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Matthew Desmond

Matthew Desmond is an American sociologist and urban ethnographer. He is currently the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Justice and Poverty Project. The author of several books, including the award-winning book, "On the Fireline," and "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City," Desmond was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant in 2015 for his work on poverty in America.

The Best 5 Books on Matthew Desmond

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Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America

Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America looks at race in a clear and accessible way, allowing students to understand how racial domination and progress work in all aspects of society. Examining how race is not a matter of separate entities but of systems of social relations, this text unpacks how race works in the political, economic, residential, legal, educational, aesthetic, associational, and intimate fields of social life. Racial Domination, Racial Progress is a work of uncompromising intersectionality, which refuses to artificially separate race and ethnicity from class and gender, while, at the same time, never losing sight of race as its primary focus. The authors seek to connect with their readers in a way that combines disciplined reasoning with a sense of engagement and passion, conveying sophisticated ideas in a clear and compelling fashion.
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The Racial Order

Proceeding from the bold and provocative claim that there never has been a comprehensive and systematic theory of race, Mustafa Emirbayer and Matthew Desmond set out to reformulate how we think about this most difficult of topics in American life. In The Racial Order, they draw on Bourdieu, Durkheim, and Dewey to present a new theoretical framework for race scholarship. Animated by a deep and reflexive intelligence, the book engages the large and important issues of social theory today and, along the way, offers piercing insights into how race actually works in America. Emirbayer and Desmond set out to examine how the racial order is structured, how it is reproduced and sometimes transformed, and how it penetrates into the innermost reaches of our racialized selves. They also consider how―and toward what end―the racial order might be reconstructed. 
In the end, this project is not merely about race; it is a theoretical reconsideration of the fundamental problems of order, agency, power, and social justice. The Racial Order is a challenging work of social theory, institutional and cultural analysis, and normative inquiry.
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On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries)

In this rugged account of a rugged profession, Matthew Desmond explores the heart and soul of the wildland firefighter. Having joined a firecrew in Northern Arizona as a young man, Desmond relates his experiences with intimate knowledge and native ease, adroitly balancing emotion with analysis and action with insight. On the Fireline shows that these firefighters aren’t the adrenaline junkies or romantic heroes as they’re so often portrayed.

An immersion into a dangerous world, On the Fireline is also a sophisticated analysis of a high-risk profession—and a captivating read.

“Gripping . . . a masterful account of how young men are able to face down wildfire, and why they volunteer for such an enterprise in the first place.”—David Grazian, Sociological Forum

“Along with the risks and sorrow, Desmond also presents the humor and comaraderie of ordinary men performing extraordinary tasks. . . . A good complement to Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire. Recommended.”—Library Journal

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Race in America

A groundbreaking approach to thinking about race and racism today.

Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer, authors of The Racial Order, have written an undergraduate textbook on race relations for the twenty-first century. Every chapter of Race in America examines how racism intersects with other forms of social division―those based on gender, class, sexuality, ability, religion, and nationhood―as well as how whiteness surrounds us in unnamed ways that produce and reproduce a multitude of privileges for white people. Featuring a table of contents that is organized around race and racism in different aspects of social life, Race in America explores the connections between individual and institution, past and present, and the powerful and the powerless.
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION 

In Evicted, Princeton 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.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | WINNER OF THE 2017 HILLMAN PRIZE FOR BOOK JOURNALISM | WINNER OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HEARTLAND PRIZE

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post  NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
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IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MATTHEW DESMOND, YOU CAN FIND HIM ON HIS Website, Facebook , Twitter , Instagram AND Youtube