Matthew Desmond

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Matthew Desmond
Matthew Desmond at 2017 National Book Festival.jpg
Born1979 or 1980 (age 42–43)[1]
Alma materArizona State University (B.S.) University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.)
AwardsPulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (2017)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Doctoral advisorMustafa Emirbayer[2]

Matthew Desmond is a sociologist and the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, where he is also the principal investigator of the Eviction Lab.[3][4][5] Desmond was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2022.[6]


Desmond studied as an undergraduate at Arizona State University, serving at the same time as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Tempe.[7] In 2002, he graduated from ASU with a B.S. degree, summa cum laude in communications and justice studies.[8][9] He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.[1][10] He was formerly the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University.[11][12][13]


Desmond was awarded a Harvey Fellowship in 2006 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2015.[1][14] 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.[15][16] 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."[17]


  • Desmond, Matthew (2008). On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-14407-8.
  • Emirbayer, Mustafa and Matthew Desmond (2009). Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780072970517
  • Emirbayer, Mustafa; Desmond, Matthew (2015). The Racial Order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-25366-4.
  • Desmond, Matthew (2016). Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Crown/Archetype, 2016. ISBN 9780553447446
  • Desmond, Matthew (2018). "Why Work Doesn't Work Anymore." New York Times Magazine, p. 36, September 16, 2018.
  • Desmond, Matthew (2019). "American Capitalism Is Brutal. You Can Trace That to the Plantation." New York Times Magazine, 2019 (part of The 1619 Project).
  • Desmond, Matthew (2021), "Capitalism", chapter in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.
  • Desmond, Matthew (2023). Poverty, by America. New York: Crown, 2023. ISBN 9780593239919


  1. ^ a b c Bill Glauber. "'Genius grant' winner Matthew Desmond made in Madison, Milwaukee". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September. 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Desmond, Matthew (2010). Eviction and the reproduction of urban poverty (PhD). University of Wisconsin-Madison. OCLC 732383033.
  3. ^ "Matthew Desmond | Department of Sociology".
  4. ^ "Matthew Desmond".
  5. ^ "Eviction Lab examines the intersection of poverty and housing". Princeton University. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  6. ^ "The American Philosophical Society Welcomes New Members for 2022".
  7. ^ Jennifer Schuessler. "A Harvard Sociologist on Watching Families Lose Their Homes", The New York Times, February 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Matthew Desmond '02 B.S." Barrett, The Honors College, Arizona State University. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Matt Desmond". Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Alumnus Desmond wins Pulitzer Prize for 'Evicted'". Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Matthew Desmond". MacArthur Foundation. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Matthew Desmond | Department of Sociology". Archived from the original on 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  13. ^ "Strong Pulitzer showing for Harvard". Harvard Gazette. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Mustard Seed Foundation » List of Fellows". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  15. ^ "Video: 2017 Pulitzer Prize Announcement". Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  16. ^ Calvin Reid (March 17, 2017). "Louise Erdrich, Matthew Desmond Win 2016 NBCC Awards". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  17. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes. "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)".

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