The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap [NOOK Book]

Overview

A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis
 
Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery:
 
Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles.
Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of ...
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The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

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Overview

A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis
 
Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery:
 
Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles.
Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail.
 
In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side.
 
In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights.
 
Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Income inequality is growing in the United States: According to the Congressional Budget Office, in the period between 1979 and 2007, the top 1% of households doubled their share of pretax income while the share of the bottom 80% fell. And that was before the Great Recession... In the The Divide, investigative journalist Matt Taibbi goes beyond the corrosive economic effects of this continuing trend by laying out evidence that this frightening trend is transforming and undermining the meaning of rights, justice, and basic citizenship in our country.

The New York Times Book Review - Timothy Noh
…highly compelling…The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap [is] as infuriating as it is impossible to put down…what Taibbi shows off to especially good effect here…is what a meticulous reporter he can be, with a facility for rendering complex financial skulduggery intelligible…Taibbi is similarly skillful at explaining how bureaucratic imperatives in the criminal justice system can spin scarily out of control.
From the Publisher
Praise for The Divide
 
“These are the stories that will keep you up at night. . . . The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Brilliant and enraging.”The Awl

Praise for Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia
 
“A stinging new history of the financial crisis that heralds a return of Menckenesque, dirt-under-the-fingernails American journalism.”GQ
 
“A relentlessly disturbing, penetrating exploration of the root causes of the trauma that upended economic security in millions of American homes . . . a full-scale indictment of Wall Street and Washington.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Matt Taibbi is [Hunter S.] Thompson’s heir. . . . [Griftopia] is the most lucid, justifiably angry description of what happened and what continues to happen to our nation’s economy.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Taibbi chronicles the corruption of the political process with indignation and dark humor. The takeaway? Be angry, but blame the right culprits.”—Time

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Rolling Stone contributing editor Taibbi argues that the widening gap between the rich one percent and the rest of us has altered our sense of justice. With a six-city tour.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-13
Rolling Stone journalist Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, 2010, etc.) once again rakes from the muck some most malodorous information about inequality in America. Readers with high blood pressure should make sure they've taken their medication before reading this devastating account of the inequality in our justice, immigration and social service systems. Taibbi's chapters are high-definition photographs contrasting the ways we pursue small-time corruption and essentially reward high-level versions of the same thing. Mixing case studies, interviews and anecdotes with comprehensive research on his topics, the author's effort should silence the sort of criticism that says, "Yes, those are horrible incidents and miscarriages of justice, but are they representative?" His answer, "Oh, yes!" Taibbi deals with the frisk-and-stop campaign in New York City, the 2008 financial collapse (he reminds us that no one went to jail for the egregious activities of the investment banks involved), the vast resources we allocate for pursuing, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants (mostly for petty behavior that pales in significance to that of the wolves of Wall Street), our horrendous persecution of people on food stamps and other public assistance, and the case of whistle-blower Linda Almonte, a well-paid employee for Chase Bank, which summarily fired her when she pointed out their unethical and illegal practices with their credit card holders. Taibbi does not tiptoe through his text. He believes many of our practices are characteristic of a "dystopia," and he calls Dick Fuld, a major banker, "one of the great assholes of all time" and illegal immigrants, "one of America's last great cash crops." Moreover, he is an equal-opportunity critic: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all wither under the intense sun of Taibbi's relentless scrutiny. Rising from the text is a miasma of corporate and political malfeasance and immorality that mocks the platitudes of democracy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679645467
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 742
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Matt Taibbi has been a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and the author of five previous books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Great Derangement and Griftopia. He lives in New Jersey.

From the Hardcover edition.

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