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.

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...

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...

Encouraging Middle-Class Homeownership in NYC: a review of New Life at Ground Zero

New Life at Ground Zero: New York, Homeownership, and the Future of American Cities. by Charles J. Orlebecke. Albany, NY: The Rockefeller Institute Press,...

Urban Decline and the Global Economy

Mollie's Job : A Story of Life and Work on the Global Assembly Line, by William M. Adler, Scribner, May 2000. 352pp. $27.50. To understand...
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?

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.)

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 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,...

Capitalizing on Hope in the Capital

It’s as though we’ve suddenly discovered a new form of Prozac called Obama. Miraculously, millions of depressed progressives have the audacity to hope again....

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...

The ABCs of Organizing

I left a perfectly good job in a curtain factory in Holyoke, Mass., in 1971 to work in a neighborhood organization on the south...

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 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...

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,...

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...
The cover of Generation Priced Out by Randy Shaw.

Millennials and the Affordability Crisis: A Review of Generation Priced Out

As tenant struggles become a bigger focus of activist recruitment, Randy Shaw’s new book, Generation Priced Out, is an essential organizing guide.

When Goliath Comes

Promise and Betrayal: Universities and the Battle for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods, by John I. Gilderbloom and R.L. Mullins Jr. Albany: State University of New...

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). ...

The Gentrification Will Be Televised

The North Pole opens discussion between residents of gentrifying neighborhoods and elevates the personal stories and memories of those being displaced.

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...
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.

Well Worth the Read

Reading What It’s Worth was like walking through one of the glorious Asset Learning Conferences that CFED organizes, equipped with a magical Harry Potter wand that allows me to stop and re-work time so I can peer into each workshop at my leisure.

Freedom for the Pike

Book Review: Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust, by Edward M. Gramlich.
Urban Institute Press, 2007, 120 pp. $25.00 (hardcover).

Who’s After the Park?

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

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...

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...

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...

Stories of Change

The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World, edited by Jerilou Hammett and Maggie Wrigley. University of New Mexico Press, November 2013, 328 pp. $49.95 (hardcover).

Redlining Around the World

Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities, by Carl Nightingale. The University of Chicago Press, 2012, 482 pp. $35/$21 (cloth/ebook).

Layers of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity Interactive, landofopportunityinteractive.com

House America Bond Might Not Address Long-term Issues

“A House America Bond for State Housing Finance Agencies: More Affordable Housing for Low- and Moderate-Income Households,” Jordan Eizenga, Center for American Progress, March 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...

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

What the Mermaid Taught Me

Wrestling With Starbucks, by Kim Fellner. Rutgers University
Press, 2008, 283 pp. $24.95 (hardcover).
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.

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.
Navigating Community Development book cover

Honing the “Scale-Up” of Community Development Organizations

If specialization and regionalization are essential to being effective and getting to scale, how does the field execute a multi-pronged strategy needed to address the many factors that affect communities?

Adding to What We Know

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

Developing Future Leaders

Leaders Who Make A Difference: Essential Strategies for Meeting the Nonprofit Challenge, by Burt Nanus and Stephen M. Dobbs. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA 1999....
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.

Born to Score

Born on Third Base: What the Forbes 400 Really Says About Economic Equality and Opportunity in America, United for a Fair Economy. 2012,...
The cover of Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Financial Institution Movement by Clifford N. Rosenthal, Friesen Press

Tracing the Roots of CDFIs: A review of Democratizing Finance

This book is a major contribution to increasing knowledge and awareness of how far the community development finance movement has come in 30 years.

Remembering a Housing Hero

Houser: The Life and Work of Catherine Bauer by H. Peter Oberlander and Eva Newbrun. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, 1999. 320 pp....

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.

The Joy (and Angst) of Organizing

Dynamics of Organizing: Building Power by Developing the Human Spirit, by Shel Trapp. (Self published.) 2003. 144 pp. $20 (paperback.) Available from the National...

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.
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.

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?”

Second Chances

Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-first Century, edited by Robert P. Giloth. Temple University Press in association with The American Assembly, Columbia University, Philadelphia, PA,...

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...

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.

Developing Workers

As community development corporations (CDCs) strive to develop comprehensive strategies to help individuals and families in their communities, they are increasingly turning their attention...

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...
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.

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...

Power, Race, and School Reform

The Color of School Reform: Race, Politics and the Challenge of Urban Education, by Jeffrey R. Henig, Richard C. Hula, Marion Orr, and Desiree...
cover this book changes everything

This Book Changes Everything

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

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.

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...

Fleeced Again… Plundering Our Elders

Review of Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse
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.

Place Matters (Dreier, Mollenkopf, Swanstrom)

Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-First Century, by Peter Dreier, John Mollenkopf and Todd Swanstrom. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2001. 334 pp. This...

Placemaking for, and by, Whom?

Place-Making in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices, prepared by New Solution Group LLC in partnership with Center for Community Progress, December 2013.

The Rules of Engagement

A Voice for Nonprofits, by Jeffrey M. Berry with David F. Arons. Brookings Institution Press, 2003. 210 pp. $26.95 (hardcover). Jeffrey M. Berry...

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...
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.
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.
A building in East Oakland with colorful murals painted on the wall. A graffitied fence is to the right of the building.

Urban Art or Graffiti Vandalism?

Review of Stations of the Elevated, by Manfred Kirchheimer, 1981.

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.

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...
facing segregation book cover

Facing Down Segregation—Half-heartedly or With Steely Determination?

A new book explores the history, impact, and policy solutions to racial segregation.

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.

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...

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;...

Taking Action Against Wage Theft

Wage Theft In America, by Kim Bobo. The New Press, 2009, 336 pp. $17.95 (paperback).

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....

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....

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...

The Long Haul and the Short Haul

No Trespassing: Squatting, Rent Strikes and Land Struggles Worldwide by Anders Corr. South End Press, Cambridge, MA 1999. 256 pp. In 1972, I was placed...

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...

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...

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,...

Designing Affordable Housing

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

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...
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.

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...

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,...
ladders

Measuring the Right Things: “Mobility from Poverty” Is More than Finances

How would you measure someone making progress toward escaping poverty? If you've been tuned in to the asset-building movement you might look at their accumulation of assets and preparation for a financial emergency. You might also want to look at cash flow. But can poverty-fighting be solely measured by money?

In Land We Trust

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

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.

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...

Between Eminence & Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning

Between Eminence & Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning, by Chester Hartman, Center for Urban Policy Research, 2002. 405 pp. $29.95 (Paperback), $39.95...

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).

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...

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...

Citizen Participation, Neighborhood Planning And Empowerment Of The Poor

The Rebirth of Urban Democracy by Jeffrey M. Berry, Kent E. Portney and Ken Thomson. 1993. Washington, DC The Brookings Institution. 326 pp. Cloth...

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.

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."