by Moore, Rowan (Architecture Critic) | Society & social sciences
Published 02/11/2023 by Faber & Faber in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 336 pages
A powerful examination of how property shaped the modern world – and why it now threatens the freedoms and stability it was meant to sustain. Property carries a great promise: that it will make you rich and set you free. But it is also a weapon, an agent of displacement and exploitation, the currency of kleptocrats and oligarchs.
In Britain, it has led to a new class division between those who own and those who don’t. Property is a vivid, far-reaching analysis of our concept of property ownership, from 16th-century enclosures to the present day. It tells powerful stories – of life in the developer-led boomtown of Gurgaon in India, of the struggles to form Black communities in Missouri and Georgia, of a giant experiment in co-operative living in the Bronx, of the impacts of Margaret Thatcher’s “property-owning democracy.” Above all, Property asks how we have come to view our homes as investments – and it offers hope for how things could be better, with reform that might enable the social wealth of property to be returned to society.