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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Evicted Poverty and Profit in the American City
Author: Matthew Desmond
From Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America —   — In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the stories of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780553447439
ISBN-10: 0553447432
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Pages: 432
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 8

4 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Crown
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 152
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Top Member Book Reviews

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Helpful Score: 1
Wow, this is the most depressing book in the history of the universe! Evicted follows the lives of several individuals and families as they struggle to find housing. It also tells the story of the landlords (who some might call "slumlords") that rent to these people.

It reads like a page-turner, but is heart breaking because the stories told are real. The author is admirably balanced, in that the landlords are not unsympathetic (they make a nice profit but put up with a lot of drama to do so), and he does not hide the fact that some of his subjects make poor decisions which exasperate their situations.

At times I wondered whether some of the dialogue was fictionalized. In the afterword of the book, the author tells the story of the project that became Evicted. He lived in a trailer park and in the slums of Milwaukee in order to meet (and sometimes live with) his subjects. That experience is a story within itself.

I like that the book ends with concrete suggestions for what can be done to address the problem of a lack of affordable and safe housing for everyone. Of course none of the ideas would be cheap or easy to implement, but this book is a step in the right direction in that it humanizes a problem that many of us are lucky enough to not see.
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