Books in Brief: Lighting the Path to Housing Equality

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No matter how passive it may seem, reading is an activity. It can be an acknowledgement, a political act, an act of remembrance—and at its best, it’s often all three wrapped into one.

April 11, 2018 will mark 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law. So much has changed since then, and yet so much hasn’t. Here at the Book Scan blog, we’ve been commemorating this anniversary by reading and reviewing books (specifically, the ones that appear on the National Association of REALTORS®’ list of reading material that touches on this subject).

But we wanted to invite our readers to join in the commemoration as well. Check out the list below (and our linked reviews, where available). Pick out a book, see if it’s available in the NAR library or your local library or bookstore, and take in this moment with the help of the written word. Let me know if we’re missing anything on this list. And stay tuned for more reviews of these books in the coming months from NAR staffers and members.

  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein (read Hathaway Hester’s review)
  • Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, by James W. Loewen (read my review)
  • When the Fences Come Down: Twenty-First-Century Lessons from Metropolitan School Desegregation, by Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
  • The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, by Natalie Y. Moore
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond
  • Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law, by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, by Ian Haney-López
  • Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, by Mitchell Duneier
  • The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It, by Richard Florida
  • Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics Are Remaking America, by William H. Frey
  • How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood, by Peter Moskowitz
  • No Place like Home: Wealth, Community, and the Politics of Homeownership, by Brian McCabe
  • Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, by Christena Cleveland
  • Family Properties: How the Struggle Over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America, by Beryl Satter
  • Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality, by Patrick Sharkey
  • Evicted! Property Rights and Eminent Domain in America, by David A. Schultz
  • Unfair Housing: How National Policy Shapes Community Action, by Mara S. Sidney
  • As Long as They Don’t Move Next Door: Segregation and Racial Conflict in American Neighborhoods, by Stephen P. Meyer
  • American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, by Douglas Massey
  • High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing, by Ben Austen

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The 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

This review is part of Books in Brief: Lighting the Path to Housing Equality, the Weekly Book Scan’s series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. Learn more about how fair housing makes us stronger at

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