Monday, April 21, 2014

The Divide: Taibbi's writing has matured, but the system is still broken



Taibbi’s last book, Griftopia, got to me.  Not like it made me mad, but you could tell the seething rage that was behind his words and it was so heavy that it almost detracted from his argument (The argument that you and I all got sold out).

Here, he’s toned it down.  In the Divide, Taibbi flips back and forth between the malefactors of great wealth that can wreck a planet and a financial system AND then he looks at the people who suffer great injustice at the hands of the law.  It is a class thing, as well as a race thing, and a gender thing.  The concept of the two Americas is alive and well, and Taibbi shows it well.

A couple of notes: if you have followed Taibbi’s reporting in the Rolling Stone, some of these stories will feel familiar, but he does a good job rolling what may be disparate reportage into a coherent argument. The second note I am not sure if it says more about me or Taibbi or the system he covers.  The sections that relate the great crimes the wealthy perpetuate are engagingly told, but they don’t get my lather up.  I did get that lather up when he accounted for individual’s struggles against a racist immigration and justice apparatus. I guess I can relate to those better, since I have been much closer to the bottom in society than I ever will be to the top.  I heartily recommend everyone needs to read this book, but they should check with their doctor beforehand.