During the twentieth century, homeownership, a central plank of U.S. domestic policy, became a key instrument of foreign policy. This is the essential insight of Nancy H. Kwak's clear, cogent, and convincing monograph A World of Homeowners. Given that many of the postwar period's key figures in domestic housing and urban development participated in projects overseas, this book tells a policy history that should be familiar but is utterly new. It is a great example of what “U.S. in the world” scholarship can and should do.

As U.S. actors attempted to create a world of homeowners, the results were unpredictable. Unlike in the United States, fostering homeownership did not result in cookie-cutter “suburbanization,” but rather led to a range of different morphologies. Because...

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