Laura Gottesdiener

Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist based in New York City. The author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, her writing has appeared in Mother Jones, Al Jazeera, Guernica, Common Dreams, Playboy, RollingStone.com, and TomDispatch.

 

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 1:00pm
King Coal Is Dead!
In Appalachia, explosions have leveled the mountain tops into perfect race tracks for Ryan Hensley’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV). At least, that’s how the 14-year-old sees the barren expanses of dirt that stretch for miles atop the hills surrounding his home in the former coal town of Whitesville,...
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 11:45am
How to Destroy This Nation: A Magical Mystery Tour of American Austerity Politics
Something is rotten in the state of Michigan. One city neglected to inform its residents that its water supply was laced with cancerous chemicals. Another dissolved its public school district and replaced it with a charter school system, only to witness the for-profit management company it hired...
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Monday, April 20, 2015 - 6:15pm
A Foreclosure Conveyor Belt: The Continuing Depopulation of Detroit
Unlike so many industrial innovations, the revolving door was not developed in Detroit. It took its first spin in Philadelphia in 1888, the brainchild of Theophilus Van Kannel, the soon-to-be founder of the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company . Its purpose was twofold: to better insulate buildings...
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Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:15am
Separate and Unequal: A Journey Across a Divided Detroit
In late October, a few days after local news cameras swarmed Detroit’s courthouse to hear closing arguments in the city’s historic bankruptcy trial, “Commander” Dale Brown cruised through the stately Detroit neighborhood of Palmer Woods in a Hummer emblazoned with the silver, interlocking-crescent-...
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Monday, October 13, 2014 - 8:45am
A Trip to Kuwait (on the Prairie): Life Inside the Boom
At 9 p.m. on that August night, when I arrived for my first shift as a cocktail waitress at Whispers, one of the two strip clubs in downtown Williston, I didn’t expect a 25-year-old man to get beaten to death outside the joint. Then again, I didn’t really expect most of the things I encountered...
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The sun sets in Chandler, Arizona. (Photo: Garry Wilmore/cc/flickr) Views
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 10:00am
Drowning in Profits
Security is a slippery idea these days -- especially when it comes to homes and neighborhoods. Perhaps the most controversial development in America’s housing “recovery” is the role played by large private equity firms. In recent years, they have bought up more than 200,000 mostly foreclosed houses...
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 4:30pm
When Predatory Equity Hit the Big Apple
Things are heating up inside Wall Street’s new rental empire. Over the last few years, giant private equity firms have bet big on the housing market, buying up more than 200,000 cheap homes across the country. Their plan is to rent the houses back to families -- sometimes the very same people who...
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Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 11:25am
In Chiapas, A Revolution That Won't Go Away
Growing up in a well-heeled suburban community, I absorbed our society’s distaste for dissent long before I was old enough to grasp just what was being dismissed.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 10:23am
The Empire Strikes Back: How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again
You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation’s impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing.
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Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 10:18am
Backyard Shock Doctrine: Wall Street's Destruction Comes Home
We cautiously ascend the staircase, the pitch black of the boarded-up house pierced only by my companion’s tiny circle of light. At the top of the landing, the flashlight beam dances in a corner as Quafin, who offered only her first name, points out the furnace. She is giddy; this house -- unlike most of the other bank-owned buildings on the block -- isn’t completely uninhabitable.
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