Evicted tugs at your heartstrings and inspires you to want to make a difference. Matthew Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, lived in low-income neighborhoods for three years, recording this true story of people living in the slums of Milwaukee, as they struggled (and failed) to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted engages the topic of income inequality with honest reportage and real solutions to ensure that everyone has a place to call home.
It came as no surprise that Evicted was this year’s recipient for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction. The power of its storytelling—following landlords and their tenants who are embroiled in a pattern of eviction and subsequent poverty in Milwaukee—is about as flawless as can be and immediately pulls the reader into the many challenges facing low-income communities across America. Is the struggle in our communities due to a failure of personal responsibility or to the systematic racial and economic injustices that place the tenants at the mercy of our policies? Getting a small glimpse in how this plays out in the lives of real people facing these issues is breathtaking. It is truly one of the best books I’ve read in the last decade.
Once a person is evicted, they often fall prey to the vicious cycle of eviction and homelessness, perpetuated by a slew of absurd laws and inadequate safety nets. Desmond follows families as they struggle to hold down jobs, provide for their children, resist addiction, and evade eviction in a housing system seemingly pitted against them. Heart-wrenching and insightful - a must-read.
WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they 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 21st-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.
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 | WINNER OF THE 2017 HILLMAN PRIZE FOR BOOK JOURNALISM | WINNER OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HEARTLAND 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
About the Author
Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The principal investigator of The Eviction Lab, Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Desmond was listed in 2016 among the Politico 50, as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”
One of President Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2017
"Astonishing... Desmond has set a new standard for reporting on poverty." —Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times Book Review
"After reading Evicted, you’ll realize you cannot have a serious conversation about poverty without talking about housing.... The book is that good, and it’s that unignorable." —Jennifer Senior, New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2016
“This book gave me a better sense of what it is like to be very poor in this country than anything else I have read… It is beautifully written, thought-provoking, and unforgettable.” —Bill Gates
“Inside my copy of his book, Mr. Desmond scribbled a note: “home = life.” Too many in Washington don’t understand that. We need a government that will partner with communities, from Appalachia to the suburbs to downtown Cleveland, to make hard work pay off for all these overlooked Americans.” —Senator Sherrod Brown, Wall Street Journal
“My God, what [Evicted] lays bare about American poverty. It is devastating and infuriating and a necessary read.” —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women
“Written with the vividness of a novel, [Evicted] offers a dark mirror of middle-class America’s obsession with real estate, laying bare the workings of the low end of the market, where evictions have become just another part of an often lucrative business model.” —Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times
“In spare and penetrating prose... Desmond has made it impossible to consider poverty without grappling with the role of housing. This pick [as best book of 2016] was not close.” —Carlos Lozada, Washington Post
“An essential piece of reportage about poverty and profit in urban America.” —Geoff Dyer,TheGuardian’s Best Holiday Reads 2016
"It doesn't happen every week (or every month, or even year), but every once in a while a book comes along that changes the national conversation... Evicted looks to be one of those books." —Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review
"Should be required reading in an election year, or any other." —Entertainment Weekly
“Powerful, monstrously effective... the power of this book abides in the indelible impression left by its stories.” —Jill Leovy, The American Scholar
“Gripping and important…[Desmond's] portraits are vivid and unsettling. —Jason DeParle, New York Review of Books
“An exquisitely crafted, meticulously researched exploration of life on the margins, providing a voice to people who have been shamefully ignored—or, worse, demonized—by opinion makers over the course of decades.” —The Boston Globe
"[An] impressive work of scholarship.... As Mr. Desmond points out, eviction has been neglected by urban sociologists, so his account fills a gap. His methodology is scrupulous." —Wall Street Journal Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction Finalist Winner of the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Winner of the 800-CEO-READ Book Award — Current Events & Public Affairs Winner of the American Bar Association's 2017 Silver Gavel Award One of The Los Angeles Times' 10 Most Important Books of 2016 A New York Times Editors' Choice One of Wall Street Journal's Hottest Spring Nonfiction Books One of O: The Oprah Magazine's 10 Titles to Pick Up Now One of Vulture's 8 Books You Need to Read This Month One of BuzzFeed's 14 Most Buzzed About Books of 2016 One of The Guardian's Best Holiday Reads 2016