A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis
Over the last two decades, America has been falling
deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery. Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The
prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out forty percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get
massively richer. No one goes to jail.
In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi
discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling
trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven
by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: our basic rights are now
determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively
destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty
itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two
alarming trends side by side.
In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey
through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of
the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling
looting that preceded the financial collapse, a wild conspiracy of billionaire
hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks, and the story of
a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America only to
find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes
us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet, into the newly punitive welfare
system that treats its beneficiaries as thieves, and deep inside the
stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an
arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and
analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a
radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights.
Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the
high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people
caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest
challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that
devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of
the wealthy, and implicates us all. Download and start listening now!