The Address Book addresses why addresses are important.
So why are addresses important?
“Addresses are one of the cheapest ways to lift people out of poverty, facilitating access to credit, voting rights, and worldwide markets.”
And, “most households in the world don’t have street addresses.” Before Americans feel too superior, “parts of the rural United States don’t have street addresses either.” Even, arguably, our most advanced city takes its street names (perhaps a bit too) seriously. “In some years, more than 40 percent of all local laws passed by the New York City Council have been street name changes”
Split into five broad areas, The Address Book explores how street addresses have improved people’s lives. And what governments, non-profits, and for-profit companies are doing right now to solve the naming issue. And it is a major issue. Giving people addresses has even stopped pandemics in the past.
The book is impeccably researched with extensive notes at the end. The author describes the scenes of her worldwide travel to illustrate the subject well. But we are discussing addresses, so occasionally the pacing slows to the level of a textbook. If you are interested in how people are working hard to use unusual methods to pull people out of poverty, this book is highly recommended. For the rest of us general non-fiction readers, 3 stars.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.