Our Lot and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by CWJBOOKS
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library hardcover book with mylar jacket, usual library marks; light reader wear. Binding is slightly loose from spine.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us Hardcover – June 23, 2009


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, June 23, 2009
$0.01 $0.01 $5.00

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

100 M&T
100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
Looking for something good to read? Browse our picks for 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime, brought to you by the Amazon Book Editors.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596914793
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596914797
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This richly detailed analysis of the recent (and ignominious) history of the American real estate market opens on a note of false optimism: in 1991, after 20 years of toil, urban housing activist Gale Cincotta successfully argued that Congress should require that 40% of the home loans issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac go to low-income buyers. The Clinton administration extended this campaign for higher ownership rates among low-income populations throughout the 1990s. Katz, a journalism professor at New York University, draws on an impressive number of interviews and thorough secondary research to illuminate the disastrous consequences of pushing underqualified buyers into ownership. Many of the topics she addresses will be familiar to readers by now—predatory subprime loans, get-rich-quick house flipping schemes, scandalous mortgage frauds—but Katz writes with authority and empathy. The many people the author interviews, from the single mother in Cleveland who lost her house just two years after buying it to the family living near Sacramento whose new home is already falling apart, become the heroes, victims and sometimes culprits in this gripping account of collective irresponsibility. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A trenchant chronicle of how ‘all that had been sacred about home lending’ was upended.”New York Times

“Replete with informative background and vivid descriptions of the carnage that the housing crisis has wreaked on communities from Cleveland to Sacramento.”—Boston Globe

“The book's main strength lies in Katz's thoroughness and human touch. Her interviews with predators and victims are as engaging as they are troubling.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer

“To read Our Lot is to relive, in painful, anecdotal detail, the real estate bust that brought our economy low. Through Alyssa Katz…we remeet the exploited homeowners and the naive investors, and we cringe again at the blundering politicians and opportunistic lenders.”—Salon

Our Lot is a sobering account of the origins of our current mortgage crisis. Katz methodically, and with great precision, traces the roots of homeownership in American society. Leaving few stones unturned, Our Lot provides an incisive analysis of the rational and speculative decisions that have made America so susceptible to the twists and turns of the housing industry. The book is a timely historical account, but its lessons are clear and penetrating for the contemporary era.”—Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day

 

Our Lot is a page-turning tale of how a real estate boom was conjured on a foundation of false hopes and Wall Street alchemy. Alyssa Katz digs deeply into the devastation that reckless lending and cynical speculation visited upon American places like Cleveland, Ohio, and Lee County, Florida. Her book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the roots of our nation’s housing crisis.”—Michael Hudson, coauthor of Merchants of Misery

 

“With the real estate crisis blighting thousands of neighborhoods and millions of lives, Alyssa Katz’s lucid, coolly outraged new book is an absolutely essential guide to how it all happened. Katz had the prescience to see what was coming, and her deeply researched, historically grounded book can help us all avoid similar catastrophes in the future.”—Michelle Goldberg, author of The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World

 

 “Brilliantly researched and tightly argued, Our Lot reveals the untold story of the housing crisis through the eyes of the victims and villains that created it.”—Christopher Hayes, the Nation

 

"Richly detailed analysis of the recent (and ignominious) history of the American real estate market... Katz, a journalism professor at New York University, draws on an impressive number of interviews and thorough secondary research to illuminate the disastrous consequences of pushing underqualified buyers into ownership... Katz writes with authority and empathy. The many people the author interviews, from the single mother in Cleveland who lost her house just two years after buying it to the family living near Sacramento whose new home is aready falling apart, become the heroes, victims and sometimes culprits in this gripping account of collective irresponsibility.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William W. Thomas on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you are at all curious about how we got to the disaster we currently face in the housing market, this is an excellent overview. It puts the current crisis into a broad context, showing how even well-intentioned changes in housing policy decades in the past created the breeding ground for the housing bubble and accompanying toxic mortgage debt crisis. "Our Lot" is effective both on the macro and micro level - Alyssa Katz handles both complicated policy histories and tragic personal stories of people caught up in the housing bubble with sensitivity and depth. She also raises some fundamental questions about the "American Dream" of home ownership, and whether we need some new dreams. A great work of journalism.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter H. Christiansen on July 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is right up there with John Talbot's books in detailing the causes and the effects of the housing bubble on America. It is a "page turner" that names names, and examines in depth the gullibility of Americans who should have known much better, for "get-rich-quick" Ponzi schemes that simply made no sense even if they did have the imprimater of Alan Greenspan and both Republican and Democratic presidents. Perhaps most important, Alyssa Katz shows us why the housing crash will not be going away anytime soon as it's ultimate evil was that it converted us into a nation of debters who voluntarily sold themselves literally into debt/wage slavery and inevitably poverty while enriching a small number of creditors.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michigan Reviewer on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read many well written books and this tome ranks highly among them. Ms. Katz digs deep into the underlying causes of the current economic morass that our nation is languishing through. She uses many factual accounts to help illustrate the machinations that brought us to this point. As a conservative, conventional homeowner I was mystified by how so many people got into so much trouble through the acquisition of a property. As a 401k/403b holder I was also stupefied by how my investments could tank so hard & so very rapidly. Ms. Katz explains just how this could, and did, happen. Her writing is direct and to the point but flows well and is an easy read for such a technical work. I have to admit to still being somewhat confused, but I fear that is on account of my understanding and not her writing. I only hope that Barney Frank and most of our other legislators take the time to read this work. Well done, Ms. Katz. What is your next challenge?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us" by Alyssa Katz, a liberal journalist and NYU journalism professor who writes for Mother Jones, is the best book yet on how the sacred cause of "diversity" merged with pedal-to-the-metal capitalism to bring us the Great Mortgage Meltdown.

The book hasn't garnered the attention it deserves -- probably because it makes clear the bipartisan responsibility of both her opponents on the Right and her friends on the Left.

Our Lot focuses equally on the misdeeds of both capitalists and leftists. But I won't give the boiler room boys as much attention in this review because they're a more familiar tale, while Katz's reporting on the role of her side is compelling "testimony against interest".

Katz is remarkably frank about how government programs and political pressure to boost minority homeownership helped blow up the economy. She's particularly good at explicating how leftist housing activists, such as ACORN and Gale Cincotta, the godmother of the Community Reinvestment Act, worked with Democratic politicians such as Bill Clinton, HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, and Jim Johnson, CEO of Fannie Mae, to lay the groundwork for the Bubble and Bust.

Katz doesn't devote quite as much depth to the Bush Administration's culpability (which, to my mind, is even greater). Perhaps she lacked Republican contacts to give her the kind of inside story she got on her own party's mistakes.

Still, Our Lot makes clear that on housing policy, the Clinton-Bush years form a single continuum with one overarching plan: boost the minority homeownership rate by lowering credit standards. I call it the Era of Multi-Culti Capitalism.

And there's little reason to think that its lessons have been learned yet.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0x9f7ca12c)