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All That Is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster Defines Our Times, and What We Can Do About It Hardcover – 19 Feb 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (19 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846147158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846147159
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Geographer royal by appointment to the left (Simon Jenkins)

The most lucid and urgent account of the UK's housing crisis you'll read this year. It deserves a place at the top of David Cameron's reading list. In fact, one would like to hand-deliver it to every minister... Dorling's anger at our legislators is palpable... his solutions are at once simple and radical (Richard Godwin Evening Standard)

Dorling has bravely gone to the root of the issue (Owen Hatherley Guardian)

All that is Solid is a powerful, important book for these times ... It has an angry urgency (The Times Higher Education)

Dorling grasps the importance of the issue. His urgency is warranted. The professor is also often correct (John McDermott Financial Times)

5 stars. As Danny Dorling's powerfully argued new book makes clear ... the need for serious action has never been greater (Ed Cumming Telegraph)

A brilliantly original study of our national obsession (Nick Cohen Observer)

An urgent book about an urgent topic (Lynsey Hanley New Statesman)

A compellingly argued, at times witty and shocking, eloquent read (Chris Blackhurst Independent)

About the Author

Danny Dorling is Halford Mackinder Professor in Geography at the University of Oxford. He has worked both with the British government and the World Health Organization and is frequently asked to comment on current issues on TV and the radio. He has published more than twenty-five books, including Injustice: Why Social Inequality Exists, So You Think You Know About Britain? and The 32 Stops for Penguin Underground Lines.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Apologies in advance; as I say, I've not read the book, but feel that it's unfair to allow it to have a 2-star rating based on one idiot trying to be clever (and failing).

Looks quite interesting, and I'm a bit of a leftie, so I ought to enjoy it. I'll remove this review when I see more honest reviews for the book, or the idiotic review giving 2 stars is removed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent timing for publication give the cynical pre-election boost being given by current government schemes to the housing market. Whilst not normally of the same political leanings as the author I found the first few chapters mirrored my practical experience of working in the housing market for most of my career. It is surprising how many things have different consequences from those stated by the politicians of all persuasions at the time. Definitely worth a read but draw your own conclusions don't just accept everything the author says. Probably best read in small chunks with each one considered carefully before moving on. I haven' yet got to the end but am enjoying the journey.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I *have* read this book and I found it rather disappointing, especially following its glowing reviews in the press. The problem isn't with the content. I am sympathetic to Dorling's political position and don't disagree with anything he says here. There is a welter of potentially useful facts and figures, but they come at you out of nowhere. The problem I had with this book is its style. For an academic author it's very conversational, but this actually makes it harder, not easier to follow the arguments and assimilate the important information it undeniably contains. Rather than being structured in a linear fashion, progressively building an argument, it's sometimes scattergun and very often repetitive, looping back and overlapping itself. It's so repetitive in fact that it could probably have been half the length and not lost anything. Dorling clearly cares passionately about his topic, but it's the passionate who need the best editing - this feels less like a persuasive argument and more like being bombarded with facts and figures and righteous indignation by someone who's cornered you at a party and occasionally gets so worked up that they lose the thread of what they're trying to convey. So, a worthwhile book, yes; but not a great read, and perhaps a missed opportunity to get an important message across.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Everyone knows how much damage has been caused by problems in the housing industry. In spite of this, we’re seeing increases in property prices on a ridiculous scale in London and elsewhere. Danny Dorling investigates how our housing situation came to be and what alternatives there are for us in future.

Dorling illustrates how the super rich are driving up the process and the people below them are copying this behaviour, albeit in more modest ways. Massive subsidies are giving the impression of stability in the UK. Interest rates are low and people are investing in property with little consideration of how they’ll be affected if these conditions change.

The right to shelter is a fundamental one for every human being but people are being priced out of it by sheer greed, with the rich hoarding property. Dorling differs from many as he’s not arguing for new homes to built as he argues there’s more than enough for everyone, even in London. It’s the way that the property is being shared that’s unfair, with people living in huge homes that they don’t really need and buying multiple homes as investments. Houses should be homes for people to live in and not places which damage society by lying empty while someone waits for the right time to sell.

Dorling believes the distribution of property is unfair and he’s put together a clear and passionate argument for a better way in All That Is Solid. People in the UK seem to have very short memories that are getting poorer with time in relation to housing issues. Many would do well to read Danny Dorling’s excellent book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book tells it like it is and doesn't beat about the bush re greedy landlords and those who keep several houses empty all year. It also dispels the myth that we have a housing shortage!!! Lots of food for thought about how to make society a fairer place.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent analysis of Britain's housing crisis. Far from just being a matter of building more, Dorling argues for root-and-branch reform of much of our housing policy and financing. There is lots of information here, not always as well organised as it could be, but everyone involved in housing has to read this and take what he says on board.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this an interesting book. I am frankly, somewhat amazed that an academic can be quite as polemical as Prof Dorling is in this book. The book does contain useful info on housing - no surprise there. It is however, very partisan. it is arranged thematically rather than chronologically. It is repetitive. And it is, in my opinion a bit patronising about low income people who rent.

His basic argument is that there is not in fact an overall shortage of housing. What we have is a situation where some people have a lot of housing (owning large houses and/or more than one property) and some people with not enough. I am not sure there is any real connection between the two, though I do accept that the rich have got a lot richer in the last decade or so.

He does go on at some length about the unfairness of the Bedroom Tax.

We do clearly have a problem with housing in the UK. Home ownership is clearly over-priviledged. His best idea is for reform of the council tax bands as it is clearly madness that someone living in a house valued at £320,00 pays the same as someone living in a house valued at £1million or above.

He seems to think another housing crash will eventually come but cannot say when that might be.

it is also true that this book would not win any awards for elegent use of English.
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