Buy Used
CDN$ 0.16
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Moderate wear on cover and edges. Minimal highlighting and/or other markings can be present. May be ex-library copy and may not include CD, Accessories and/or Dust Cover. Good readable copy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream Hardcover – Sep 7 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 12.95 CDN$ 0.16

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (Sept. 7 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307719820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307719829
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.9 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #433,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


“A voice of conscience in a time when we need conscience more than ever. . . Arianna Huffington is right: it’s not too late for citizens to wake up politicians or to take matters into their own hands.  Time is short: read this book now.”
--Elizabeth Warren -- Harvard Law School professor and author of The Two-Income Trap
“Luckily for Congress, the White House, and Corporate America, no one reads anymore, because if people discover this book, America will become a very different place.”
--Bill Maher
“Restoring the values that have made America strong – a thriving middle class and a sense of basic fair play – are of crucial importance to all Americans, left and right.   Third World America is a powerful plea for our country to wake up so that we can change course -- before it’s too late.”
 --Joe Scarborough
“Politicians talk endlessly about “protecting the middle class,” yet, over the last 30 years, the middle class has taken a relentless pounding. In precise, graphic, and shocking terms that will bring the crisis home to everyone, Arianna Huffington explains why: special interests have become too powerful, money dominates our politics, and there is no sense of empathy or even shame amongst our elite.  The national spirit that built America. . . lies in tatters. Turning this situation around will require strong new leadership.  How long will that take?  That depends on you - read this book and push hard for change”
--Simon Johnson –  professor of economics at MIT Sloan School of Business and co-author of 13 Bankers
“Arianna Huffington is one of the very few people in America committed to say things the way they are and to expose the monstrous elephants in the room ignored by the dominant discourse. Even rarer, she does so in a lively,  engaging, and, mostly, charming way.” 
--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author The Black Swan
“Third World America is simultaneously hard-hitting and empathetic.  It makes the case that, as the world's largest economy fights to define its future, a viable middle-class is essential to our country's well-being and something we should all fight to ensure.”
--Rob Johnson -- Senior Fellow and Director of the Project on Global Finance at the Roosevelt Institute
“The quick wit and sharp critique of Arianna Huffington will now be heard where they are needed most -- in defense of our quickly disappearing middle class. Taking direct aim at the misguided policies that have protected the plutocracy at the expense of the middle class, Arianna explains in stark language where we will end up if we don't change course. A must-read for all concerned citizens and thinkers. “
 --Eliot Spitzer, former Attorney General and governor of New York.
“With great passion and insight, Arianna tells it like it is. Blending outrage and optimism – indignation at how America’s crony capitalists have wrecked the nation’s great middle class, and unremitting hope that our people will rise and put things right – she explains what’s happened and what must be done. Here, clearly, is a book for our times.”
 --Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor
 “An alarming account of the plight of the American middle class.”
--Joseph Stiglitz, professor of economics at Columbia University and Nobel Laureater

About the Author

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON is the cofounder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of thirteen books. She is also the cohost of Left, Right & Center, public radio’s popular political roundtable program. She was named to the Time 100, Time magazine’s list of the world’s one hundred most influential people, and to the Financial Times’s list of fifty people who shaped the decade. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was sixteen and graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in economics. 

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

In her most recent and easy to read book, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of opinion maker Huffington Post and one of the most influential women of the USA, explores how inefficiently the governments in the USA are being run and how real is the threat that the USA can become a Third World country very soon. She attributes the current economic fiasco of the US simply to one aspect - successive US Governments being run under heavy influence of lobbies, financial and manufacturing cartels, special interest groups and the like.

She goes on to show how President Obama gave in to the same groups and did not invest in improving the crumbling infrastructure, school system, and encouraging bringing new ideas to the land by immigrants. But she does not paint a gloom and doom scenario altogether. She gives many encouraging examples of individuals, small businesses, and niche corporate players who are improving the lives in the USA without any help from the government.

So now I can defend my answer to the question I asked at the outset.

If Canadian politicians become pawns in the hands of special interest groups, such as price gouging gas companies, and the Central Bank decides to increase interest rate at its whim at a time when most Canadians have just moved into their new homes or have started new businesses under the encouragement of the Federal and provincial governments, like it did last few times, then there is a possibility that average Canadians will be hit too badly to recover at all.
4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book made me feel sad, but it is true. US is becoming a 3rd world country, mostly because of its increasing inequality, and the loss of revenue at federal, state and local governments due to corporate welfare. US' infrastructure is crumbling to the ground, the education system is a joke, no health care for the 50%..... US ranks last on most living standard indexes among industrial nations. The richest nation in the world has the poorest people among developed countries. It's a shame, and you can clearly blame it on the unholy alliance between big corporations and politicians that became very strong in the 70s and has doomed the US. CEO and Politicians, are becoming billionaires while the 99% gets down the toilet.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a business admin course I'm taking in university. I chose the book of a course list, the book was awesome! A great insight into the economy! As a Canadian, it made me realize how much better we have it than they do in the States. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about current events, and especially to someone who reads the Huffington Post, since the book is by the founder, Arianna Huffington. As well, if you're going to purchase this book, I recommend 110% you order from Better World Books, through Amazon. The book was brand new, cheap, and delivered promptly!!!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ad7acb4) out of 5 stars 73 reviews
196 of 224 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac3def4) out of 5 stars How to Thwart the Assassins of the American Dream Sept. 7 2010
By Janet M. Tavakoli - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Arianna Huffington paints a grim picture of the State of the Union: "Every day, Americans, faced with layoffs and tough economic times, are forced to use their credit cards to pay for essentials such as food, housing, and medical care--the costs of which continue to escalate." P. 77.

Our mediocre grammar school and high school educational system continues its downward slide. The Great Recession is squeezing school budgets.

Meanwhile, multi-national corporations avoid taxes, while enjoying bailout loans and fat government contracts.

The over-hyped American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 earmarked only $72 billion of the $787 billion appropriation of taxpayer dollars to projects to improve the country's infrastructure.

Top subprime lenders included Wells Fargo; Countrywide, purchased by Bank of America, Washington Mutual, now part of JPMorgan Chase; CitiMortgage, part of Citigroup; First Franklin (now closed), purchased by Merrill Lynch, which was purchased by Bank of America; ChaseHome Finance, part of JPMorgan Chase; Ownit, partly owned by Merrill Lynch, which was later purchased by Bank of America; and EMC, part of Bear Stearns, which was purchased by JPMorgan Chase. Most of the rest depended on massive loans from Wall Street. Many of these lenders were sued by states for fraud and paid billions in settlements.

According to trade publication "Inside Mortgage Finance," top mortgage backed securities underwriters included now defunct Lehman Brothers, Bank of America's Countrywide Securities, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America's Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan's Bear Stearns, and Goldman Sachs.

This doesn't even include collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and structured investment vehicles (SIVs) and credit derivatives, all of which amplified losses.

Fannie and Freddie do not make loans. They purchase mortgage loans and earn fees for guaranteeing payments on the loans. In 2006, Fannie and Freddie accounted for 33% of total mortgage backed securities issuance. In the first half of 2010, they accounted for around 64% of new issuance. They were forced to pick up the slack and buy more when Wall Street's private label securitization Ponzi scheme blew up. Fannie and Freddie did not create the housing bubble, and they are now Wall Street's dumping ground.

At the start of the meltdown, the IMF and the U.S. administration estimated losses of $2 to $2.5 trillion. Unemployment and the losses are now shockingly worse. What was merely a recession escalated into the Great Recession.

According to William K Black, after the much tinier S&L crisis, there were over 1,000 successful felony prosecutions, several thousand successful enforcement actions, and roughly 1,000 successful civil actions. This time Congress gave us the Great Cover-up. Bank officers dodged jail time and collected billions in bonuses.

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream names the culprits and gives a roadmap for solutions. Congress must start over on financial reform, regulate derivatives, commodities trading, break-up the Too Big to Fail financial institutions (update Glass-Steagall), and more. We deserve better than a third world economy divided by ultra-rich on one side and debt-ridden middle class and dirt poor citizens on the other.

We'll need a Constitutional amendment requiring full public financing for political campaigns (for starters). Our politicians have shown us how willing they are to be owned by special interest groups that will buy votes, buy a campaign, or just buy them off. As Arianna Huffington explains: "If someone's going to own the politicians, it might as well be the American people." (P. 172)
106 of 127 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9acc7ae0) out of 5 stars Blood On Our Hands Sept. 8 2010
By Bobby Lexington - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The current chapter being written about the American man of 2010 is haunting. Huffington shows us how the very political system our Founders created has been hijacked and used to fill the pockets of those soulless enough to steal from their own (see the Right Wing). The system no longer works for the middle class. Our politicians simply do patchwork, reacting to what the media says--putting their fingers on a different leak everyday. It has become apparent-- and Huffington points this out--that running for, and taking office, is nothing more than a way to protect one's financial interests--or better yet--to line one's own pockets. Huffington articulates this pervasive corruption quite poignantly. We see how the media has become the fourth branch of government--often setting the political agenda by creating the very stories they report on (i.e. CNN poll question: is Obama a Muslim?/results covered on a 24 hr. loop). And many of those news-created stories perpetuate the Right's agenda of delaying any legislation designed to benefit the middle and working classes. In fact, an eye-popping inditement of this 21st Century media is on full display in the book: 71 Days: The Media Assault On Obama. Huffington gives us a gift by unveiling an America that is drowning in propaganda, tabloid-news-programming, racism, capitalistic greed, and an ever-growing imperialistic philosophy regarding our role in the world. It's an America whose politicians are destroying the middle class at warp speed. The middle and working classes cannot afford for Sarah Palin to set the political agenda. But all she has to do is tweet something irrelevant and the media will run with it--ignoring any meaningful economic legislation that needs attention. Who suffers as a result? We do.
58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aa7f72c) out of 5 stars Good -- but Misses the Importance of Technology and Globalization Sept. 9 2010
By Robert Stryzinski - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Adrianna Huffington does a good job of describing the ongoing destruction of the middle class. I found the real-life stories of individuals and families that have been impacted particularly compelling. The degree of income concentration in the United States is really quite shocking.

My major complaint is that Huffington fails to indentify advancing technology as a primary driving force behind income inequality. This is an important point because if technology (along with globalization) is a major culprit, then it tells us something about the future: Things are very likely to get even worse. We're sure to see more advanced automation and also new technology that makes it even easier for companies to offshore work. Even the upper middle class is not going to escape this tend. The basic reality is that technology and globalization are making our labor worth much less and giving workers less and less bargaining power.

For a great overview of this issue--and a focus on the future rather than the past--I'd strongly recommend this book: The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. It shows how advancing technology will very likely lead to structural uemployment and even more extreme concentration of income into the hands of the few. As someone who works in the technology field, I'm convinced that the trends described in this book are already well underway and explain, at least in part, the situation that Huffington describes. As "The Lights in the Tunnel" points out, this problem may ultimately be so big that it defies conventional solutions. I highly recommend that anyone concerned about the plight of middle class Americans check out this book and give these issues some serious thought.
47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aa7faec) out of 5 stars No One is Lobbying for the American Dream Sept. 10 2010
By James Hiller - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"No One is Lobbying for the American Dream" is a phrase that resonates in Arianna Huffington's powerful and provocative new book, Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream.

Embedded in one of the most powerful chapters in this short, concise, and mighty wallop of a book, Huffington calls out the culture of corruption and greed that has taken over our government. Money from corporate lobbyists has filled the halls of Congress, influences vote, and despite public outrage over bank bailouts, BP oil rig disasters, and an economy still on shaky ground, real reform that would make a difference in the lives of the dwindling American Middle Class has no chance of succeeding. The facts are not new, and are not unknown, but terrifying none-the-less.

Huffington's book is filled with stories of what Palin calls "real Americans", people who paid the price of becoming middle class by attending college, working hard, owning a home, and living comfortably. However, due to circumstances beyond their control, (having jobs shipped overseas, health crises, et. al), these people are living off retirement savings and credit cards, just to make ends meet. These aren't people living the high life off a government buck; these are our fellow citizens who played by the rules, but somewhere down the road, the rules changed to favor corporate profits beyond anything else, and when it comes time to pay the piper, the middle class gets stuck with the bill.

This is one of the most accessible books on the current crisis. Huffington writes with such precision that her points and information resonates powerfully. This book could easily be read in one night. Warning: have post it notes, sticky arrows, or a notepad nearby. There are facts, phrases and statistics you are going to want to remember. My book is covered with them.

Finishing the book, I wondered if anyone who has anything to do with this mess is going to listen? Is corporate money so pervasive in our system that it's made our policy makers, both Democratic and Republican, deaf to the concerns of the citizens they purport to represent? Are our children going to look at books such as this and Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country and ask why didn't people read and heed these lessons as we live in a truly corporate run America?

This book should not only be read by everyone, but paid attention to. Huffington has sounded the alarm brilliantly, but will anyone listen?
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aa7fa98) out of 5 stars No Lobbyists for the American Dream Oct. 4 2010
By Edwin C. Pauzer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a story about disconnects, disconnects between Wall Street and Main Street, disconnects between the middle and lower classes with the wealthiest, disconnects between Congress and citizens, and disconnects between the American dream and reality. That is one thesis Huffington proposes. The other is the belief that as long as Americans work hard and play by the rules, they will prosper and get ahead. Huffington makes the case that the power brokers don't play by the rules, and stack the decks in their favor. Thus, the American dream has little chance of crystallizing.

The first disconnect, between Wall Street and Main Street is a sore spot with Americans of any political hue. Goldman Sachs commits fraud on a grand scale and is slapped with fines that barely put a dent in the company's profits, yet we will put in jail the person who holds up $500 from the cash register. The disparity in treatment between those in power and those who are powerless is glaring. Huffington wonders why those who have caused so much financial misery are not held accountable, and avoid being treated as the common thieves they are.

The disconnect between the middle and lower classes with the wealthiest. The disparity is well documented, but Huffington adds one depressing statistic after another: the reduction or elimination of aid programs, the increase in foreclosures and people below the poverty line, and the increase in productivity and decline in income.

The two most profound disconnects are the differences between Congress and citizens, and what the author calls, "Who could have known?" The disconnect between Congress and citizens is that Congress dances to the tune of the lobbyists and the money they contribute to members of Congress. According to Huffington lobbyists outnumber Congressmen by 26 to 1, and have spent 3.5 billion to influence their bills and their votes. That works out to 6.1 million for each of the 535 members of the House and Senate. Huffington contends that by the time a bill has made it to the floor or even to committee, the particulars and loopholes have already been decided in backroom deals with lobbyists present. She doesn't distinguish betweeen Republican or Democrat noting that Phil Gramm, Chuck Schumer, Alfonse D'Amato, and Chris Dodd have their hands dirty. The result were bills that would not protect us against future Wall Street greed, bank incompetence, or inadequate medical care. Knowing about crony capitalism was one thing, reading it was quite another.

"Who could have known" or "the struggle of memory against forgetting" describes the various blunders over the past several years as the excuses of people who were paid to anticipate such blunders. Who could have known that al-Qaeda was going to use airplanes as missiles against the United States? Who could have known that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would go on for nine and seven years respectively? Who could have known that Citicorp was awash in toxic investments that would collapse? Who could have known that New Orleans would be hit with a Category 5 hurricane and its levees would be breached, and how could Alan Greenspan have predicted the economic collapse after he gave such a rosy picture of its future? In other words, how can people predict success without the possibility of predicting failure? The August 8th Memo, General Shinseki, Brooksley Born (not mentioned in the book) all gave ample warning.

Two important elements emerge here. Free market economics has become crony capitalism and the democratic process that is supposed to be good for a plurality is only for the benefit of the few.

Huffington spends a long last chapter that expresses the American optimism that she claims is disappearing. Personal stories are interspersed with suggestions of how we can recapture government. Knowing our democracy is a rigged game, she suggests the reader makes a number of changes. "Fix Congress First" is a website dedicated to financial reform in Congress. Choking the powerful lobbyists is essential to restoring the democratic process. Innovative technology in the form of the Sunlight Foundation is also promising. During the healthcare summit in February 2010, the website was able to stream live the major contributors of each elected official speaking. Moving our money from banks "too big to fail" to consumer credit unions is another way of taking power away from the powerful.

This is a book for the uninitiated in American politics. It is for the people who are finally becoming aware of the economic and political world around them and information they may lack. While I found this book illuminating, I was already aware of much of the information. Nevertheless, it reminded me of one very important thing.

There are no lobbyists for the American Dream.

Also Recommended:

Johnston, David Cay, "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expesne and Stick you with the Bill." This is even better than "Third World America" and far more detailed.

Krugman, Paul, "Conscience of a Liberal."