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The Divide: American injustice in the age of the wealth gap [Kindle Edition]

Matt Taibbi
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.22
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Book Description

In The Divide, Matt Taibbi — the scourge of America’s financial plutocrats — takes on his most important story yet. Written with forensic zeal and righteous rage, this is an exploration of an unprecedented wealth gap that is not just changing the US’s economic life, but transforming the meaning of rights, justice, and basic citizenship.

The wealthy 1 per cent operate with near impunity, protected by their class, their peers, and their system; however large and outrageous their crimes, they are hardly ever charged and rarely jailed. Meanwhile, everyone else finds their daily existence the subject of massive law-enforcement attention — from stop-and-frisk programs and the immigrant dragnet, to invasive surveillance and the abuse of debtors.

Driven by immersive reporting, this is a stunning, enraging revelation of the newest high-stakes divide in the US: between a lawless aristocracy of hyperwealth and everyone else, living under the shadow of an incipient American police state.


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Review

Matt Taibbi s genius is in untangling complex stories and making us care about them by providing striking moral clarity and a genuine sense of outrage. --Washington Post.

About the Author

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and the author of four previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Great Derangement and Griftopia. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4199 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812983637
  • Publisher: Scribe (28 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JEWFXJ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,471 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Helpful Advice TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By The Guardian TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Following-up on `The Great Derangement' and `Griftopia', Matt Taibbi in `The Divide' examines the processes which have led to the development of a two-tier criminal justice system in the USA. George Orwell's proclamation (by the pigs) in `Animal Farm' sums it up: "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." Taibbi's essay focuses on two groups of people at opposite ends of the social spectrum: at one end the poor and disadvantaged, routinely harassed and arrested, put through the meat grinder of the justice system, sent to jail and given criminal records for the most trivial infractions; at the other the rich - especially the super-rich Wall Street class of financiers - effectively exempt from prosecution regardless of the enormity of criminal fraud, embezzlement and theft. Taibbi shows us that not only do most people now unconsciously acknowledge this divide as de facto, but we've come to subliminally agree that some people are just more entitled to civil rights than others (i.e. in Orwellian-speak some are "more equal"), depending on their wealth, status and position in society.

Taibbi's thesis demonstrates that those guilty of `white-collar crime' whose resources can finance armies of highly-paid lawyers are basically too much trouble to indict, that a successful prosecution is a task beyond the energies of all but the most determined prosecutor due to the complexity and arcane detail of the evidence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It's the same the whole world over . . . 14 July 2014
By Stanley Crowe TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
. . . it's the poor that get the blame/It's the rich as gets the pleasure/ Ain't it just a bleedin' shame." An old story, then . . . but one that Matt Taibbi would argue is especially important to take to heart at a time of growing income inequality. For whatever you think of "income inequality," it means, says Taibbi, the wealthy people and the institutions that support their wealth are not subject to the same system of justice as poor people, and that means that our whole system of justice is breaking down and that we therefore need to insist as citizens that the laws of the land are fairly applied. There's something wrong when a welfare mother is jailed for lying about her income on a form -- that is, she's subject to criminal penalties -- while people who robo-sign hundreds of documents supposedly guaranteeing the value of worthless mortgage arrangements rarely come into the ambit of the criminal justice system at all. If action is taken against them, it's in civil court, and if a fine is imposed, it is paid by the firm for which they work. As individuals, they don't suffer at all. In a time when crime is down, more and more law-enforcement resources are deployed to catch relatively small fish, while (especially following the repeal of Glass-Steagall), less attention is paid and less regulatory attention is focused on large banks, insurance companies, and investment management.

Taibbi is a superb story teller, both of the difficulties of the lives of low-income people navigating the welfare system and of the complicated, unethical and frequently illegal behavior of banks and hedge-fund managers, and his book is organized so that the stories of the poor and the rich are juxtaposed, so that we see the difference in treatment.
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