...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. Like Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities, or Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, or Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, this sweeping, yearslong project makes us consider inequality and economic justice in ways we previously had not. It’s sure to capture the attention of politicians. (Hillary, what are you reading this summer?) Through data and analysis and storytelling, it issues a call to arms without ever once raising its voice.
Evicted is an extraordinary feat of reporting and ethnography. Desmond has made it impossible to ever again consider poverty in America without tackling the central role of housing — and without grappling with Evicted.
By examining one city through the microscopic lens of housing...[Desmond] shows us how the system that produces that pain and poverty was created and is maintained. I can’t remember when an ethnographic study so deepened my understanding of American life.