Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matthew Desmond
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Apr 1, 2016

In this work of non-fiction, Matthew Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, takes us to Milwaukee where we become intimately engaged in the lives of eight impoverished families. Among these families are both renters and landlords, both points of view are represented. I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction, but this book reads like a novel, while also providing significant background information regarding the laws around food stamps, eviction processes, and the inaccessibility of resources for some of our cities’ most impoverished residents. 

I encourage readers to continue on to the section at the end entitled “About This Project,” where Desmond discusses his in-depth research techniques, and how he spent over a year of his life living with these residents to gain their trust and get first-hand knowledge of what they face each day. By getting to know these families intimately, we get a feel for how their poverty brings about bad habits that keep them in desperate situations. I think Evicted is an extremely worthwhile read, and an important book on an often overlooked topic. 

Reviewed by Colleen O.
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