Download Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Audiobook

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Audiobook, by Matthew Desmond Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Matthew Desmond Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 ISBN: 9780147526793
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From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" 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 story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 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.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post  NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • One of President Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2017
  • Astonishing... Desmond has set a new standard for reporting on poverty. Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times Book Review
  • "After reading Evicted, you’ll realize you cannot have a serious conversation about poverty without talking about housing.... The book is that good, and it’s that unignorable. Jennifer Senior, New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2016
  • “This book gave me a better sense of what it is like to be very poor in this country than anything else I have read… It is beautifully written, thought-provoking, and unforgettable.
    Bill Gates
  • “Inside my copy of his book, Mr. Desmond scribbled a note: “home = life.” Too many in Washington don’t understand that. We need a government that will partner with communities, from Appalachia to the suburbs to downtown Cleveland, to make hard work pay off for all these overlooked Americans.
    Senator Sherrod Brown
    , Wall Street Journal
  • “My God, what [Evicted] lays bare about American poverty. It is devastating and infuriating and a necessary read. Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women
  • Written with the vividness of a novel, [Evicted] offers a dark mirror of middle-class America’s obsession with real estate, laying bare the workings of the low end of the market, where evictions have become just another part of an often lucrative business model. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times
  • “In spare and penetrating prose... Desmond has made it impossible to consider poverty without grappling with the role of housing. This pick [as best book of 2016] was not close.
    Carlos Lozada, Washington Post
  • “An essential piece of reportage about poverty and profit in urban America.
    Geoff Dyer, The Guardian’s Best Holiday Reads 2016
  • "It doesn't happen every week (or every month, or even year), but every once in a while a book comes along that changes the national conversation... Evicted looks to be one of those books. Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review
  • "Should be required reading in an election year, or any other. Entertainment Weekly
  • Powerful, monstrously effective... the power of this book abides in the indelible impression left by its stories. Jill Leovy, The American Scholar
  • “Gripping and important…[Desmond's] portraits are vivid and unsettling.
    —Jason DeParle, New York Review of Books
  • “An exquisitely crafted, meticulously researched exploration of life on the margins, providing a voice to people who have been shamefully ignored—or, worse, demonized—by opinion makers over the course of decades.
    The Boston Globe
  • "[An] impressive work of scholarship.... As Mr. Desmond points out, eviction has been neglected by urban sociologists, so his account fills a gap. His methodology is scrupulous.
    Wall Street Journal

    Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction Finalist
    Winner of the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
    Winner of the 800-CEO-READ Book Award  Current Events & Public Affairs
    Winner of the American Bar Association's 2017 Silver Gavel Award
    One of The Los Angeles Times' 10 Most Important Books of 2016
    New York Times Editors' Choice
    One of Wall Street Journal's Hottest Spring Nonfiction Books
    One of O: The Oprah Magazine's 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
    One of Vulture's 8 Books You Need to Read This Month
    One of BuzzFeed's 14 Most Buzzed About Books of 2016
    One of The Guardian's Best Holiday Reads 2016
  • “Reveals how broken low-income housing policy can make it difficult for people to escape the ravages of poverty.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Tells a complex, achingly powerful story…Exquisitely crafted, meticulously researched.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Gripping and important.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “A vivid, if sometimes grueling, read.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Gripping storytelling and meticulous research undergird this outstanding ethnographic study…Desmond identifies affordable housing as a leading social justice issue of our time and offers concrete solutions to the crisis.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[Desmond] does a marvelous job telling these harrowing stories of people who find themselves in bad situations, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail…This is essential reading.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “I listened to Evicted practically straight through without stopping…[and] Dion Graham’s amazing narration was definitely part of what made it so compelling. He’s…a champion in my book.”

    BookRiot (audio review)

  • “Narrator Dion Graham brings to life the struggles, frustration, and tragedies of the impoverished…Graham solemnly narrates Desmond’s prose and breathes life into the different people presented throughout the book…Graham executes a balancing act of tone and emphasis that shifts among legalese, Desmond’s observations, eclectic speaking styles, and the oppressive nature of the topic itself.”


  • Finalist for the 2016  New England Book Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
  • Finalist for the 2016 Kirkus Prize
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of Best Nonfiction of 2016
  • Winner of the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
  • A 2017 Selection for the ALA Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration
  • Winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Book Review Book of the Year
  • A Washington Post Best Book of 2016
  • A Boston Globe Best Books of the Year Selection
  • Huffington Post Pick of Books to Help You Understand America
  • Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Winner
  • Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
  • A Barack Obama Reading List Pick
  • A London Guardian Pick

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About the Author

Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and codirector of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author of several books, inclding the award-winning On the Fireline, coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, he was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham is an award-winning narrator named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Audie Award numerous times, as well as Earphones Awards, the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards, IBPA Ben Franklin Awards, and the ALA Odyssey Award. He was nominated in 2015 for a Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Narration. He is also a critically acclaimed actor who he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. He is a graduate of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, with an MFA degree in acting.