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. As poverty has gone up, crime rates have come down, but the prison population has doubled. Meanwhile, fraud by the rich wipes out 40 per cent of the world's wealth — yet the rich get massively richer, and no one goes to jail.
In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where two troubling trends — growing wealth-inequality and mass incarceration — come together. Basic rights are now determined by wealth or poverty, allowing the hyper-wealthy to go unpunished, and turning poverty itself into a crime.
In The Divide, Taibbi takes us on a galvanising journey through both sides of the justice system. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse, and the story of a whistleblower who got in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, he shows how the newly punitive welfare system treats its beneficiaries as thieves, while stop-and-frisk practices have led to people being arrested for standing outside their own homes.
Through these astonishing — and enraging — accounts, Taibbi lays bare America's perverse new standard of justice: a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.