Against a comprehensive study of the factors conditioning the housing problem from earliest days of pioneers, through western expansion, the industrial revolution, the rise of slums- city and rural, -- the increase in government intervention and the development of government responsibility, Abrams marches forward to a constructive program. This program has specific aims:- democratic progress, a revitalized building industry, housing for low income groups, urban reconstruction, rural slum clearance, sound home ownership, adequate rental housing, homes for veterans, sound mortgage system, and stability of real estate pattern. Each phase, its rise, its decline, its hopes for a future- is given due emphasis. I found this- for the layman- the most interesting analysis of all the factors involved, social, economic, political, and humanitarian -- of any book on the subject I have read. A book not only of value as a background book, but practical, challenging, and striking a sound middle of the road approach between planned housing programs and private enterprise.