Snob Zones by Lisa Prevost
Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



An exploration of the corrosive effects of overpriced housing, exclusionary zoning, and the flight of the younger population in the Northeast

Winner of the 2014 Bruss Silver Award and First-Time Author Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors

Towns with strict zoning are the best towns, aren't they? They're all about preserving local "character," protecting the natural environment, an dmaintaining attractive neighborhoods. Right? 

In this bold challenge to conventional wisdom, Lisa Prevost strips away the quaint façades of these desirable towns to reveal the uglier impulses behind their proud allegiance to local control. These eye-opening stories illustrate the outrageous lengths to which town leaders and affluent residents will go to prohibit housing that might attract the “wrong” sort of people. Prevost takes readers to a rural second-home community that is so restrictive that its celebrity residents may soon outnumber its children, to a struggling fishing village as it rises up against farmworker housing open to Latino immigrants, and to a northern lake community that brazenly deems itself out of bounds to apartment dwellers. From the blueberry barrens of Down East to the Gold Coast of Connecticut, these stories show how communities have seemingly cast aside the all-American credo of “opportunity for all” in favor of “I was here first.”
Prevost links this “every town for itself” mentality to a host of regional afflictions, including a shrinking population of young adults, ugly sprawl, unbearable highway congestion, and widening disparities in income and educational achievement. Snob Zones warns that this pattern of exclusion is unsustainable and raises thought-provoking questions about what it means to be a community in post-recession America.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Lisa Prevost

See more books from this Author
Lisa Prevost is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, More, Ladies' Home Journal, and other publications. A native New Englander, she has lived and worked as a reporter in four of the six New England states. She lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Published May 7, 2013 by Beacon Press. 208 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Snob Zones

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Real estate journalist Prevost makes a strong argument against restrictive zoning in elitist Northeastern communities.

Feb 17 2013 | Read Full Review of Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This collection of comprehensively reported accounts of ugly local politics spawned by the absence of affordable housing in New England towns is an earnest but slow-moving examination of distasteful a

Jan 07 2013 | Read Full Review of Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, ...

Reader Rating for Snob Zones

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review