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.
‘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 … Rising from the text is a miasma of corporate and political malfeasance and immorality that mocks the platitudes of democracy.’ STARRED REVIEW
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'These are the stories that will keep you up at night … not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.'
Los Angeles Times
'Lucid and direct … The Divide is an important book for Australians as well as Americans'
‘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 … He drives home the telling point that the wealth-driven dichotomy in our legal system stems from our bending the law to match our social attitudes.’
Hedrick Smith, The Washington Post
Kirkus 'Best Nonfiction Books of 2014'
‘Ambitious … [D]eeply reported, highly compelling … Impossible to put down.’
Timothy Noah, The New York Times Book Review
‘[Taibbi’s] warning is all about moral hazard … When swindlers know that their risks will be subsidised … 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.’
Matt Welch, The Wall Street Journal
‘Trenchant … [A] scathing, accessible, and often riveting look at the US finance industry and justice system.’
‘Captivating … The Divide enshrines its author’s position as one of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.’
‘Taibbi [is] perhaps the greatest reporter on Wall Street’s crimes in the modern era.’
‘Rolling Stone contributing editor Taibbi argues that the widening gap between the rich one percent and the rest of us has altered our sense of justice. With a six-city tour.’
Venessa Hughes, Library Journal