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Montclair Reads “Poverty, by America”

Join us in this community-wide exploration of poverty in America, from June through September 2024.

“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?”

This summer, delve into these issues and more in Matthew Desmond’s bestselling book “Poverty, by America.” Join discussion groups throughout town in preparation for an author visit and talk on Sept. 12.

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In this landmark book published in 2023, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Listed as a Best Book of the Year in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, Time, and others. Learn more…


Unless otherwise noted, registration is required and free for all events below. All are welcome, including those from outside Montclair. Click on the blue links to register.

Open Book / Open Mind: Matthew Desmond
Thursday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
First Congregational Church (40 S. Fullerton Ave., Montclair)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond will discuss “Poverty, by America,” his #1 New York Times bestseller. In conversation with Andrea Elliott of the New York Times. Followed by Q&A and a book signing and sale with Watchung Booksellers.


Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University. He is the author of four books, including “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” which won the Pulitzer Prize. Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” fellowship in 2015. Learn more…

Desmond photo credit: Barron Bixler

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