Monday, May 23, 2016


I try hard not to judge a book by its cover, but when I saw Evicted by Matthew Desmond, I couldn't resist.  The cover alone is beautiful--but the book itself was even better.

Evicted tells the stories of 8 families living in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee.  One family lives on $20 a month, another addicted to heroin.  All of the stories are heartbreaking and painfully honest.  These families spend everything they have on rent and food, but they still have fallen behind.

As sad as it is, eviction in America is more common now than ever.  Most families spend more than half of their income on housing, and single-mother households are more likely to be evicted.  Desmond goes straight into the homes of struggling families, showing us families forced into shelters, run-down apartments, or dangerous neighborhoods.  We witness the human cost of inequality in America, and see how people's determination and intelligence help them fight their hardships.

Desmond's book gives his readers a deeper understanding of America's extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing new ideas for solving the problem.  Its scenes of hope and loss remind us of the unity of home, and how fortunate most of us are.

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