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Publisher Description

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post  NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness

GENRE
Nonfiction
RELEASED
2017
February 28
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
448
Pages
PUBLISHER
Crown/Archetype
SELLER
Penguin Random House LLC
SIZE
9.5
MB

Customer Reviews

rokinrev ,

2019 United Church of Christ #AllChurchRead

”The persistence and brutality of American poverty can be disheartening, leaving us cynical about solutions. But as Scott and Patrice will tell you, a good home can serve as the sturdiest of footholds. When people have a place to live, they become better parents, workers, and citizens.”

This book, which is one I will eventually own I hope, is a knockout punch to those who say housing is plentiful in the US. When a majority of us are one paycheck from being on the street, Matthew Desmond gives example of people who actually got evicted from their homes and gives us backstory and what happened when the last thing they wanted or needed was to lose whatever sense of roots they had.

As a retired person; as a former shelter worker, a social worker, and a justice advocate I am glad the United Church of Christ has made this an #AllChurchRead in hopes that the dialogue it provokes will challenge us to walk our talk just a little better. Highly Recommended 5/5

Rickster5995 ,

Incredibly insightful view into the life of the evicted and those at risk of getting evicted

Matthew Desmond taught me more about the daily struggles and life experiences of the urban poor than I thought possible. Although I was skeptical at first that he was able to capture so much dialogue and dramatic events in their lives, I changed my mind after reading the epilogue and all of Desmond’s notes in the back of the book.

He makes a strong case for a solution at the end, but leaves the full details of how to implement for another time or another book.

Lots of cursing and a little “too much information” about the personal issues of people on the margins, if that kind of thing bothers you as a reader. I take him at his word that these families willingly let him into their lives, because I would feel like we were invading their world, otherwise.

DWAwayne ,

Worthy

Definitely worth the price and effort to read!

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