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The Housing Monster

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This scathing illustrated essay takes one seemingly simple, everyday thing—a house—and looks at the social relations that surround it. Starting with the construction site and the physical building of houses, the book slowly builds and links more and more issues together: from gentrification and city politics to gender roles and identity politics, from subcontracting and sp ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 30th 2012 by PM Press (first published 2011)
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3.81  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  6 reviews


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Nacho
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
It's a mildly interesting read. It delves a lot into the world of construction workers, while I was expecting a greater focus on the housing question under capitalism.

While it's well written and easy to read, and its contents promised so much (how the housing question relates to gender, class, work, to the law of value; how the cities are organised under capitalism and how it was tackled in the socialist countries...), I think it was poorly executed. It tries to cover too many topics in just a f
...more
Anthony Mercando
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hey read this book instead of the Communist Manifesto it has better pictures.

Actually this is excellent at explaining the details of most current societies and the different ways workers are separated from their labors. It's especially good at explaining the interplay between capitalists as they exploit everyone, with the workers generally getting it from all sides. It also deals with the false solutions of government housing and subsidies overall, which is excellent.
Frederik
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The recent real estate market crash, spurred by a toxic mortgage industry, was the most unequivocal fracture in the charming propaganda of the American Dream. At no time in recent history was it made so clear that the desire for homeownership, rooted in the very human need for home and shelter, was fodder for exploitation by cynical and self-serving profiteers. Yet as The Housing Monster persuasively argues, the obstacles to widespread homeownership have roots that go deeper than banking malprac ...more
Subvert
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really liked it. It's an anti-authoritarian marxist critique about everything around housing. It's not just about gentrification, but truly everything around housing; from construction, to land speculation, the constant development, the living and usage, and all the cultural things that involve these topics, like working class ideology, trade unionism and its limits, communal and individual living, and the sexism of construction workers. And then all written in a short and accessible way. So the ...more
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
A fairly in-depth look at the capitalist system through a Marxist lens surrounding the creation of houses, apartment blocks, and buildings with graphical illustrations to spice up the rather dry (at times) content. The voice of this piece was interesting. It wasn't coming from the experience of a specific worker or identified group of workers but rather an unidentified “we” who was supposed to constitute all construction and building workers. When totalities like this are used, it makes differen ...more
Steev Hise
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Essentially a marxist analysis of the housing and construction industries, but a modern one. Includes an erudite chapter on Soviet Russia and why it wasn't really communism but was in fact just another form of state capitalism.

In addition to the smart writing, the graphics are brilliant. Some of them I feel like blowing up into poster size and wheatpasting around town.
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