The Housing Monster

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by Prole.info

PM Press

2012, paperback

SKU: 9781604865301

 

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 speculation to union contracts and negotiation, from individual belief, suffering, and resistance to structural division, necessity, and instability.

Moving from intensely personal thoughts and interactions to large-scale political and economic forces, it reads alternately like a worker's diary, a short story, a psychology of everyday life, a historical account, an introduction to Marxist critique of political economy, and an angry flyer someone would pass out on the street. Accompanied by clean black-and-white illustrations that are mocking, beautiful, and bleak, what starts out as an unassuming look at housing broadens into a critique of capitalism as a whole.