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Matthew Desmond

MacArthur Genius Matthew Desmond’s New York Times bestselling book "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" draws on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data. "Evicted" won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the National Books Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, and the Barnes & Noble’s Discover New Writers Award. It was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by nearly three dozen outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. Including it on her personal best-of-the-year list, Jennifer Senior of The New York Times called it the year’s most “unignorable” book: “Nothing else this year came close.”

Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography. In 2015, Desmond was awarded his MacArthur Genius Grant for “revealing the impact of eviction on the lives of the urban poor and its role in perpetuating racial and economic inequality.” In 2018, he received the Stowe Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice, awarded by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center to authors whose work shines a light on critical social issues.

In 2018, Desmond’s Eviction Lab at Princeton University published the first-ever dataset of millions of evictions in America, going back to 2000. Desmond launched the Eviction Lab in 2017 after conversations with renters and policymakers convinced him that collecting national data on eviction would help answer fundamental questions about residential instability, forced moves, and poverty in America.

A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, Desmond is also the author of the award-winning book "On the Fireline," the coauthor of two books on race, and the editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. He has written essays on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market. The principal investigator of the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, an original survey of tenants in Milwaukee’s low-income private housing sector, Desmond has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations. He is a Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune.

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