THIRD WORLD AMERICA
How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and
Betraying the American Dream
By ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
It’s not an exaggeration to say that middle-class Americans arean endangered species and that the American Dream of a secure, comfortable standard of living has become as outdated as an Edsel with an eight-track player. The United States is in danger of becoming a Third World nation.
The evidence is all around us: our industrial base is vanishing, taking with it the jobs that have formed the backbone of our economy for more than a century; our education system is in shambles, making it harder for tomorrow’s workforce to acquire the information and training it needs to land twenty-first-century jobs; our infrastructure—roads, bridges, water, and electrical systems—is crumbling; our economic system has been reduced to recurring episodes of Corporations Gone Wild; our political system is broken, in thrall to a small financial elite using the power of the checkbook to control both parties.
And America’s middle class, the driver of so much of our economic success and political stability, is rapidly shrinking, forcing us to confront the fear that we are slipping as a nation—that our children and grandchildren will enjoy fewer opportunities and face a lower standard of living than we did. Those who have lost their jobs—or are afraid of losing them—are beginning to realize those jobs may never come back. It’s the dark flipside of the American Dream—an American Nightmare of our own making.
Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor in chief of the must-read Huffington Post, has her finger on the pulse of the nation. She now brings us a provocative book sure to strike a chord with the public: THIRD WORLD AMERICA: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream (Crown; September 7, 2010). She unflinchingly tracks the gradual slide of the nation as an industrial, political, and economic leader, and, in the vein of her fiery bestseller Pigs at the Trough, she points fingers, names names, and details who’s killing the American Dream.
Calling on the can-do attitude that is part of America’s DNA, Huffington shows precisely what we need to do to stop our free fall and keep America from turning into a Third World nation. THIRD WORLD AMERICA is a must-read for anyone disturbed by our country’s steady descent from twentieth-century superpower to backwater banana republic.
“A voice of conscience in a time when we need conscience more than ever. . . Arianna Huffington is right: it’s not too late for citizens to wake up politicians or to take matters into their own hands. Time is short: read this book now.”
—Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School professor and author of The Two-Income Trap
“Luckily for Congress, the White House, and corporate America, no one reads anymore, because if people discover this book, America will become a very different place.”—Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher
“Restoring the values that have made America strong—a thriving middle class and a sense of basic fair play— are of crucial importance to all Americans, left and right. Third World America is a powerful plea for our country to wake up so that we can change course—before it’s too late.”—Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe
“Politicians talk endlessly about ‘protecting the middle class,’ yet, over the last thirty years, the middle class has taken a relentless pounding. In precise, graphic, and shocking terms that will bring the crisis home to everyone, Arianna Huffington explains why: special interests have become too powerful, money dominates our politics, and there is no sense of empathy or even shame amongst our elite. The national spirit that built America lies in tatters. Turning this situation around will require strong new leadership. How long will that take? That depends on you—read this book and push hard for change.”—Simon Johnson, professor of economics at MIT Sloan School of Management and coauthor of 13 Bankers
“Arianna Huffington is one of the very few people in America committed to say things the way they are and to expose the monstrous elephants in the room ignored by the dominant discourse. Even rarer, she does so in a lively, engaging, and, mostly, charming way.”
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author The Black Swan
“With great passion and insight, Arianna tells it like it is. Blending outrage and optimism—indignation at how America’s crony capitalists have wrecked the nation’s great middle class, and unremitting hope that our people will rise and put things right—she explains what’s happened and what must be done. Here, clearly, is a book for our times.”—Robert B. Reich, professor of public policy, University of California, Berkeley, and former U.S. secretary of labor
“An alarming account of the plight of the American middle class.”—Joseph Stiglitz, professor of economics at Columbia University and Nobel Prize laureate
“Third World America is simultaneously hard-hitting and empathetic. It makes the case that, as the world’s largest economy fights to define its future, a viable middle class is essential to our country’s well-being and something we should all fight to ensure.”—Rob Johnson, senior fellow and director of the Project on Global Finance at the Roosevelt Institute
“The quick wit and sharp critique of Arianna Huffington will now be heard where they are needed most—in defense of our quickly disappearing middle class. A must-read for all concerned citizens and thinkers.”—Eliot Spitzer, former Attorney General and Governor of New York
“Third World America vividly translates the financial collapse and its aftermath into human terms. If you read one book on the economic catastrophe this fall, Arianna Huffington’s is the one to read.” —Robert Kuttner, author, “A Presidency in Peril.” Co-Editor, The American Prospect
“No one starts a public conversation about policy with the vigor or intelligence of Arianna Huffington. In Third World America, she issues a frightening—but necessary—call for action. I trust her vision of the course we’re on, and trust equally her remedy for what we need to do to make it better.”
“Third World America is about making America a place for a better life again, to restore our role as ‘the shining city on the hill’ and to replace the politicians who work for a privileged few with citizens who want to restore the American Dream.”—Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON is the cofounder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of thirteen books. She is also the cohost of Left, Right & Center, public radio’s popular political roundtable program. She was named to the Time 100, Time magazine’s list of the world’s one hundred most influential people, and to the Financial Times’s list of fifty people who shaped the decade. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was sixteen and graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in economics.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THIRD WORLD AMERICA
How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream
By Arianna Huffington
Crown • On-sale date: September 7, 2010 • ISBN: 978-0-307-71982-9 • Price: $23.99
Visit Arianna Huffington on the Web: www.huffingtonpost.com/ThirdWorldAmerica