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The Great Divergence America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It


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Bloomsbury Press


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1608196356

9781608196357

288 Pages

$16.00

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly drastically unequal: the top 1% of Americans collect almost 20% of the nation's income-more than double their share in 1973. We have less equality of income than Venezuela, Kenya, or Yemen.

What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has until now been treated as little more than a talking point, a club to be wielded in ideological battles. But it may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes-a sharp, fundamental shift in the character of American society, and not at all for the better.

The income gap has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. In The Great Divergence, Timothy Noah delivers this urgently needed inquiry, ignoring political rhetoric and drawing on the best work of contemporary researchers to peer beyond conventional wisdom. Noah explains not only how the Great Divergence has come about, but why it threatens American democracy-and most important, how we can begin to reverse it.

The Great Divergence is poised to be one of the most talked-about books of 2012, a jump-start to the national conversation about what kind of society we aspire to be in the 21st century: a land of equality, or a city on a hill-with a slum at the bottom.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Great Divergence

“This is the book the 99 percent has been waiting for. Crisply lucid and brilliantly argued, The Great Divergence manages to entertain at the same time that it explains. Best of all, Noah offers some strikingly sensible steps to undo the economic polarization that is tearing America apart.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch, and Bright-Sided

"So you’re busy and stressed and have time to read just one book on America’s faultline crisis of widening inequality. This is the one. Tim Noah, a pro’s pro among the nation’s press corps, reveals why America has increasingly become a land of haves and have-nots—and how to reverse that soul-crushing trend—with insight, verve, thoroughness and surprising passion. A must read."Ron Suskind, author of Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President
 
"This book is profoundly fascinating and important. The growth of income equality over the past three decades has caused a contentious partisan debate based more on ideology than fact. Timothy Noah provides a clear, dispassionate look at what has (and has not) caused this trend and what we can do about it. Everyone who cares about the future of America’s middle class should read it."—Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute, author of Steve Jobs, Einstein and Benjamin Franklin

"This may be the most important book of the year. Timothy Noah explores the most significant long-term trend in our country, and he writes with an ease and clarity that makes reading this book a pleasure. Buy it now and read it. You’ll probably end up buying more copies for your friends and colleagues."—Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble

"A lucid, original, fascinating, and very useful guide to the biggest threat to America's future as a democracy. Noah has pulled together the whole array of explanations for the increasing Third World-ization of America—and he has sorted them out for us, with a guide to which are most important and what we can do about them. This is the book that should have been given out at the Occupy movements and—well, to everyone."—James Fallows, author of China Airborne and Breaking the News

“Timothy Noah has taken the most consequential domestic issue of this or any election and made us understand it in a completely new way. The Great Divergence is compelling, important and hugely readable. I learned something new in almost every sentence.”—Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise and The Defining Moment

"An instant classic."—Ariana Huffington

"Comprehensive, fair-minded, and lucid . . . Noah makes a convincing and passionate case for why rising inequality harms a working democracy."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Timothy Noah was recently named "TRB," the lead columnist at The New Republic. He wrote for Slate for a dozen years, and previously served at the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, and the Washington Monthly. He edited two collections of the writings of his late wife, Marjorie Williams, including the New York Times bestseller The Woman at the Washington Zoo. Noah received the 2011 Hillman Prize, the highest award for public service magazine journalism, for the series in Slate that forms the basis of The Great Divergence.

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BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Timothy Noah was recently named "TRB," the lead columnist at The New Republic. He wrote for Slate for a dozen years, and previously served at the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, and the Washington Monthly. He edited two collections of the writings of his late wife, Marjorie Williams, including the New York Times bestseller The Woman at the Washington Zoo. Noah received the 2011 Hillman Prize, the highest award for public service magazine journalism, for the series in Slate that forms the basis of The Great Divergence.
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