2000. 280 pp. Herbert Rubin, a sociology...

Middle-Class Anger Examined

Boiling Point: Democrats, Republicans and the Decline of Middle-Class Prosperity  by Kevin Phillips, 307 pp. New York: Random House. 1993. The 1992 federal elections...

In Land We Trust

The Community Land Trust Reader, edited by John Emmeus Davis. Lincoln Institute, 2010, 616 pp. $35 (paper).

Thirty Years of Pablo: In His Own Words

Challenges for Nonprofits and Philanthropy: The Courage to Change – Three Decades of Reflections, by Pablo Eisenberg, edited by Stacy Palmer. Tufts University Press,...

Creating Your Employee Handbook

Creating Your Employee Handbook, by Leyna Bernstein and the Management Center, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000. 256 pp. Need an employee manual, but don't know...

A Resource for Well-Meaning Landlords

When I picked up Peter Shapiro’s book The Good Landlord: A Guide to Making a Profit While Making a Difference, my first thought was, “What happens when you can’t do both, or have to choose one over the other?”

Occupied Owner

For decades, the United States government, pushed by its business partners in the financial and real estate world, "marched the nation into a delusion." The fantasy is that we can create wealth for millions of homeowners by enriching investors, brokerage and mortgage companies and Wall Street bankers "to the fullest extent possible with few boundaries."

Telling the Community Development Story

Comeback Cities, by Paul Grogan and Tony Proscio. Westview Press (www.westviewpress.com). 2000. 285 pp. $17 (paperback). House by House, Block by Block, by Alexander von...

Finding a Comprehensive Vision for Neighborhoods and Families

Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America by Lisbeth B. Schorr. Doubleday: New York 1997. 482 pp. Since Ronald Reagan was elected President,...
baltimore maryland

What Future For America’s Small Cities?

These books not only offer something of a window on what is—or is not—going on in small cities, but useful pointers for practitioners working in the types of cities described.

Designing Affordable Housing

Good design and affordability are not mutually exclusive, but finding help to bring these two together can be tough.

Timeline: A History of Community Development Policy in America

Timeline: A History of Community Development Policy in America, from Development Training Institute. 2001. 90 minutes. $39.95 410-338-2512; info@dtinational.org. Capturing the dynamism and influence of...

The Housing Affordability Crisis: Progressive Responses

Shelter Burden: Local Politics and Progressive Housing Policy by Edward G. Goetz.  250 pp.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1993. $39.95 (cloth) Shelter Poverty: New Ideas...

Building the Progressive City

Making change is not always easy, even when “your candidate” wins. Activists in City Hall looks at two well-known progressive city administrations and the way that activists working for them did and didn’t achieve their goals.

Class Ties That Bind

Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists, by Betsy Leondar-Wright. New Society Publishers, 2005, 192 pp. $18.95 (paperback). Just as I was...

Civil Society and Democracy at Crossroads

A Place for Us: How To Make Society Civil and Democracy Strong by Benjamin Barber. Hill and Wang, 1998. 172 pp. Between the two great...

Lots of Maps, Little Insight in Richard Florida’s Latest

The New Urban Crisis treats a complicated and demanding subject with depressing inadequacy, offering little or nothing in the way of constructive, creative insights or strategies for advocates or practitioners seeking to combat these trends.

Some of Us Shall Not Be Moved

This collection of moving accounts of post-Katrina neighborhood recovery lacks both solid political and structural context and marignalized viewpoints.

Let’s Hear From the Field

Investing in What Works for America's Communities, edited by Nancy O. Andrews and David J. Erickson. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Low Income Investment Fund, 2012, 419 pp. Free ebook.

The Community Economic Development Handbook

The Community Economic Development Handbook: Strategies and Tools to Revitalize Your Neighborhood, by Mihailo Temali. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (www.wilder.org). 2002. 288 pp. $35...

A Brief Triumph for Progressive Housing Policy

Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era by Gail Radford. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. 273 pp. Until the Depression,...

A Review of The Fight for Fair Housing

The collection of 17 essays captures and explains the dynamism of the fair housing movement with its remarkable contributors.

A Community Whodunit

The Long Stair: An Albany Mystery, by Kirby White. Fox Creek Press, 2005, 220 pp. $15 (paperback). The Long Stair is available for $15...

Joy and Justice

Community Projects as Social Activism: From Direct Action to Direct Services, by Benjamin Shepard. Sage Publications, 2014. 253pp. Reviewed by Matthew Borus. Purchase here.

Magical Urbanism

Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. Big City, By Mike Davis Verso Press, June 2000 129 pp. Globalization is the overarching theme of our times....

Mission-Based Management

Mission-Based Management – Leading Your Not-For-Profit into the 21st Century by Peter C. Brinckerhoff. (Alpine Guild, Inc., P.O. Box 4846-D, Dillon, CO 80435. 800-869-9559....

Taking the Measure of Community

Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing, by James DeFilippis, Robert Fisher, and Eric Shragge. Rutgers University Press, 2010, 208 pp. $25.95 (paper).

Getting Back to the Basics

Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life, by Theda Skocpol. University of Oklahoma Press, 2003, 366 pp, $29.95 (hardcover). The...

Changing Rules of Regional Development?

Inside Game/Outside Game: Winning Strategies for Urban America, by David Rusk. Brookings Institution Press, 1999. 384 pp. David Rusk's book, Inside Game/Outside Game, is a...
Cover image of Race, Class, and Politics in The Cappuccino City.

A D.C. Neighborhood’s Transformation From “Chocolate” to “Cappuccino”

To longtime residents of D.C., the findings presented in Derek Hyra’s Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City—that gentrifying neighborhoods’ racial and economic diversity does not translate into integration—is likely not surprising.

The State of Vacant Property Registration

“Local Vacant Property Registration Ordinances in the U.S.: An Analysis of Growth, Regional Trends, and Some Key Characteristics,” by Dan Immergluck, Yun Sang Lee...

Joyful Journey

Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted Out Cities, by Mindy Thompson Fullilove, M.D. New Village Press, 2013, 333pp. $19.95 (paper).

Community Control Without Tears

Organizing for Community Controlled Development: Renewing Civil Society, by Patricia Watkins Murphy and James V. Cunningham. Sage Publications. 2003. 360 pp. $42.95 (paperback). ...

Guides for Tenants, Landlords, and Neighbors

Every Landlord's Legal Guide by Marcia Stewart, Janet Portman, and Ralph Warner. $29.95 Every Tenant's Legal Guide by Janet Portman and Marcia Stewart. $24.95 Neighbor Law...
mallach book cover

Can Cities Fix Their Polarization Problem? A Review of The Divided City

How different would cities look and how different would people’s lives be if those with the power to set policy and invest resources prioritized the most vulnerable residents and the neighborhoods they live in?

Ghetto Salvation

How the Other Half Worships, by Camilo Jose Vergara. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 2005, 304 pp. $49.95 (clothbound). Suppose an alien came to...

From the Puritans to the Projects

From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Publlic Neighbors, by Lawrence J. Vale. Howard University Press , 2000 392 pp. Exclusionary zoning, middle...

The Future of Public Housing, Lessons from England

Managing the Money Side: Financial Management for Community-Based Housing Organizations The Institute for Community Economics' newest book on financial management for community-based housing development organizations...

Recovering from the Recovery

"Happening to a city near you" is the unsettling tag line for Land of Opportunity, a film that takes an intimate look at post-Katrina New Orleans and the interrelated struggles of those navigating it.

The Local-Global Grassroots Connection

Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital, by James DeFilippis. Routledge, 2004. 188 pp. $24.95 (paperback). Contours of Descent, by Robert...

Business Consultants for Everyone

Ripples from the Zambezi: Passion, Entrepreneurship, and the Rebirth of Local Economies, Ernesto Sirolli. New Society Publishers, 1999. 151 pp. Cloth: $14.95.   ...
The spires and statue atop an old bank building.

The Community Reinvestment Act at 40: A Careful Review of the Reviews

A review of HUD's Cityscape issue, which is devoted to reviews and studies of the Community Reinvestment Act at its 40th anniversary.

A Gift of Hope: Peter Dreier’s Social Justice Hall of Fame

If you are looking for a great holiday gift, consider Peter Dreier’s timely new book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A...

Who’s After the Park?

Edge of Albany: A Warren Crow Mystery, by Kirby White. Fox Creek Press, 2012. 218pp. $20 (paper).

How a City Was Changed Forever

City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco, by Chester Hartman with Sarah Carnochan. Revised and Updated Edition. University of California Press, 2002. 432...

Courting Racial Justice

Our Town: Race, Housing, and the Soul of Suburbia. By David L. Kirp, John P. Dwyer and Larry Rosenthal. Illustrated. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers...
organize mural

Organizers: There’s No Shortcut to Success

Overcoming the ideology of individualism and corporate power is achieved not through framing or advocacy but through the experience of collective struggle. A review of "No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age" by Jane McAlevey.

Lessons from a Chicago Saga

After five summers of urban riots, the Kerner Commission Report of 1968 warned of two separate societies-black and white, separate and unequal. It called...

Are Poor Families Stuck in Place?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a review of a new book by the Brookings Institution called Confronting Suburban Poverty in America that highlights...

Faith-Based Management

Faith-Based Management: Leading Organizations that are Based on More than Just Mission. By Peter C. Brinckerhoff. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 1999, 250pp. Peter Brinckerhoff,...

Organizing the South Bronx

IAF Challenges the South Bronx Organizing the South Bronx, by Jim Rooney. 1995. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. 283 pages. $14.95. (paper) In...

Advocacy Proposal or Call to Do Nothing Some More?

Sharing the Pain and Gain in the Housing Market: How Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Can Prevent Foreclosures and Protect Taxpayers by Combining Principal Reductions with "Shared Appreciation," John Griffith and Jordan Eizenga, Center for American Progress, March 2012.

The Rebirth of Urbanism

City: Urbanism and Its End, by Douglas Rae. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003. 432 pp. $30.00 (hardcover). My reaction to Douglas Rae’s City:...
A dark-haired man with a mustache wearing a suit stands with multiple reporters sticking microphones in his face. Over the black and white photo are large red block letters saying "Show Me a Hero." Smaller type gives author Lisa Belkin and notes the book is now an HBO show.

How Well Did Yonkers Fair Housing Measures Work?

Across the United States since the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, only a handful of lawsuits have challenged systematic racial discrimination...
Cover of book

Meltdown: The Financial Crisis, Consumer Protection, and the Road Forward

In 2010, the scattered enforcement of consumer protection and fair lending laws across several agencies would end. The CFPB would have broad oversight over banks and non-banks, and though not perfect, this model has produced some impressive results.

Data Says Inclusionary Housing Does Foster Economic Integration

Review of Is Inclusionary Zoning Inclusionary?, by Heather L. Schwartz, Liisa Ecola, Kristin J. Leuschner, Aaron Kofner. Rand Corporation, 2012. Long time advocates of inclusionary...

Too High to Pay

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, by Joseph Stiglitz. Norton & Company, Inc., June 2012, 448 pp. $27.95 (cloth).

Review of Hands to Work: The Stories of Three Families Racing the Welfare Clock,...

Hands to Work: The Stories of Three Families Racing the Welfare Clock, by LynNell Hancock, William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2002. 320 pp. $13.95 (Paperback, available December...

Book Review (Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods, Reinventing Cities)

The Last Best Hope: Planners and Organizers Work To Empower Residents Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods, edited by W. Dennis Keating, Norman Krumholtz, Philip Star. 1996, University Press...
graduation

Small Investments Can Yield Big Returns. Review of A Few Thousand Dollars

Over a dozen stories of how Americans from all different backgrounds have managed to leverage a few thousand dollars to lead lives that have helped thousands of other people, and strategies to reinvigorate a movement to influence asset building policy nationally.

Advancing Power

Transforming the City: Community Organizing and the Challenge of Political Change, edited by Marion Orr. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2007, 264 pp....

Cities Revive, But What About the People?

Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival, by Paul Grogan and Tony Proscio. Westview Press, Boulder, CO 2000. 285 pp. $25. Community developers owe...

At Home in a Changing World

Making a Place for Community: Local Democracy in a Global Era, by Thad Williamson, David Imbroscio and Gar Alperovitz. Taylor & Francis, Inc., 2003....

A New Way to Explore Participatory Action Research

Research for Organizing Toolkit, a web-based tool by Alexa Kasdan, Lindsay Cattell, and Rosten Woo for the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center, 2012.

Paradise Lost

When Public Housing Was Paradise: Building Community in Chicago, by J.S. Fuerst. University of Illinois Press. 2004. 264 pp. $20 (paperback). When the...
Book cover showing row house with US capitol dome in background and title It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty

Fighting Poverty as a Nation

The dramatic changes in federal and state antipoverty programs are leading to renewed interest in policies and strategies for reducing poverty. Borrowing from the...
Miracle on 42nd Street movie poster

Miracle on 42nd Street: A Tale of Artist Housing

The story behind a bold idea to create a subsidized housing community for artists in a New York City neighborhood.

Uncertain Future in the Absence of Planning

Planning Chicago, by D. Bradford Hunt and Jon B. DeVries. APA Planners Press, 2013, 352 pp. $34.95.

Layers of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity Interactive, landofopportunityinteractive.com

Boom – The Sound of Eviction

Boom - The Sound of Eviction (96 minutes, 2002), a documentary directed by Francine Cavanaugh, A. Mark Liiv, and Adams Wood. Individuals $20 donation...

Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street

  Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street , 58 minute video produced by Leah Mahan and Mark Lipman, Holding Ground Productions, will be aired on...
cover of "City of Segregation" by Andrea Gibbons

The Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles: A Review of City of Segregation

Andrea Gibbons’ "City of Segregation" (2018) shows why empowering capitalist processes and actors is the last thing we should do to fight gentrification.

Radical Liberals

Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life, by Robert B. Reich (2007, Knoph, New York) and The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity, by Robert Kuttner (2007, Knoph, New York.)