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The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap Hardcover – Apr 8 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (April 8 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081299342X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812993424
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.6 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“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
 
“[Matt] Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants, to juxtapose justice for the poor and the powerful. . . . The Divide is an important book. Its documentation is powerful and shocking.”—The Washington Post
 
“Captivating . . . The Divide enshrines its author’s position as one of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.”The Independent (UK)

“Taibbi [is] perhaps the greatest reporter on Wall Street’s crimes in the modern era.”Salon
 
“[Taibbi’s] warning is all about moral hazard. . . . When swindlers know that their risks will be subsidized . . . they will surely commit more crimes. And when most of the population either does not know or does not care that the lowest socioeconomic classes live in something akin to a police state, we should be greatly concerned for the moral health of our society.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Trenchant . . . a scathing, accessible, and often riveting look at the U.S. finance industry and justice system.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Readers with high blood pressure should make sure they’ve taken their medication before reading this devastating account of 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.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About 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.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on April 11 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The premise of this book is simple- America has a two-tier justice system. One for the rich, one for the poor. Now that almost certainly comes as no surprise to anyone. Even though it should, as it goes against the most basic principle of justice in that it is blind to all. But what should come as a surprise is the depth to which the justice system has now become imbalanced in the United States.

Taibbi lays out two tales. The first is of poor Americans, usually minorities, who are being arrested without cause in the hopes of the police finding something to charge them with. It's fishing at its worst. One poor individual gets arrested for blocking sidewalk traffic after standing outside his house, at 1 AM, after finishing his work shift. The police don't care. His defence lawyer tells him to take a plea ($50, no $25). The judge tells him to take a plea. Finally, it turns out that the charge is dismissed. But is that justice? Hauling an innocent man to court because he's young (-ish, ~30) and black and was standing outside is, well, insane. Another young homeless man (this one actually white) gets 42 days in jail for having half a joint in his pocket.

What about the people who finance the drug trade to the tune of billions of dollars? Well, HSBC was caught laundering money for the Russian mafia, for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, for Iran, for North Korea, and for a bank with known ties to Al-Qaeda. BILLIONS of dollars. Caught red-handed. So how many days do the guilty here spend in jail? None. They get a fine of $1.9 billion dollars. Seem like a lot? It's not. That's one month's profits for breaking nearly every law regarding illegal banking and no one gets a sniff of jail time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ogilvie on Nov. 7 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is Matt Taibbi a serious journalist now? Perhaps (or almost). This book tackles some important subjects and provides some good analysis of them. His account of the Lehman Bros. collapse seems to be the best one available. Still, most of the book is filled with biographical melodrama to flesh out the brief but good accounts of the criminalization of poverty and the transformation of the US into a quasi-Stalinist police state. (It is the sort of hackneyed melodrama newspaper stories use to pass on a few nuggets of meaningful information, presumably because the editors assume that readers will not digest the information without such pablum.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Nelson on May 15 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Spells out in very clear and easy to read terms how far down the road America has traveled to become two Americas. White hot anger at the corporate crooks avoiding prison and tears for those not being able to. The book ends on somewhat of a hopeful note that maybe, just maybe, the regulatory agencies are waking up. Maybe the Blankfeins and Dimons aren't sleeping as well at the moment. Let us hope so.
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I can see Matt Taibbi's point but his writing is lethargic and pedantic. And each example is similar to the prior example. It seems like one long winded whine but was presented to me by a friend as a good long rant, which would have been better.

I do feel for the individuals he mentions and how the system is shafting them and how the system needs to be corrected to better address the severity of the crimes. The notion that someone can be jailed for minor infractions yet get away with effective murder depending on one's bank account is very troubling. And it does highlight the idiocy of having privately run prisons or viewing the falsehood of "collateral damage" to a firm while ignoring it to the economy and the taxpayer who bear the brunt costs of asinine to illegal activities. But I didn't find it more than a descriptive effort instead of attempting to show how the system can and should be corrected, perhaps by going back to the principles of great leaders such a Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, etc. who comprehended equity and fairness of society and government and governance.
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