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.
©2014 Matt Taibbi (P)2014 Random House Audio
Its in the top 10.
I first picked this book because Ray Porter was narrating.
Listening to the corporate crimes made me very angry.
Matt Taibbi writes in the tradition of a news reporter and it is believable, while being very understandable. The book flows as a series of news stories which he backs up with political and historical data.
This was one of the best books I've listened to a long time. The narrator is perfect for this. Definitely worth a listen if you're interested in social and political issues and inequalities in society. Loved it.
Books on tape are awesome! Audible sometimes sucks because it won't let you purchase Audiobooks after you already ordered them!
Great place to start learning about the glaring income inequality facing our world. I was familiar with some of the stories but some were completely new and all were a useful look inside the modern day farce of a criminal justice system we all experience.
The allegories relating to modern day income inequality.
No I haven't but I absolutely loved the narrators pace and diction of the reading. I would surely listen to him again.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
Taibbi takes the financial industry out behind the wood shed in this book. His anecdotes explain a lot about the mentality that leads to and perpetuates inequity. He has no problem with telling you what he really thinks about this or that financial mogul. The stories and characters go paint vivid pictures of how the law treats people differently in America. I will admit that he managed to be convincing enough to shift my views slightly, though I doubt they had very hard to go.
I liked the book, though I believe it was telling me what I wanted to hear. I tend to agree with Taibbi when he talks about this or that Wall Street operative as a scumbag and I sympathize with the plight of the poor. The stories are informative, if biased. Taibbi has chosen his side; you get the feeling that he is only telling the anecdotes that support his thesis where minority reports may have been omitted.
Porter reads the book very well. He worked hard at using sarcasm and emphasis where it is implied by the text.
Taibbi does his work, and he doesn't really hold back from criticizing anyone if he feels it is justified. Have to give him credit on this front. And the book overall does a very good job of broadening perspectives. I read it just pre-Ferguson. Dang.
Do you feel like there's a different set of rules for the rich and the poor, but can't quite put your finder on why? Perhaps you still hold out for attaining the American Dream, but it seems to be slipping away.
After reading this book, you'll have little doubt where things stand in the USA. You'll probably wonder why protests like Ferguson, MO don't happen more often.
The writing lived up to my expectations from reading several Matt Taibbi pieces in Rolling Stone. The narration did the writing justice.
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