Review of ‘The Address Book’ by Deirdre Mask

What do addresses mean to us? Why are they so important? How can having an address help people out of poverty and what happens when people disagree over street names?

This fascinating and socially conscious book by lawyer and academic, Deirdre Mask, was an eye-opening read. Ranging across global locations and different time periods, she looks at the history of addresses and how they affect everyone today. Urban planning, homelessness, religion and race are some of the main themes. The book is partly personal to the author as an African American woman, and also as an American having moved to London. She visits some of the places she writes about, meeting campaigners and academics, which keeps the content varied. Sometimes it does seem to jump about a little, but it’s not too problematic. I did feel that the content edged into general history too often and although I understand it was necessary to place the issues in context, some of it was treading familiar ground.

I’d recommend this book if you’re interested in how racial identity in particular is linked to the concept of street addresses.

Thank you to Profile Books for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book will be published on April 2nd.

4 thoughts on “Review of ‘The Address Book’ by Deirdre Mask”

    1. Thanks! 🙂 It was different indeed, not sure it was what I expected but saw on Netgalley and thought it sounded interesting.

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