Published by Crown on March 1 2016
Genres: nonfiction, social justice
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Powell's • Indiebound
There was a time in the not to distant past where evictions where rare. Even in the the most poverty stricken areas.
Things have changed.
Now most families living beneath the poverty line spend over half of their take-home pay on housing They, very often, have to make the decision between electricity and paying their rent and eviction has become common place.
Desmond takes his role of urban ethnographer seriously and he moves to Milwaukee and lives with and befriends some of the people involved in this housing crisis, both the families being evicted and the people doing the evicting.
While the subject matter is both serious and humbling, Desmond writes it in such a way that makes it engaging and thought provoking.
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.