Property: The myth that built the world – Rowan Moore, in conversation at Libreria

09 Nov 2023

 / 7:00pm to 8:39pm
 / Free
65 Hanbury St, London
E1 5JP
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Join us at Libreria as we welcome architecture critic Rowan Moore, as he discusses his latest book, Property. 

Property is a powerful examination of how property shaped the modern world – and why it now threatens the freedoms and stability it was meant to sustain.

Property carries a great promise: that it will make you rich and set you free. But it is also a weapon, an agent of displacement and exploitation, the currency of kleptocrats and oligarchs.

Rowan Moore’s new book  is a vivid, far-reaching analysis of our concept of property ownership, from 16th-century feudalism to the present day. It tells powerful stories – of life in the developer-led boomtown of Gurugram in India, of the struggles to form black communities in Missouri and Georgia, of a giant experiment in co-operative living in the Bronx, and the theatrics of developer-kings like President Aliyev of Azerbaijan and the Trump family.

Above all, Property asks how we have come to view our homes not as a natural human right, but as investments – and it offers hope for how things could be better, with reform that might enable the social wealth of property to be returned to society.



Rowan Moore is the award-winning architecture critic of the Observer and author of Property: The myth that built the world (Faber, Nov 2023), Slow Burn City (Picador, 2016) and Why We Build (Picador, 2012). He was formerly Director of the Architecture Foundation, architecture critic of the Evening Standard and editor of Blueprint magazine.

Lynsey Hanley was born in Birmingham and lives in Liverpool. She is the author of ESTATES: AN INTIMATE HISTORY (Granta, 2007) and RESPECTABLE: THE EXPERIENCE OF CLASS (Penguin, 2016), and wrote the Introduction to the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Richard Hoggart’s THE USES OF LITERACY (2009). She writes regularly for The Guardian and the FT.