Poverty and Profit in the American City


'Beautifully written, thought-provoking, and unforgettable ... If you want a good understanding of how the issues that cause poverty are intertwined, you should read this book' Bill Gates, Best Books of 2017

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.

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

'If I could require the president to read one book it would be Evicted' Zadie Smith


  • 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

About the author

Matthew Desmond

Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton and a Contributing Writer at the New York Times Magazine. A MacArthur Fellow, Desmond is a leading expert on poverty, homelessness, and public policy. His previous book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City reached millions of readers worldwide, won numerous awards - including the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award - and inspired significant changes in American public policy. Politico has named Desmond one of the 50 people across the United States who are most influencing the national debate.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more