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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.Praise for The Divide "These are the stories that will keep you up at night. . . . The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest."--Los Angeles Times Praise for Matt Taibbi's Griftopia "A stinging new history of the financial crisis that heralds a return of Menckenesque, dirt-under-the-fingernails American journalism."--GQ "A relentlessly disturbing, penetrating exploration of the root causes of the trauma that upended economic security in millions of American homes . . . a full-scale indictment of Wall Street and Washington."--The New York Times Book Review "Matt Taibbi is [Hunter S.] Thompson's heir. . . . [Griftopia] is the most lucid, justifiably angry description of what happened and what continues to happen to our nation's economy."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Taibbi chronicles the corruption of the political process with indignation and dark humor. The takeaway? Be angry, but blame the right culprits."--TimeFrom the Hardcover edition.
Funny, smart, and a little bit heartbreaking, "The Great Derangement" is an audaciously reported, sobering, and illuminating portrait of America at the end of the Bush era.
The Great Derangement: A Terrifying, True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empireby Matt Taibbi
In describing the post-9/11 era, Taibbi ended up vomiting demons in an evangelical church in Texas, riding the streets of Baghdad in a convoy to nowhere, following a pork trail through Congress, and falling into the rabbit hole of the 9/11 Truth Movement. He tells the story of this new American madness by inserting himself into four defining American subcultures: THE MILITARY, THE SYSTEM, THE RESISTANCE, and THE CHURCH. Together these four interwoven adventures paint a portrait of a nation dangerously our of touch with reality and manically searching for answers in all the wrong places.
A brilliantly illuminating and darkly comic tale of the ongoing financial and political crisis in America The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn't past but prologue. The grifter class--made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding--has been growing in power, and the crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they've hijacked America's political and economic life.Matt Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing account yet written of this ongoing American crisis. He offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals of the bailout; tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity"; and uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world.This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of this country, and the profound consequences for us all.
Matt Taibbi is notorious as a journalistic agitator, a stone thrower, a "natural provocateur" (Salon. com). His scathing, vibrant prose shines an unflinching spotlight on the corruption, dishonesty, and sheer laziness of our leaders. Smells Like Dead Elephants brings together Taibbi's most incisive, intense, and hilarious work from his "Road Work" column in Rolling Stone. Written over the last two years, a period in our history with no shortage of outrages to compel Taibbi's pen, these pieces paint a shocking portrait of our government at work--or, as Taibbi points out in "The Worst Congress Ever," rarely working. "In the Sixties and Seventies, Congress met an average of 162 days a year. The 109th Congress set the all-time record for fewest days worked by a U.S. Congress: 93. Figuring for half-days, in fact, the 109th Congress probably worked almost two months less than the notorious 'Do-Nothing' Congress of 1948". Taibbi has plenty to say about George W. Bush, Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, and all the rest, but he doesn't just hit inside the Beltway. He gets involved in the action, infiltrating Senator Conrad Burns's birthday party under disguise as a lobbyist for a fictional oil firm that wants to drill in the Grand Canyon. He floats into apocalyptic post-Katrina New Orleans in a dinghy with Sean Penn. He goes to Iraq as an embedded reporter, where he witnesses the mind-boggling dysfunction of our occupation and spends three nights in Abu Ghraib prison. And he reports from two of the most bizarre and telling trials in recent memory: California v. Michael Jackson and the evolution-vs.-intelligent-design trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A brilliant collection from one of the most entertaining political writers of today, Smells Like Dead Elephants is a stylish record of the offenses of the Bush years.
"Spanking the Donkey" indicts the surreal irrelevance of today's mainstream politics with barbed wit and caustic intelligence. Follow Taibbi as he covers the primary for the 2004 presidential election, joining him for a spot on John Kerry's campaign plane, face-to-face encounters with John Edwards's pancake makeup, and more.