On the Same Page: Poverty, By America

On The Same Page: Poverty By America

March/April 2024 Selection

Poverty, By America

Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America is Matthew Desmond's latest work, a follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Evicted, in which he examines the paradox of the United States being the richest country on earth while grappling with unparalleled poverty. Desmond contends that the persistence of poverty is fueled by a system benefiting from the exploitation of workers, discouragement of unions, overcharging of poor consumers and the unequal distribution of federal aid. He explores the entrenchment of poverty through underfunding in education, mass transit and healthcare, resulting in a society marked by private opulence and public squalor. Desmond's solutions advocate for the elimination of residential segregation, acknowledging complicity in perpetuating poverty and a call for an aggressive antipoverty agenda. The book serves as a poignant reflection on America's stark inequality, issuing a gut-wrenching call for change.  

Matthew Desmond continues his impactful sociological analysis, urging readers to confront their role in perpetuating poverty and pressuring the government for comprehensive antipoverty reforms. He is a professor of sociology at Princeton University, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016). Desmond was also listed among the 2016 Politico 50 as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”  

Bernice Yeung is the managing editor of the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she was a reporter with ProPublica where she covered labor and employment, including the impact of COVID-19 on meatpacking workers. As a reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, she was a member of the award-winning reporting teams that investigated the sexual assault of immigrant farm workers and night-shift janitors. She is the author of In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers. 

Related Events

Book Club – Poverty, By America, Tue., March 26, 7 p.m., Virtual Library

Author Talk – : Matthew Desmond in conversation with Bernice Yeung — Wed., March 27, 7:30 p.m., 

Sydney Goldstein Theater, 275 Hayes Street (@ Franklin Street) San Francisco, CA 94102

SFPL has a limited number of free tickets to eliminate barriers to access for this event. Patrons can access those tickets via the City Box Office website or at the registration link above. Enter the code "SFPL2024" at check out.