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  • Published: 11 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241260876
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 420


Poverty and Profit in the American City

This searing, heartbreaking book tells the story of poverty today, and the people who live it

Arleen spends nearly all her money on rent but is kicked out with her kids in Milwaukee's coldest winter for years. Doreen's home is so filthy her family call it 'the rat hole'. Lamar, a wheelchair-bound ex-soldier, tries to work his way out of debt for his boys. Scott, a nurse turned addict, lives in a gutted-out trailer. This is their world. And this is the twenty-first century: where fewer and fewer people can afford a simple roof over their head.

From abandoned slums to shelters, eviction courts to ghettoes, Matthew Desmond spent years living with and recording the stories of those struggling to survive - yet who won't give up. A work of love, care and humanity, Evicted reminds us why, without a home, nothing else is possible. It is one of the most necessary books of our time.

  • Published: 11 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241260876
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 420

Praise for Evicted

This is an extraordinary and crucial piece of work. Read it. Please, read it

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of RANDOM FAMILY

This sensitive, achingly beautiful ethnography should refocus our understanding of poverty in America on the simple challenge of keeping a roof over your head.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard, and author of BOWLING ALONE and OUR KIDS

Evicted is astonishing-a masterpiece of writing and research that fills a tremendous gap in our understanding of poverty. Taking us into some of America's poorest neighborhoods, Desmond illustrates how eviction leads to a cascade of events, often triggered by something as simple as a child throwing a snowball at a car, that can trap families in a cycle of poverty for years. Beautiful, harrowing, and deeply human, Evicted is a must read for anyone who cares about social justice in this country. I loved it.


Essential. A compelling and damning exploration of the abuse of one of our basic human rights: shelter.

Owen Jones

A monumental and vivid study of urban poverty ... Evicted demands attention. It shines a klieg light on a dark corner of the American experience

Ed Caesar, Sunday Times

An intimate portrait of what it's like to be powerless in the world's superpower ... Evicted shows how the smallest event can rip through poor lives, sending them spinning out of control... To British eyes, the narrative reads like a dispatch from the near-future.

Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian

Astonishing ... Desmond has set a new standard for reporting on poverty

Barbara Ehrenreich, Herald

A tale of tragedy... We, in Britain, are taking the US' path. From where do you think the UK coalition government of 2010 got the idea of sanctions? To where do you think the Conservative government of 2015 now looks for new ideas?

Danny Dorling, Times Higher Education

Heartbreaking... Desmond's acute observational skills, his facility with reported dialogue and his ability to wrench chaotic stories into clear prose make EVICTED a vivid, if sometimes gruelling, read... with UK house prices unaffordable, a dearth of council housing and a Government committed to austerity, EVICTED serves as a warning as to what happens when a society refuses to recognise the fundamental human right to shelter

Keith Kahn-Harris, Independent

A remarkable ethnography ... [Desmond] has a novelist's eye for the telling detail and a keen ear for dialogue ... This is a significant literary achievement, as well as a feat of reporting underpinned by statistical labour

Jonathan Derbyshire, Financial Times

For the two or three weeks I was reading the book, it formed my topic of conversation with friends, and at night, when I went to sleep, it filled my thoughts ... It makes you aware of how complicated the webs holding you up are

Benjamin Markovits, New Statesman

An extraordinary ethnographic study ... Desmond takes people who are usually seen as worthless, and shows us their full humanity ... By examining one city through the microscopic lens of housing, he shows us how the system that produces that pain and poverty was created and is maintained.

Katha Pollitt, Guardian

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