No one can accuse Bill Gates of being stingy with his wealth.
He has vowed to give away more than half of his $90 billion fortune and is constantly working to learn more about the issues of poverty and global health. He also reads — a lot. The Microsoft co-founder reads every night and has reviewed hundreds of books on his blog. One book that opened his eyes to the realities that poor Americans face is "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City," by Matthew Desmond.
Desmond, a professor of sociology at Princeton University, MacArthur Foundation "Genius" and a Gates Foundation grantee, spent 18 months living in two high-poverty neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Gates says that the resulting book, which focuses on how housing insecurity impacts low-income communities, taught him about what it is like to be poor in America.
"Melinda and I have been working for some time to learn more about how Americans move up the economic ladder (what experts call mobility from poverty)," writes Gates. "'Evicted' helped me understand one piece of that very complex question, and it made me want to learn more about the systemic problems that make housing unaffordable, as well as the various government programs designed to help."