Languishing in poverty in United states means striving and engaging into in gladiatorial battle that average people take for granted such as being able to put a meal on the table and have a place to sleep. Of all this basic needs, perhaps the most crucial is having a dignified place that people living in poverty can call home. However, we as society as Desmond elucidates have failed to offer the highly needed support to those in our society who cannot afford this fundamental basic necessity. We have remained silent when every year millions of families are evicted from their homes to the streets.

“Evicted” The poverty and profit in America serves as a unique ethnography that carefully and exhaustively documents the firsthand experience of families experiencing this unfortunate circumstances of evictions and extreme poverty in the city of Milwaukee. Matthew Desmond-a sociologist and co-director of the Justice and poverty project at Harvard-spent two years from 2008 to 2009 to collect firsthand information from people living in this deplorable conditions. First he lived in a white college Home park and then in an apartment house run by Sherrena and Quentin in a black neighborhood. He gathered data and first hand stories from inhabitants living in this unfortunate conditions and developed a well-researched and precisely written book the “Evicted.”

One of this ramshackle houses is Ruby`s cubicle which serves as breeding ground for cockroaches. The most touching and heartbreaking incident is when its vivid that the 13-year Ruby Hinkston takes refuge in the library in order to model a virtual house in the computer that appears in his dreams. Contrary to the house that lives in, His dream house has mattresses, bed sheets and study desk for doing homework. This is an ultimate paradox of the ramshackle cubicle that he lives in.

Another heart throbbing incident occurs when Lamar, his sons and some other young boys from their neighborhood in Milwaukee are having a good time playing cards and smoking and suddenly hears a loud knock at the door. According to Lamar what comes in to his mind is ether Landlord or a sheriff coming to execute an eviction order(31). However, surprisingly its only Colin-a churchman who regularly comes to fellowship with them and regularly read some bible passages for them. The tense moments when Lamar hears a knock at the door clearly demonstrates that the world in which Lamar inhabits is worse than hell.

In my opinion what makes evicted more exclusive and eye opening is its emphasis on housing and exploitation subjected to poor tenants by their landlords. After Desmond`s research, it will now be inconclusive to discuss poverty with focusing on housing-a crucial subject that had been previously ignored when discussing poverty in our society. Evicted is a book that I would recommend to any person who wants to get a dipper understanding about poverty in America cities. It tells a story that combines both scholarship and journalism where the reader is left to make his own conclusions depending on the scenarios addressed in this ethnography, and how society has remained silent despite this injustices continuing to recur. Evicted is a book that once you start reading makes you question more about the social setting of our modern society where we value profit in expense of Humanity.


Desmond, Matthew. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Crown Group, 2016. Print.