In a series of clearly written narratives with many names, dates and figures, they show that government officials took actions that benefited well-connected individuals, who in turn helped the government officials. This mutual support system thwarted good economic policies and encouraged reckless ones. It thereby brought on the crisis, sending the economy into a tailspin.One economist who has argued that housing policy had nothing to do with the crisis is Joseph Stiglitz. However, Stiglitz was one of those who gave us those housing policies, so he is not an unbiased voice.
Update: Walter Russell Mead also likes the book.