Poverty, by America

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted reimagines the debate on poverty, making a "provocative and compelling" (NPR) argument about why it persists in America: because the rest of us benefit from it.

"Urgent and accessible . . . Its moral force is a gut punch."--The New Yorker

The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages?

In this landmark book, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. We prioritize the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, designing a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. And we stockpile opportunity in exclusive communities, creating zones of concentrated riches alongside those of concentrated despair. Some lives are made small so that others may grow.

Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Desmond builds a startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty. He calls on us all to become poverty abolitionists, engaged in a politics of collective belonging to usher in a new age of shared prosperity and, at last, true freedom.

Author: Matthew Desmond
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Published: 03/21/2023
Pages: 304
Weight: 0.89lbs
Size: 8.68h x 5.87w x 1.06d
ISBN: 9780593239919

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 10/01/2022 pg. 13
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2023
Publishers Weekly 01/02/2023
Library Journal 01/01/2023 pg. 98
Booklist 01/01/2023 pg. 6
BookPage 04/01/2023

About the Author
Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and the founding director of the Eviction Lab. His last book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, among others. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Desmond is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.