unCommon Authors, an Author Video Series: POVERTY, BY AMERICA by Matthew Desmond

By Coll Rowe | February 20 2024 | College & University ReadsCommunity Reads

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PRH Education/Common Reads presents:

unCommon Authors

unCommon Authors is a monthly video series highlighting exceptional and

unique authors talking about their books.


The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted reimagines the debate on poverty, making a “provocative and compelling” (NPR) argument about why it persists in America: because the rest of us benefit from it.

Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Desmond builds a startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty. He calls on us all to become poverty abolitionists, engaged in a politics of collective belonging to usher in a new age of shared prosperity and, at last, true freedom.


Click here to view and download an Educator Guide for Poverty, by America.

Access an extensive PowerPoint presentation, created for educators to adapt for their course needs.

Visit endpovertyusa.org to learn about antipoverty organizations in your community and poverty facts about your state

Author image of Matthew Desmond

© Barron Bixler

Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The principal investigator of The Eviction Lab, Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Desmond was listed in 2016 among the Politico 50, as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”

Poverty, by America

“Urgent and accessible . . . Its moral force is a gut punch.” —The New Yorker