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One Book, One Richmond

The 2016-17 One Book, One Richmond selection is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. 

Today, low-income families are facing one of the worst affordable housing crises in generations. Many are spending almost all they have to live in decrepit housing in our cities’ worst neighborhoods. What it means to be poor in America today is to be crushed by the high cost of housing and evicted when you inevitably fall behind.  In low-income black neighborhoods, what incarceration is to men, eviction is to women: a common yet consequential event that pushes families deeper into poverty.  Poor black men are locked up; poor black women are locked out.  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.

Dr. Matthew Desmond is a Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” award winner.  This work is a New York Times bestseller and is based on years of Desmond’s own embedded fieldwork and data gathering.  This 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.

Programs based on themes found in the book will be offered throughout the 2016-17 academic year, including a lecture by the author in Spring 2017. 

Digital, audio, and hard copies of Evicted are available for check out in Boatwright Library and are available for purchase in the UR Spider Shop and University Bookstore.

“An exhaustively researched, vividly realized and above all, unignorable book—after Evicted, it will no longer be possible to have a serious discussion about poverty without having a serious discussion about housing.”
—Jennifer Senior, New York Times

“Evicted is astonishing—a masterpiece of writing and research that fills a tremendous gap in our understanding of poverty. Taking us into some of America’s poorest neighborhoods, Desmond illustrates how eviction leads to a cascade of events, often triggered by something as simple as a child throwing a snowball at a car, that can trap families in a cycle of poverty for years. Beautiful, harrowing, and deeply human, Evicted is a must read for anyone who cares about social justice in this country. I loved it.”
—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks