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Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government (Urban Institute Press) Paperback – July 15, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...[E]ssential reading for those interested in land use policy and the future of neighborhoods." -- Lee Anne Fennell, associate professor of law, University of Illinois College of Law

"...[G]ives an excellent discussion of the economic reasons for private neighborhoods...." -- Gordon Tullock, professor of law and economics, George Mason University

"...[T]he finest and most exhaustive discussion yet on one of the most profound institutional innovations in recent years." -- Peter Gordon, professor of real estate economics and public policy, University of Southern California

"Bob Nelson is one of the nation's most insightful and provocative authors on local government today." -- William A. Fischel, professor of economics and Hale Professor in Arts and Sciences, Dartmouth College

"Robert Nelson has written two powerful books in one." -- Robert W. Poole, Jr., founder, Reason Foundation

Review

"...[E]ssential reading for those interested in land use policy and the future of neighborhoods." ― Lee Anne Fennell, associate professor of law, University of Illinois College of Law

"...[G]ives an excellent discussion of the economic reasons for private neighborhoods...." ― Gordon Tullock, professor of law and economics, George Mason University

"...[T]he finest and most exhaustive discussion yet on one of the most profound institutional innovations in recent years." ― Peter Gordon, professor of real estate economics and public policy, University of Southern California

"Bob Nelson is one of the nation's most insightful and provocative authors on local government today." ― William A. Fischel, professor of economics and Hale Professor in Arts and Sciences, Dartmouth College

"Robert Nelson has written two powerful books in one." ― Robert W. Poole, Jr., founder, Reason Foundation
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Product Details

  • Series: Urban Institute Press
  • Paperback: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1St Edition edition (July 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877667519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877667513
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,163,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I give this book the five-star rating because it opens up a subject that is little remarked yet may well be the way that will revolutionize our way of living in the future. Nelson reveals that perhaps 20% of Americans now live in private homeowner associations that constitute self-governing communities. Although we consider secession to have been put down forever in 1865, the fact is that many Americans are quietly withdrawing into their own self-governing comunities based on private property ownership -- a condition that the independence-resistant federal government still feels Constitution-bound to protect. There now are more than 250,000 such private associations, and thousands more on the way. If you want to get a sense for the ongoing revolution in the "American Way," this book is a fine primer.
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This book is a treasure drove of data, history, recommendations, and positive speculation on the phenomena of Homeowners' Associations and their exciting and promising effect on our democracy. I would have given Nelson's work a 5.0 except for the fact that, as the Forward points out, the book is really several books in one. As a result I found it somewhat repetitious (OK - I got it on the effect of the Progressive Era on land use!) and not particularly an easy read - at least front to back. It just seems too chopped up from an organizational standpoint. (My opinion is probably jaded by the fact that just before reading Private Government I had whizzed through Evan McKenzie's 1994 work Privatopia, practically in one sitting - even though I disagreed wholeheartedly with most of McKenzie's negative take on Homeowner Associations.)

Readability not withstanding, as a very active member in my neighborhoods association - I just completed a three-year term as President - I heartily endorse Private Governments as a must have for anyone wishing to get a comprehensive view of what promises to be an ever-expanding feature of our democracy.
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Product delivered as promised, great condition, on time for a fair price.
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