Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Evicted - Matthew Desmond

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

When this title arrived at the library, I read the description and knew I had to listen to it.

Shelter is one of the first building blocks in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. And yet, so many struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

"Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge."

These are stories of real people, their struggle to feed themselves and their family after spending most of what they have each month on rent. Rent for substandard living conditions. On the flip side, Desmond interviews two landlords who rent out these rundown apartments, homes and trailers. This is how they make a living - they're not in it for charity. Eviction is the word, the threat, the reality.

Oh, my heart broke as I listened to these stories. Yes, it's very easy to say, just get a job and manage your money better. And many of these tenants are desperately trying to do that. But easier said than done in many cases. Despair drives people to self destructive behaviour sometimes. I got so angry at the callous nature of the landlords, not seeing their tenants as people, but as dollar signs.

Evicted is a microcosmic look at a bigger problem. Desmond immerses himself, collecting data, recording stories and proposing changes......this is an important book for everyone to read. We all need a safe place to call home.

Listen to an excerpt now. Dion Graham was the narrator and did an excellent job.


bermudaonion said...

I'm drawn to books like that even though they leave me devastated. This sounds outstanding.

Luanne said...

Bermudaonion it really really is!