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Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality Hardcover – April 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595589236
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595589231
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A potent chronicle of America's 'extreme inequality, the worst by far of any nation with a modern economy.'"
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

David Cay Johnston is an investigative journalist and the winner of a 2001 Pulitzer Prize. He is the former president of the Investigative Reporters & Editors and the author of the bestselling Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print. He teaches at Syracuse University College of Law and lives in Rochester, New York.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

A marvelous book that everyone should read.
Bob
More than once because every thing he writes is dead-on accurate.
Kevin Blackwood
I know no where is perfect but this got my blood boiling!!
ann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not an econ major, (History). This man has helped me understand the economy, dynamics, and fairness. He is brilliant, easy to follow, and very interesting. All of his books are superb, and if you ever have the chance to hear him speak, go, watch, listen and learn.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kathy E. on May 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I heard Mr. Johnston speak and was inspired to buy his book. It is a collection of essays by a variety of outstanding people, looking from different directions at our national picture - economic, family, political, demograhic. Decribes the startling problem of the growing inequality that has expanded severely since the mid-seventies.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Blackwood on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of DCJ's books, thoroughly. More than once because every thing he writes is dead-on accurate. And important. I love his writing style, gets right down to the white-meat without a lot of blah, blah, blah. He makes salient points from the get go and then backs them up with a boat load of facts and examples.

Buy his books, they're great!

And you can take that all the way to the bank....
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Wagner on May 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
So far not drawing a great deal of attention, Johnston’s compilation makes many excellent points. Personally, I would have preferred a compilation by a single author, but the facts are plainly stated.
The cost of being middle class (mortgage, health and child care) rises more rapidly than wages and two family incomes means no back up when one of the incomes go badly, thus stifling upward mobility.
Stigitz argues that middle class spending is too weak to support the consumer spending that has historically driven our economy. (I have wondered for decades how the purchase of rubbish from slave labor foreign countries could drive our economy.) The weakness also holds back tax receipts, since we all know the rich will avoid payment whenever legally possible.
Unlike the essence of "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, children of limited means are unlikely to live up to their potential. Without the benefits of middle class +, better education does not guarantee better income.
The children of upper echelon families enter better funded schools, for the most part, better prepared, as money will buy, than their less financially fortunate counterparts. For example, when in Indiana was the last time a poor student won the Lilly Scholarship?
The pay and working conditions of the service sector is often better than revolting. O’Brien’s section on health care for the underclass should be read by all…
The fact is, even without Johnston’s documentation, life is unfair, and this book fails to document the root cause of this social catastrophe. Churchill is alleged to have said that the best argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with a voter.
Do our marginalized citizens even vote or do they vote single issues such as Jesus, baby killing, guns, etc.?
The problems are here bared, but the solutions have not yet been applied.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Drew Hunkins on June 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Class conflict, class struggle and class warfare are the driving motor forces of history. Class conflict, class struggle and class warfare are the driving motor forces of history.

Close to half the United States population lives below or near the poverty line, with recent studies forecasting an almost untenable socio-economic future. Projections indicate that four out of five citizens or workers are guaranteed to experience bouts of poverty, prolonged unemployment and serious and debilitating economic insecurity.

'Divided' is a quality compendium that melds together a collection of intelligent populist writers and thinkers into one informative and very prescient book. Some of the better contemporary intellectuals commenting on domestic economics are here: Warren, Stiglitz, Ehrenreich, Krugman and Edelman all contribute sharp essays and fresh columns that Johnston's adroitly constructed into a valuable whole.

The wage theft and paltry pay that workers experience each time they grab their paychecks - if they're fortunate enough to even have a regular gig - are disturbing topics running throughout. 'Divided' connects these themes, showing how they're manifestations of the extreme income polarization crippling the nation. It's an income polarization that's by far more stark and violent than in any other industrialized country on the planet.

The most gut-wrenching and devastating reading occurs with the sections devoted to the family unit. The tragic and heartbreaking effects that low wages, inescapable personal debt and near poverty are having on overwhelmed families is a virtual hidden scandal of depressing proportions. Exhausted and harried parents with child victims in tow struggle along in days and nights of economic and social desperation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric Laursen on May 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Numbers are tricky things. They can throw complicated problems into sharp relief, or they can obscure the fundamental issues to the point of hopelessness. Often, the first is quickly followed by the second. The burgeoning debate over the numbers that Tomas Picketty employs in his recent book to demonstrate a secular trend toward income inequality is a classic example of this unfortunate pattern at work. It's a good thing, then, that we have David Cay Johnston's wonderful collection of essays on aspects of inequality in America. This methodical exploration of inequality has plenty of data to back it up. Unlike Picketty's book, however, it digs deeply into the process that created the new, oligarchic US, and the ways in which it has impacted--and extended itself through--such areas as education, health care, family viability, debt, hunger, and homelessness.
Johnston's thesis is encapsulated by three short words close to the beginning of his Introduction: "In choosing inequality ..." What makes this book so useful is that it locates the inequality that's been building for the past four decades in specific decisions made by specific people--not in "globalization," the technology revolution, or some other allegedly irresistible trend. He doesn't offer a laundry list of recommendations to eliminate inequality, although he and his contributors mention quite a few along the way. What he offers instead is something more valuable: the understanding that if one group of fantastically wealthy people can remake the US economic system to suit their desires, the rest of us can organize to take it back--or, more precisely, to move it forward into the next stage of the movement for economic equality and freedom.
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