The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages? In his new landmark book Poverty, by America, acclaimed social scientist and urban ethnographer Matthew Desmond, Ph.D. draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. We prioritize the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, designing a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. And we stockpile opportunity in exclusive communities, creating zones of concentrated riches alongside those of concentrated despair. Some lives are made small so that others may grow.
Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and the founding director of the Eviction Lab. His last book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, among others. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Prof. Desmond is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.
Prof. Desmond will be in conversation with Alex Kotlowitz, the author of four books, including his most recent, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, which received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. Kotlowitz’s first book, the national bestseller There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America, was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. He a professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
This event suitable for youth 12+. First 400 attendees will receive a free copy of Poverty, by America, 1 per household. The event will be recorded but not live streamed.
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
This event is presented by Family Action Network (FAN). Gorton Center is proud to partner with FAN as a sponsor of this event to bring this programming to our patrons.