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.

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...

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...

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...

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).

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...

Develop the Economy, Don't Just Grow It

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development. Herman E. Daly. 253 pp. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996. Although I've never met him, I must admit: economist Herman...

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?”
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.

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...

Community Development Finance in Perspective

Credit Unions, Community Development Finance, and the Great Recession, Clifford Rosenthal, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco working paper, February 2012.
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.

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.

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,...

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....

Fleeced Again… Plundering Our Elders

Review of Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse

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 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...

Economic Security First

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

This Book Changes Everything

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

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.

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,...

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.
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?

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...

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....

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,...

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....

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.

Designing Affordable Housing

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

The New Urban Leaders (by Joyce Ladner)

The New Urban Leaders, by Joyce Ladner. Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C., 2001. 135 pp. $22.95. Kent Amos was an IBM executive who, with his...

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...

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...

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...

Layers of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity Interactive, landofopportunityinteractive.com

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...

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...

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.

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.

Lessons from L.A.'s Progressive Coalitions

The Next L.A.: The Struggle for a Livable City, by Robert Gottlieb, Mark Vallianatos, Regina M. Freer and Peter Dreier, University of California Press,...

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,...
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.

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).

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).

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...

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). ...

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....

In Land We Trust

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

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...

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,...

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.

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...

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...

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....

Getting Beyond Growth at Any Price

The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy, by Michael Lewis and Pat Conaty. New Society Publishers, 2012, 400 pp., $26.95. I must admit...

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...

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...
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.

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).

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...

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....

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...

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...

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....

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...

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 cover show a black and white photo of people gathered in front of a high rise building

Public Housing Residents as Activists

In the 1990s, a group I co-founded, the Eviction Defense Network, was asked by public housing residents to organize alongside them during the HOPE...

Remaking Public Housing

Charter Oak Terrace: Life, Death and Rebirth of a Public Housing Project, David Radcliffe. 194 pp. Hartford, CT: Southside Media, 1998. As housing...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...
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.

Helping Consumers Become "Swindle-Proof"

The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Manufactured Homes and Land: How to find a reputable dealer and negotiate a fair price on the best kept...

Taking Action Against Wage Theft

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

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...

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.

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.

Who’s After the Park?

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

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...
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.
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?
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?

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.

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...
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.

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.

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.

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).

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...

Learning from San Francisco’s Housing Movement

From Urban Renewal and Displacement to Economic Inclusion: San Francisco Affordable Housing Policy 1978-2012, by Marcia Rosen and Wendy Sullivan. National Housing Law Project...

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 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:...

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...

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.

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

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...