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February 2015 Vol. 52 No. 6

PM Press

The following review appeared in the February 2015 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences

The City is ours: squatting and autonomous movements in Europe from the 1970s to the present, [ed.] by Bart van der Steen, Ask Katzeff, and Leendert van Hoogenhuijze. PM Press, 2014. 313p bibl index ISBN 9781604866834 pbk, $21.95.

The practice of occupying unused living space in a more or less organized fashion has been a political tool (mainly of the Left) used in Europe since at least the 1970s.  In the US, where laws are far more favorable to owners than to renters, this movement will be much less familiar.  The present collection brings together ten informative articles about house occupiers in a number of European countries, from Germany and the UK to Greece, Austria, and the Netherlands.  One article covers one post-communist occupation movement in the western Polish city of Poznań.  The collection is valuable both for the information it provides on this important social-political movement from the late 1960s to the present day and as an example of “committed scholarship”—no attempt is made to understand or justify the legal (or moral) claims of property owners and developers.  Although this one-sidedness can be annoying, it also makes these essays primary sources on social-political activism in Europe in recent decades.

--T. R. Weeks, Southern Illinois University

Summing Up: Recommended. General collections, graduate students, faculty.