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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matthew Desmond
In Conversation With Steve Lopez
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Episode Summary

Harvard sociologist and MacArthur Prize awardee Matthew Desmond tells the story of eight families living on the edge in the New York Times bestselling Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Evictions used to be rare, but today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond’s landmark work of scholarship and reportage bears witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality and transforms our understanding of extreme poverty. Desmond explores these devastating issues of economic exploitation with L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez, and offers ideas for solving these uniquely American problems.

Participant(s) Bio

Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author of the award-winning book, On the Fireline, coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.

Steve Lopez is a California native who has been an L.A. Times columnist since 2001. He has won more than a dozen national journalism awards for his reporting and column writing at seven newspapers and four news magazines, and was a 2011 Pulitzer finalist for his columns on elder care. He is the author of three novels, two collections of columns, and a non-fiction work called “The Soloist,” winner of numerous prizes and the subject of a Dream Works movie by the same name. Lopez’s television reporting for public station KCET has won three local news Emmys, three Golden Mike awards, and a share of the Columbia University DuPont Award.