Matthew Desmond

Matthew Desmond is an American sociologist and the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, where he is also the principal investigator of the Eviction Lab. He won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Non Fiction for his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Desmond studied as an undergraduate at Arizona State University, serving at the same time as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Tempe. In 2002, he graduated from ASU with a B.S. degree, summa cum laude in communications and justice studies. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was formerly the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University.

Desmond was awarded a Harvey Fellowship in 2006 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2015. He won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the 2017 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, and the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for his work about poverty, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. His 2017 Pulitzer Prize citation read, “For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.”

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City


In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program where Amazon will pay us a commission for linking to products on and affiliated sites.