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Third World America: How our politicians are abandoning the ordinary citizen [Kindle Edition]

Arianna Huffington
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Features updated material and a special foreword from Arianna for the UK audience

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the hard-working, average citizen on an average income is an endangered species and that the American Dream of a secure, comfortable standard of living has become outdated. The USA is in danger of becoming a Third World nation.

The evidence is all around: its industrial base is vanishing, taking with it the kind of jobs that have formed the backbone of America’s economy for more than a century; the education system is in shambles, making it harder for tomorrow’s workforce to acquire the information and training it needs to land good twenty-first-century jobs; its infrastructure – roads, bridges, water, and electrical systems – is crumbling; its economic system has been reduced to recurring episodes of Corporations Gone Wild; and its political system is broken, in thrall to a small financial elite using the power of the chequebook to control both parties. And America’s middle class, the driver of so much of the country’s economic success and political stability, is rapidly disappearing, forcing this democracy to confront the fear that it is slipping as a nation – that its children and grandchildren will enjoy fewer opportunities and face a lower standard of living. It’s the dark flipside of the American Dream – an American Nightmare of their own making.

Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the must-read Huffington Post, has her finger on the pulse of America and unflinchingly tracks the gradual demise of the nation as an industrial, political, and economic leader. In the vein of her fiery bestseller Pigs at the Trough, Third World America points fingers, names names, and details who’s killing the American Dream. Calling on the can-do attitude that is part of America’s DNA, Huffington shows precisely what needs to be done to stop the free fall and keep the country from turning into a Third World nation. Third World America is required reading for anyone who is disturbed by the United States’ steady descent from twentieth-century superpower to backwater banana republic.

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, host of Real Time with 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, host of Morning Joe

“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

About the Author

Arianna Huffington is the cofounder and editor in chief of Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of thirteen books. She is also the co-host of Left, Right & Centre, American public radio’s popular political roundtable program. She was named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s one hundred most influential people and to the Financial Times’ 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1428 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (7 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VM64CG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #694,257 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Arianna Huffington is the cofounder and editor in chief of Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of thirteen books. She is also the co-host of Left, Right & Centre, American public radio's popular political roundtable program. She was named to Time magazine's list of the world's one hundred most influential people and to the Financial Times' 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third World America 31 Dec. 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
`Third World America' is Arianna Huffington's analysis of America's gradual slide from a first world nation to a third world nation and the reasons behind this.

In this book she describes how the American middle class is being pushed down and held back by corrupt government and greedy, immoral corporations and whilst this is not new information to many, it makes for sobering reading when collected into one book like this. Many of the issues facing America are also applicable to the UK and whilst the systems differ slightly, the problems and solutions are close enough to warrant further reading.

After describing the issues facing America Arianna finishes with a chapter exploring some possible solutions to these problems. Some are concrete and easy to apply, like switching our money to small, ethical banking institutions, but others are more vague, like building feelings of brotherhood in communities. These vague ideas are perfectly valid, but it's a lot harder to go out and instil this, whereas I can go and change my bank accounts this afternoon if I so wish.

All in all, this made for an interesting read and you can tell Arianna belives deeply in what she is writing about. Her writing style is engaging and clear to read and hopefully with her sway in the American media her ideas will gain purchase amongst the wider public. This isn't the happiest book you can read, but it certainly raises some issues that desperately need addressing.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informed and empowered 14 Feb. 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As relevant to the US as it is to the UK, this is a book of shock statistics interwoven with personal stories of worsening times with worse to come. Despite the US perspective, Arianna covers issues affecting global societies, and many of the appalling stats and cries for action will seem familiar to British readers. It's not some uncorroborated list of facts and figures - references are given for all of the statistical claims given in the book, lending its argument a good deal of weight. Journalistic in style, it is fact-driven and punchy.

Although you can tell what side of the political fence Arianna sits on, the book tries hard not to be partisan in any way, a welcome change from gloat-drive blame politics. Democrats and Republicans are singled out for praise and shame, and the book's underlying message is the need for cooperation beyond the party level.

And it's not all doom and gloom - the fifth and final section of the book looks hopefully not only at national solutions to the problems, but also at what the individual can do. As well as practical measures such as making use of more localised credit unions instead of international banks, there's a well-needed call for greater empathy and community action. Peppered here and there with the usual raft of inspirational quotes, there is nonetheless a great practicality in Arianna's outline for kicking off reform.

All in all an excellent addition to the growing literature on the series of crises hitting much of Western civilisation right now. A concise read that leaves you feeling both informed and empowered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Book of observations 20 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The books starts of very interesting painting the picture about how middle class have taken the brunt of economic crisis. But then for me, it just became a book of obervations and experiences lots and lots of people were having generally all ending up worse off.

The book give examples of where the rich got richer at the expense of the lower classes, companies doing wrong things like pocketing billions for unauthorized security services after the Iraq war. All these things I have read about and watched documentries on before.

I got to half way of the book and started skim reading the rest, and there were some suggested solutions to save the US from entering 3rd world poverty, such as banks becoming simplier, improving politics etc, but nothing too radical.
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By Gaurav Sharma VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Picture this - US household and personal bankruptcy stats rising by the month, businesses failing, falling incomes, credit constriction, crumbling infrastructure, rising unemployment and a stalemate in policymaking circles. That is not the American dream, but rather the America we see today according to the author of this book Arianna Huffington.

She reckons the American dream - a secure, comfortable standard of living - is crumbling in light of recent events. Going one step further, she opines that the US is now in danger of becoming a Third World nation as the country's middle class disappears. In her narrative spread over 276 pages split by a preface and five chapters, there are poignant reminders about corporate greed and examples of those who have seen their dreams crumble before their eyes through no fault of their own. Enron, Worldcom, Lehman Brothers are all there and hammered by the author for what they are or rather were worth. As are crumbling bridges, roads, levies, etc going unrepaired and a beleaguered education system which capture the author's ire.

Along with the reminders, are of course some pragmatic solutions from the author to stem the slide and some solutions you may have already heard on various forums which she rehashes or cites. That aside, the joining glue to the narrative appears to be nothing more than rants - some readable, some laudable, some laughable and some exceedingly patronising.

The much beleaguered US middle class still remains the most bankable one from a retail sales footfall and macroeconomic standpoint. One cedes that this should not be the sole considering parameter - the US middle class is indeed suffering but as are their peers on a global scale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars No real news here folks!
Third World America by Arianna Huffington is a look at the destruction of the Middle Class in the USA, by its political & corporate elite. Read more
Published on 23 Sept. 2012 by Ceinwenn
3.0 out of 5 stars Risky business, remaking the world
Third World may be overstating the position, but the sense of anxiety and unease is palpable in the personal accounts related in this book; the blame for the USA's current... Read more
Published on 9 May 2012 by Lulu
3.0 out of 5 stars enormously under estimates the problems of the USA
The book is basically a series of rants about the many inconveniencies that modern life throws up to an average American citizen. Problem is ... Read more
Published on 23 Nov. 2011 by Mr. R. G. A. Thomas
3.0 out of 5 stars Good message in a too populist packaging
Don't get me wrong, I am in full agreement with the author's argument in this book. The book explains why America by dismantling its socially embedded economy risks losing all that... Read more
Published on 17 Oct. 2011 by @iGlinavos
5.0 out of 5 stars BACK TO 1789
Whatever you think of the viewpoints advanced in this book, or of the author's own political Odyssey from right to left, she is one heck of a journalist. Read more
Published on 9 Oct. 2011 by DAVID BRYSON
4.0 out of 5 stars All doom and gloom, possibly too much so
I found this book to quite a gripping read, if probably a bit over-dramatic and doom-mongering in places. Read more
Published on 6 Oct. 2011 by Glasgow Dreamer
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy book to read, a difficult one to review....
In some ways this book should be simple to review, it is a book that points out much about what is wrong with American politics (and politics around the world as many of these... Read more
Published on 5 Oct. 2011 by Mr. A. J. D. White
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, but packs a punch
A book well worth reading. Obviously it won't put a huge smile on anyone's face, but it should be recognized as a vote towards the rapidly growing notion that we require change... Read more
Published on 29 Sept. 2011 by Apollo 11
4.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Makeover USA
This work is accessible in both style and length, the author also possesses a nifty turn of phrase. She describes the American middle class as going to hell in a handcart, 'a... Read more
Published on 25 Sept. 2011 by Officer Dibble
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