NEW YORK – Matthew Desmond's first book since his Pulitzer Prize winning “Evicted” is not just a study of who is poor in the world's richest country. It also asks why.
Crown will publish “Poverty, by America” on March 21, 2023. According to Crown, Desmond will document how the wealthy harm the poor, knowingly and unknowingly.
“Books about poverty, including ‘Evicted,’ tend to be books about the poor, tend to bear witness,” Desmond said in a statement issued Wednesday by Crown. “But they cannot answer the most fundamental question, which is: Why all this poverty in this land of abundance? I’ve learned that that question requires a different approach. To understand the causes of poverty, we must hold a mirror up to ourselves. Are we — we the secure, the insured, the housed, the college educated, the lucky — somehow responsible for all this suffering?"
Desmond's “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" was published in 2016 and focused on eight families in an impoverished area of Milwaukee. Besides the Pulitzer, the book received an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and a National Book Critics Circle award. Former President Barack Obama listed it among the favorite books he read in 2017.
Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University and a contributing writer to The New York Times magazine.