Countless newspaper and magazine articles, academic studies, and popular books...have explored these issues ... Broke...stands apart from the rest by focusing on one misguided policy response and the resulting devastating consequences ... Kirshner...is admirably equipped to examine the often misunderstood concept of an entire city going broke, and she proves herself an adept guide to this complex situation ... Kirshner provides plenty of statistics, which demonstrate with acuity the interconnectedness of income and housing inequality, urban fiscal policy, population decline, and tax-base erosion. But the heart of this book is her powerful human-interest stories, which are likely to have the most significant impact on readers. Drawing on more than two hundred interviews, Kirshner brings us an unforgettable cast of characters ... In telling these stories, Kirshner is clear about her desire to expose the myth of the American dream ... While bankruptcy protection might seem like a simple solution for economically depressed cities, Kirshner is clear in her belief that this is not the answer.
Kirshner, a research professor at New York University, has taught bankruptcy law, and one wishes for more of the cleareyed analysis that appears in her prologue and epilogue ... Kirshner understands better than most how bankruptcy is a tool, one she argues public officials should not mistake for a solution ... In showcasing people who are persistent, clever, flawed, loving, struggling and full of contradictions, Broke affirms why it’s worth solving the hardest problems in our most challenging cities in the first place.
Jodie Adams Kirshner...comprehends the complex and far reaching effects of bankruptcy ... Her interviews with Miles, Charles, Robin, Reggie, Cindy, Joe, and Lola move the book out of academia into the real drama and voices of those most involved. Interspersing these colorful and often intimate interviews with history and legal explanation, allows her writing to shine and the readers to care. Here is how she introduces one of her chief sources ... Her writing cuts to the bone yet enlivens the telling. Without teaching or preaching Kirshner shares a world that cannot be denied ... This is a book is worth reading for its essential story as well as its eloquence of style.