An Arlington Reads Signature Author Event 

Join us for a presentation by Matthew Desmond about his newest book "Poverty, By America," which investigates why the United States has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. This event is hosted in partnership with Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Arlington County Department of Human Services, and the Arlington Community Foundation.

Audience Q&A and book signing to follow. Books will be available for sale, courtesy of One More Page Books.

RSVP for an event reminder email. Attendance is first-come, first-served until seating capacity is reached. The event will be livestreamed on Arlington County's Youtube channel; please RSVP to receive the online link. Please note, the event will not be recorded.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium
Central Library
Events for Adults
Author Talk Civics and Government
Arlington Public Library
Registration has closed.

About the book

Desmond’s latest book investigates why the United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy.  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 clear and compelling prose, Desmond draws on on history, research, and original reporting to conclude that poverty persists in this nation because the rest of us benefit from it. Those of us who are financially secure knowingly and unknowingly exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. Prioritizing the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, our 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. Praised by Esquire as “another paradigm-shifting inquiry into America’s dark heart,” Poverty, by America introduces Desmond’s startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty: he calls on us 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.

About the author

Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and the founder and principal investigator of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University.  In 2018, The Eviction Lab published the first-ever national dataset of evictions in America, collecting millions of data points going back to 2000, and it has gone on to serve as a resource hub for the millions of American renters who faced increased housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he 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. His work has been supported by the Gates, Horowitz, Ford, JBP, MacArthur, and National Science, Russell Sage, and W.T. Grant Foundations, as well as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He is a Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the New Yorker and The Chicago Tribune.

About Our Events

Accommodations in the Library

Arlington County provides accommodations to individuals with disabilities upon request. Please contact ​us at least five (5) business days in advance.

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