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This book has 4 recommendations
Satya Nadella (CEO/Microsoft)Nadella is using this season to learn more in a variety of subjects. By the looks of it, he is interested in, among other things, virtual reality, the refugee crisis, and housing for the urban poor.
Bill Gates (CEO/Microsoft)If you want a good understanding of how the issues that cause poverty are intertwined, you should read this book about the eviction crisis in Milwaukee. Desmond has written a brilliant portrait of Americans living in poverty. He gave me a better sense of what it is like to be poor in this country than anything else I have read.
Alison Alvarez (Co-Founder & CEO/Blastpoint.io)
The book is stark and an emotional gut-punch in a lot of ways, but it revealed a perspective on housing that I’d been blind to.
It also changed my thinking about how data can benefit communities. Evictions live in the public record, but are largely invisible in aggregate. Would people be more likely to recognize the problem if they could see it?
I found the real value of the book to be in the endnotes. The book itself is largely dispassionate, but if you look in the endnotes for each chapter they reveal where the author was for all of the incidents in the book and shows how much he witnessed first-hand. I learned a lot about good ethnography, but also about how he established trust with the people he followed and got them to speak honestly about their situation. It was a good lesson for me because we spend a lot of time with customers and getting them to share feedback honestly is a skill that leads directly to us being better. And sometimes that means investing time in people so that they trust you with the truth.
Noah Kagan (Founder/Sumo)Surprising insights into the lives of people who were evicted. I make a lot of assumptions about these people. Turns out I was wrong WHY they get evicted.
In Evicted, Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they 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 21st-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.