Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond: Book Review

Step into a world where housing insecurity grips the lives of the most vulnerable in society. In “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” Matthew Desmond sheds light on the harsh realities faced by individuals struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Sneak Peak

“Evicted” delves into the lives of eight families in Milwaukee as they battle the threat of eviction amidst poverty. The book explores the cycle of eviction, its impact on families, and the role of landlords and the legal system in perpetuating this crisis.

My Take

Desmond’s book is a poignant and eye-opening account that humanizes the issue of eviction. By intertwining the personal stories of the families he followed with in-depth research, he provides a comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding housing insecurity. The vivid narratives allow readers to empathize with the struggles faced by those caught in this vicious cycle. However, at times, the sheer heaviness of the subject matter can be emotionally taxing for the reader.

Desmond’s meticulous research and immersive storytelling make “Evicted” a compelling read. For instance, the detailed accounts of eviction court proceedings offer a glimpse into the bureaucratic hurdles faced by tenants, highlighting the power dynamics at play in such situations. Additionally, Desmond’s analysis of the economic incentives driving the eviction industry provides a thought-provoking perspective on the broader systemic issues at hand.

What Makes the Book Unique

One of the standout features of “Evicted” is Desmond’s ability to bridge the gap between academic research and storytelling. By providing a human face to statistical data, he brings a sense of urgency to the plight of those dealing with eviction. Furthermore, the book not only raises awareness about the housing crisis but also encourages readers to reflect on the structural inequalities that perpetuate poverty and homelessness.


“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” is a powerful and essential read that sheds light on a pressing social issue. Desmond’s blend of personal narratives, research, and analysis creates a compelling narrative that challenges readers to confront the harsh realities faced by marginalized communities. While the subject matter is heavy, the book’s impact is undeniably profound. I highly recommend “Evicted” to anyone interested in understanding the complexities of poverty, eviction, and the broader implications for society.

5/5 stars

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