A review of


Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matthew DesmondCrown • 2016

Desperate Tenants

by David Meyer

Matthew Desmond, a 2015 MacArthur Genius, offers a heartfelt, heartbreaking detailed portrait of the desperate situations of poor American renters.

Matthew Desmond – a 2015 MacArthur Genius, the Loeb Associate Professor in the Social Sciences at Harvard University and the co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project – became interested in poverty and housing policy after his parents lost their home to foreclosure.

He explains that steep rents and limited job opportunities mean the American poor dwell at the edge of eviction. Once evicted, their plight worsens. Desmond details the social circumstances and self-destructive decisions that doom his subjects to an endless loop of poverty.

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