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

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

by PE Moskowitz


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568589039
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 127,527
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

P. E. Moskowitz is the author of How to Kill a City. A former staff writer for Al Jazeera America, they have written for publications including the Guardian, New York Times,, New Republic, Wired, Slate, Buzzfeed, Splinter, and Vice. A graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, they live in New Orleans.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Hew Orleans 13

Chapter 1 Hanging On 15

Chapter 2 How Gentrification Works 31

Chapter 3 Destroy to Rebuild 45

Part 2 Detroit 71

Chapter 4 The New Detroit 73

Chapter 5 The 7.2 91

Chapter 6 How the Slate Got Blank 105

Part 3 San Francisco 123

Chapter 7 The Gentrified City 125

Chapter 8 Growth Machine 137

Chapter 9 The New Geography of Inequality 147

Part 4 New York 161

Chapter 10 An Elegy 163

Chapter 11 New York Is Not Meant for People 181

Chapter 12 Fight Back 197

Conclusion Toward an Un-Gentrified Future 209

Acknowledgments 219

Notes 221

Index 249

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