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The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap Paperback – October 21, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 652 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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)


From the Hardcover edition.

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (October 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812983637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812983630
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (652 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You could bookend this with Christa Freeland's "Plutocrats." But where that recounts a lot of dry history and statistics interspersed with its revealing interviews, Taibbi isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and go to the story. This is a book written with a wry sense of the absurd situations it details. Corruption at both the top and the bottom of our society. But to very, very different ends.

Remember: this is the guy that went to the Florida "rocket docket" court, recording how thousands of people were stripped of their homes under the flimsiest pretexts, often with outright fabricated evidence. In "Divide" he goes again where the stories are: to Bed-Sty, the outer NYC boroughs, and the courts. And documents how miserably the system treats the disadvantaged. What you think you know from "Law And Order", believe it: you don't. Kafka himself couldn't improve on some of this. At one point Taibbi refers to all this as a "descent into madness." And after reading it, it's hard to argue with that.

The "Divide" of course is cash. But this is no screed against "the rich." If that's what you think you've not read the book, or completely missed the point. To wit: if you commit a massive, white-collar crime, but you've got enough (i.e. near-infinite) cash, you're now too much trouble and risk to even indict, let alone prosecute. And if -- like me - you've wondered why none of the people who committed these global frauds on a massive scale have ever been prosecuted for any of it, this book gives you a detailed, compelling, and depressing answer.

Taibbi points out most of us will never see any of this. Out of sight, out of mind. The poor are segregated away.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this book, Taibbi further explores themes he touched on in Griftopia, where he discussed in exceptionally fine detail the various cons, swindles, and other criminal activity (to call it what it is, really, since it seems like so many avoid doing that) perpetrated by the American finance sector during the 2008 financial crisis. Although it's not really necessary, I'd read that book before I read this one, because it provides a lot of background, and just because the contents of that book explain that debacle better than anyone else could, or even bothered to.

As opposed to recounting what happened like he did in Griftopia, The Divide explains how the crooks at places like Lehman Brothers got away with what they did, or rather, how they did so in full view of regulators and then dodged prosecution by the Department of Justice. He juxtaposes this with the "other" justice system the opposite end of the wealth spectrum is subject to. Perhaps this isn't a new concept that Taibbi or anyone else just figured out - fans of Chappelle's Show might remember the Law & Order parody where Dave switched the white collar criminal and the drug dealer? - but in any case Taibbi draws this contrast to stark effect. The wealthy are more or less immune to prosecution no matter how egregious their crimes are, especially in the context of their work, due to any combination of the details being too arcane or the government being unable/unwilling to effectively investigate or prosecute.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again, Matt Taibbi get it right. If you are at all concerned about the future of real justice replacing our present system of justice in Ameica, you must read this book. Taibbi makes it crystal clear that the "Divide" is real and that if you are an executive of a large corporation, you can get away with huge crimes with no personal penalty but if you are poor or middle class, you can pay a huge price for a minor infraction or some times no infraction other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is truly a major scandal that needs to be rectified. Read this book and let your voice be heard !
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Taibbi tells about the divide between rich and poor and how politicians foster conditions to maintain and increase the separation. There are more Americans in jail than ever were jailed in Stalin's Russian gulags for instance and the time to correct the situation is running out fast. The poor go to prison and the rich go to the Bahamas.
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Format: Hardcover
With `The Divide' Matt Taibbi, an editor of Rolling Stone magazine, returns on the literary scene with his new work after with previous `Griftopia' and `The Great Derangement' he spoke about the America after 9/11 and activities that took place behind-the-scenes of the financial crisis in recent years.

In this last book he touched a theme that is extremely painful because it interferes with the justice and concerns a large number of people - he speaks about today's different ways of crimes persecution depending whether they were committed by poor people, while on the other hand the rich people lightly pull out of all the problems thanks to their money and influence, which it carries.

I read his earlier works and though I generally like the uncompromising style that the author fosters, it must be recognized that it is evident that the author with each new book is becoming more mature, and his stories that get better are deprived of general accusations.

Although it is usually not a subject when reviewing this type of book I cannot avoid to mention the great black-and-white illustrations that can be found on the pages of the book, the work of illustrator Molly Crabapple, depicting various motifs associated with justice.

The book is quite extensive, consisting of nearly 500 pages, but it seems that the author didn't need to prepare a lot to spoke with full inspiration about dissatisfaction today's (ordinary) man feels, while on the other side encounters injustice by looking at how those who have a lot, thanks to system are destined to have even more.

Therefore with full right can be said that this is the best Matt Taibbi's book that besides author fans can be recommended to other readers who have not yet been introduced to the work of this author and want to read a good quality non-fiction work.
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