A Plague on Your Houses

A Plague on Your Houses:How New York Was Burned Down and National Public Health Crumbled

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A Plague on Your Houses is a scorching indictment of the decision to close fire companies in New York in the 1970s and a frightening study of the way misguided and malevolent social policy can spark a chain reaction of enormous and unforeseen urban collapse.


  • A Plague on Your Houses breaks new ground for a political ecology of urban decay. It is also a provocative foretale of what ‘radical urban science’ might be.

    Mike Davis
  • This is a book which transcends the boundaries between politics, theory, empirical research and political activism. When was the last time you read something that really describes how the connections between policy, community and individual characteristics actually work? Wallace and Wallace have woven 20 years’ worth of research, passion and action from the front line into an astonishing narrative.

    Critical Public Health.
  • A Plague on Your Houses deserves attention for its insights into the connections among urban communities and the ease with which diseases and social problems of the poor and vulnerable can spread into the mainstream and the suburbs. It asks new questions about the determinants of urban decay and public health, and challenges the dominant paradigm of disease causation mostly related to individual choices and lifestyles.