Poverty and Profit in the American City
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • One of the most acclaimed books of our time, this modern classic “has set a new standard for reporting on poverty” (Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times Book Review).
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY President Barack Obama • 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 • Chicago Public Library • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
WINNER OF: The National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction • The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction • The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • The Hillman Prize for Book Journalism • The PEN/New England Award • The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize
FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE AND THE KIRKUS PRIZE
“Evicted stands among the very best of the social justice books.”—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth
“Gripping and moving—tragic, too.”—Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones
“Evicted is that rare work that has something genuinely new to say about poverty.”—San Francisco Chronicle
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This book—one of our favorites of 2016—broke our heart and galvanized us to push for change. It tells the story of eight Milwaukee families facing eviction, mapping out a devastatingly broken system that makes it all but impossible for poor Americans—most of whom spend more than half of their monthly income on subpar rental properties—to find a basic measure of stability and security. Matthew Desmond spent two years with his subjects. He uses lively dialogue, vivid anecdotes, and crisp descriptions to narrate their real-life tragedies. Evicted paints an ugly picture of predatory landlords, punitive laws, and a lack of reasonable policies and programs to help those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
Gripping storytelling and meticulous research undergird this outstanding ethnographic study, in which Desmond (On the Fireline), an associate professor of sociology at Harvard, explores the impact of eviction on poverty-stricken families in Milwaukee, Wis. Living first in a rundown trailer park with predominantly white tenants and then in an African-American inner-city neighborhood, Desmond conducted fieldwork by observing and asking questions of his neighbors; later, he collected extensive data about eviction specifically in the private rental market. The book reveals the concentrated suffering of people repeatedly faced with the loss of their homes. He shares the stories of Lamar, a double amputee raising adolescent boys; Scott, who tries to conquer his heroin addiction and return to his nursing career; single mom Arleen, her sons, and their cat, Little; and five other families. In one gut-wrenching scene, Desmond shadows a moving crew as they evict numerous households in one day, finding in one tenant's face "the look of someone realizing that her family would be homeless in a matter of hours." Desmond identifies affordable housing as a leading social justice issue of our time and offers concrete solutions to the crisis.
Stunning & Essential
Hauntingly empathetic and distressingly relevant. Shines a piercing light on the many complex variables that contribute to the systemic injustices within the urban housing market.
All citizens need to know!
I learned quite a bit about the problems landlords are constantly up against. This was an educational true story that had so much more for the reader to discover.
Jumping around from family to family made this a bit difficult to follow. Notwithstanding, this was a page turner.