The Divide

  • by Matt Taibbi
  • Narrated by Ray Porter
  • 14 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 40 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 which 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Capitalism and Democracy Collide

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is an interesting analysis that highlights the two divergent realities in the US. The way the author contrasts the legal treatment of corporations versus average citizens is unsettling.


What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The comparisons provided were very insightful. Consider HSBC admitting to aiding the drug cartels and paying less than a years worth of their profit while a citizen is criminally charged then jailed for merely possessing the products of the same cartel. This book gave me insight into the different levels of citizenship in the US the moneyed and the rest. My view of the SEC fraud enforcement strategy is forever jaded when I consider the welfare fraud investigator going through a single mothers underwear drawer accusingly looking for signs of wealth while the banking industry document their misdeeds in the courts with complex language that even the judges cannot often decipher.


What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

Great inflection at the right moments, kept me interested.


If you could give The Divide a new subtitle, what would it be?

The Power of Money


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- Michael

Everyone should be reading this book!

An in depth easy to understand book on the mess this country is in. It should be required reading. Giving it to my kids. We need a change.
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- John E

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-08-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio