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.

Taking Action Against Wage Theft

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

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 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

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...

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).

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...

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...

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).

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?”
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 Voyeur’s View

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

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...

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....

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...
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.

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...

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...

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...

Layers of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity Interactive, landofopportunityinteractive.com
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.

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...

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...
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.

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...

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....

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...

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....

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). ...

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...
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?

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...

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...

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.

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...

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....

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 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 this book changes everything

This Book Changes Everything

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

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...

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...
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?

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,...

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 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.

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.

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.

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...

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...

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...
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...

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.

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 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...

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...

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...

Who’s After the Park?

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

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).

In Land We Trust

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

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

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.

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

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

Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America by Randy Shaw. University of California Press, 2018, 304 pp., $18.20 hardcover. Purchase a copy at https://amzn.to/2BtF11h

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....

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.

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,...

The Next Move is Always Ours

Gale Force: Gale Cincotta: The Battles for Disclosure and Community Reinvestment, by Michael Westgate with Ann Vick-Westgate, Education and Resources Group, 2011, 416 pp. $20.00 (paper). Available on Amazon.

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...

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...
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.

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...
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.

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.

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.)

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.

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 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 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...

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...

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.

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 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.

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...

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...

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.

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...

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.

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).
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.

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:...

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...

What the Mermaid Taught Me

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

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...

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,...

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.

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...

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....