How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

"Gentrification" has become a word as dirty and shapeless as "hipster." In this work, Peter Moskowitz gives gentrification clarity and meaning without narrowing its scope. No book on the topic by a single author pulls fewer punches, is more accessible, theoretically comprehensive, or up-to-date than this one. It covers lots of ground (New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York) without becoming a tedium of census numbers and real estate jargon. Moskowitz is a native New Yorker, and like many who grew up here, is both gentrified and gentrifier. He writes for a broad audience, filling in blanks for the uninitiated, and critiquing the conventional wisdom of planning departments nationwide. The facts are at times grim, but the conclusion is one that is hopeful, important, true, and rarely explicitly stated in the field - that gentrification is NOT inevitable!

— Gleb


A journey to the front lines of the battle for the future of American cities, uncovering the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification--and the lives that are altered in the process.
The term gentrification has become a buzzword to describe the changes in urban neighborhoods across the country, but we don't realize just how threatening it is. It means more than the arrival of trendy shops, much-maligned hipsters, and expensive lattes. The very future of American cities as vibrant, equitable spaces hangs in the balance.

Peter Moskowitz's How to Kill a City takes readers from the kitchen tables of hurting families who can no longer afford their homes to the corporate boardrooms and political backrooms where destructive housing policies are devised. Along the way, Moskowitz uncovers the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification in New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. The deceptively simple question of who can and cannot afford to pay the rent goes to the heart of America's crises of race and inequality. In the fight for economic opportunity and racial justice, nothing could be more important than housing.

A vigorous, hard-hitting expose, How to Kill a City reveals who holds power in our cities-and how we can get it back

About the Author

Peter Moskowitz is a freelance journalist who has covered a wide variety of issues, from environmental disasters to the vestiges of racist urban planning. A former staff writer for Al Jazeera America, they have written for the Guardian, New York Times,, New Republic, Wired, Slate, Buzzfeed, Splinter, VICE, and many others. They are a graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Moskowitz's next book will be about free speech and fascism. They live in Philadelphia.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781568585239
ISBN-10: 1568585233
Publisher: Nation Books
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Pages: 272
Language: English