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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American…
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (edition 2016)

by Matthew Desmond (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,0901645,556 (4.43)1 / 409
"[The author] 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 dollars 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"--Amazon.com.… (more)
Member:strawberryplur
Title:Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Authors:Matthew Desmond (Author)
Info:Crown (2016), Edition: 1, 432 pages
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

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» See also 409 mentions

English (166)  Piratical (1)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
Anyone interested in poverty in the US should put this book on their "must read" short list. Well researched, well written, and compelling. ( )
  Bradley_Farless | Feb 25, 2021 |
Unrelenting, rigorous, heartbreaking, hopeless and also hopeful, if you can imagine that. This took a while to read only because I needed to read it in small doses. ( )
  giovannaz63 | Jan 18, 2021 |
This was a tough book. It seems that eviction in the inner cities is a feature of the system, not a bug. It's all about profits for the few. Apparently, this isn't a new problem. And it's a somewhat cyclical problem, eviction leads to instability, which leads to poverty, which leads to desperation, which leads to more eviction.

Basically, Desmond, embedded himself in a couple of different living situations and followed the lives of landlords and tenants. This book describes their lives. It's pretty depressing, but we do need to know about this stuff so we can support public policies that would help alleviate all the suffering involved.

( )
  lgpiper | Jan 10, 2021 |

Read this book. I found /Evicted/ to be as compelling as it was anxiety-provoking—this is a punch in the gut I think everyone should experience and consider via Desmond’s powerful delivery.
( )
  haileyjune | Jan 10, 2021 |
A very personal account of the lives of the people involved in the eviction culture, specifically in Milwaukee, but also with information from around the country. The author manages to present the landlords and the tenants stories without painting one or the other of them as the bad guy, which makes the stories all the more powerful. Well researched and full of first hand stories of the lives of those impacted by the extreme poverty and the housing market for those without a support system to rely on. It is the way this book is written and organized that gave these stories the impact that they had on me as the reader. There are so many problems in the lives of the people in this book and this books focus on housing and eviction in this book shed light on a part of the problems that don't usually get attention. I would give this book 3.5 stars if Goodreads allowed half stars. I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaways.
( )
  SteveKey | Jan 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
A shattering account of life on the American fringe, Matthew Desmond’s Evicted shows the reality of a housing crisis that few among the political or media elite ever think much about, let alone address. It takes us to the center of what would be seen as an emergency of significant proportions if the poor had any legitimate political agency in American life. ... The son of a working-class preacher, Desmond is an associate professor of social sciences at Harvard, and he did much of his research as he completed a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. Evicted recalls Studs Terkel’s searching representations of ordinary people in their jobs in his 1974 book, Working, and more recently, George Packer’s account of the disintegration of the social contract in The Unwinding in 2013.
added by Lemeritus | editThe New Republic, Brandon Harris (pay site) (Apr 12, 2016)
 
It has been a long time since a book has struck me like Desmond’s “Evicted,” not since Drew Gilpin Faust’s “This Republic of Suffering,” which showed how Americans dealt with their Civil War dead. I suspect the resonance is not coincidental. Desmond, a sociologist at Harvard University, writes about another kind of mass death: The demise of opportunity and of hope that occurs when individuals are forced to leave their homes. ... “Evicted” does not traffic in tired arguments about racial pa­thol­ogies or family breakdown. Rather, Desmond identifies perverse market structures, destructive government policies and the cascade of misfortunes that comes with losing your home. ... “Evicted” is an extraordinary feat of reporting and ethnography. Desmond has made it impossible to ever again consider poverty in America without tackling the central role of housing — and without grappling with “Evicted.”
added by Lemeritus | editThe Washington Post, Carlos Lozada (pay site) (Mar 3, 2016)
 
“Evicted” is a regal hybrid of ethnography and policy reporting. It follows the lives of eight families in Milwaukee, some black and some white, all several leagues below the poverty line. Mr. Desmond, a sociologist and a co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project at Harvard, lived among them in 2008 and 2009. ... The result is an exhaustively researched, vividly realized and, above all, unignorable book — after “Evicted,” it will no longer be possible to have a serious discussion about poverty without having a serious discussion about housing. ... “If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods,” Mr. Desmond writes, “eviction was shaping the lives of women. Poor black men were locked up. Poor black women were locked out.”
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matthew Desmondprimary authorall editionscalculated
Graham, DionNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I wish the rent
was heaven sent.
 Langston Hughes,
 "Little Lyric (Of Great Importance)"
Dedication
For Michelle, who's been down the line
First words
Jori and his cousin were cutting up, tossing snowballs at passing cars.
Quotations
If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods, eviction was shaping the lives of women. Poor black men were locked up.  Poor black women were locked out.
No one thought the poor more undeserving than the poor themselves.
A community that saw so clearly it's own pain had a difficult time also sensing its potential.
What the chief failed to realize, or failed to reveal, was that his department's own rules presented battered women with the devil's bargain: keep quiet and face abuse or call the police and face eviction.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

"[The author] 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 dollars 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"--Amazon.com.

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Book description
Contents: Cold city -- Rent. The business of owning the city ; Making rent ; Hot water ; A beautiful collection ; Thirteenth Street ; Rat hole ; The sick ; Christmas in Room 400 -- Out. Order some carryout ; Hypes for hire ; The 'hood is good ; Disposable ties ; E-24 ; High tolerance ; A nuisance ; Ashes on snow -- After. This is America ; Lobster on food stamps ; Little ; Nobody wants the North Side ; Bigheaded boy ; If they give momma the punishment ; The serenity club ; Can't win for losing -- Home and hope -- About this project.
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