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Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  870 ratings  ·  118 reviews
It's not an exaggeration to say that middle-class Americans are an endangered species and that the American Dream of a secure, comfortable standard of living has become as outdated as an Edsel with an eight-track player—that the United States of America is in danger of becoming a third world nation.

The evidence is all around us: Our industrial base is vanishing, taking wi
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Published September 7th 2010 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  870 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
Something needs to be done about democracy, particularly democracy in America. It seems clear that the vast majority of American people actually want to see America become a more equal society, a society where there is a ‘level playing field’ and where most people actually are in the ‘middle’ and not clustered about the ‘extremes’ of the very poor and pointlessly wealthy. That they want their politicians to do things to put people into jobs and to provide a reasoned debate about things that matt ...more
Feb 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Arianna is clearly biased against third world countries. I get her point. The book is peppered with extreme metaphors, but I can’t help but cringe at the fact that she chose one with images of suffering people of color and rarely mentions race in the book. Middle class is almost always code for white when white people talk about it so the premise of the book is that white people finally learn what it’s like to be black and black people don’t exist. That was a hard pill for me to swallow for 237 ...more
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I share Arianna Huffington's political views and agree with almost all of what she writes in her book, I can't help but notice that this book seems to have been hastily put together. In fact, if one follows Huffington's blog, then one has already read everything that appears in this book. Filled with clichés and phrases that smack of contemporary political correctness, this book is quite the disappointment. The book reads like a blog post or a news article and, while extensively cited (alm ...more
Sometimes I picture mass groups of us Americans roaming the roads of America in a zombie-like state searching for a purpose of why we’re still here, asking ourselves what America could possibly any longer need from us. It would seem we’ve earned our right for freedom to do nothing through our own efficiency and that our roaming was simply from boredom. We realize we’ve created this efficiency through things like our outsourcing of jobs to other countries and our technological advancements – so w ...more
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Scary book about how our politicians sold us out and are turning the USA into a third world country!

We have let our infrastructure go so badly that bad roads cause more crashes than drunk drivers! In a 2008 study, 80% of Americans believed government was controlled by "a few big interests looking out for themselves." Averaged out, each member of the legislative branch received $6.5 million from special interests! "Not only have we failed to control corporations, corporations have flipped the equ
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read books that are so purposely written to promote an agenda or position, I always try to be extra cautious, and not to over react. Once again, Arianna Huffington has laid out a case by not only supplying facts, but by supporting these with hundreds of specific examples.
I have listened to, and read, her ideas for some time now. I can tell you this; I believe we all need to hear what she has to say. We owe it to our families, and to our country, to open our minds and to consider her logi
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
A must-read for those who still blindly cling to the notion that America remains the the brightest, most powerful nation in the world despite the overwhelming proof to the contrary; as well as for those who naively think that the government will actually do what is needed to right the sinking ship before things get out of hand. This book documents what ails America and takes our so-called leaders to task for putting the good of their corporate overlords ahead of that of America's middle class fa ...more
Book Calendar
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Third World America How Our Politicians Are Abandoning The Middle Class And Betraying The American Dream by Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post which is a liberal news and opinion site. . This book is being used as a platform for change.

Third World America attacks lobbyists and financial institutions for destroying the American middle class. It is more vitriolic against the Republican party than the Democratic party, but does
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Arianna Huffington is a very smart woman, and as such I can’t blame her for wanting to write a best-seller, even if the logic behind it still confounds me (i.e. “I founded one of the most highly trafficked sites on the Internet, but you know what, I think I’ll write a book. Bound to reach more people that way!”) Third World America is a clean and informative introduction to what’s wrong with the country today (or at least what was two years ago) and anyone who doesn’t have their nose perpetually ...more
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
There hasn't been any doubt for a long time that America is sliding into third-worldism, but Arianna has laid it all out in a logical form and with startling statistics and an historical perspective. When all the quips, posits, and analyses from pundits and scholars that I've followed are presented so cogently in one book, the prognosis for our country is even more horrifying than I previously thought. Basically, it's the disappearance of the middle-class that is the harbinger of American's demi ...more
Crown Publishing
This book opened my eyes. As it's so aptly said - we have gone from trying to live the American Dream to living the American Nightmare. And this book is a no-nonsense account of who's to blame.

But it's more than pointing fingers and naming names. Arianna helps us figure out what exactly we can do to turn the tide and stop our descent into the third world.
This book was... fine. I think I have to stop reading the broad surveys of what is wrong with America and switch to more distilled analyses, because it all tends to run together.

Also, as founder of HuffPo, Arianna displays some serious chutzpah by decrying the media's bias and sensationalism.
*Dee's books!
Sorry to say this but "Third World America: How Our Politicians..." is true! At the time of the publication of this book, Huffington's focus was on the changes of American becoming a Third World nation but as my reading---- we are there! The world as we know it has come to pass with the downtrodden philosophy of this book. Politicians have betrayed us by abandoning the middle class and the poor thus helping the very ones who don't need it--- the 1 percenters and I'm not referring to the MC!

Lauren Hopkins
I started reading this six years ago lmao. I guess I gave up on it? But I picked it up again recently to finally finish it because I'M NOT A QUITTER and I think six-years-ago-me was right to be like BYEEEE. It kind of reads like a college freshman's "university writing 101" essay with a prompt that's like "What's wrong with the USA?!" and she just lays it all out with like, her intro and thesis, her five supporting paragraphs (or chapters in this case), and a conclusion. Very neat and tidy but t ...more
Todd Martin
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture-politics
Surrounded by the utter nonsense being spewed by the no-nothing, balloon heads on the right (our founding fathers worked tirelessly to abolish slavery, spudnut moments, uprisings in Egypt leading to an Islamic caliphate, blah blah blah) who seem to worship ignorance with a passion previously reserved by 16-year old boys for Charlies Angel posters, I was ready to be revived by a good old fashioned screed from the left. Instead Third World America serves up failing schools, crumbling infrastructur ...more
Nov 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Third World America has a lot of good, important stuff to say about what is happening in the USA right now (fall 2010). OK, so I'm a liberal and it supports my viewpoint, etc. I like having my viewpoint supported with facts. Topics covered include the rise of the Tea Party, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but most of the material is about economic matters: Wall Street criminality, corporate greed, mortgage fraud, bank kleptocracy, and the wholesale purchase of political influence by both parti ...more
Arianna Huffington's "Third World America: How Our Politicians are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream" is one of the most easily accessible and straight forward books I've ever read. Without holding anything back, Huffington uses her vast knowledge base and abundant resources to bring the facts to the American people about the Wall Street bailout, the dilapitated status of our infrastructure (bridges, roads, damns, levies), how awful our education system is, and she wra ...more
Lori Kincaid Rassati
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
This had to be one of the most hastily-written books ever. Did Ms. Huffington even have an editor? The first glaring error was when she referred early on to Jeremiah seeing the writing on the wall. Uh, that would be Daniel. If you don't know the Old Testament, find someone who does.

Then she tried to spin that deteriorating infrastructure in the form of roads and bridges were causing hundreds/thousands of deaths. She mentioned the bridge collapse a few years ago in Minneapolis. That wasn't caused
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you've been paying attention to what's been happening to the middle class, and you're someone who is attentive to the news, this book isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know. This book should be read by people who are in the working class, but in the wrong movement such as movements funded by the Koch Brothers, and people who are poor blaming other poor people for their being poor. Give this book a read, it's guarantee to outrage you, and perhaps it'd be nice if we could get b ...more
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
You don't have to be of any particular political persusion to see the truth in her arguments. We are watching America crumble and she gives the back story. She does counter the doom and gloom of the first two thirds of the book with things an individual can do right now, little spots of light to challenge the darkness (or, as Diane Sawyer said in her recent visit to Louisville, "light one little candle"). Important book for our times.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Read this one while at the bookstore today, probably something frowned upon. A rather spot-on if somewhat depressing read. Goes into detail about how the USA is turning into a third-world country, details on what got us here, why we're not getting any better, and how we can take steps to try to reverse this trend.
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She has an amazing clear commonsense voice. It's refreshing to read her. You don't get lost in all the stuff. She's very intelligent and knows how to follow an argument.
Horreendous and depressing, the stuff and events she puts down. The 5th chapter was a bit Pollyanna-ish, and maybe reaching a bit. Solid presentation of case though, most of this book. Well researched and fluid.
Mark Hiser
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a "must-read" book. Huffington's thesis, that the US will find itself a third world nation unless it quickly makes findamental changes, is sobering. Not to be all pessimistic, she devotes a section onwhat we are doing right.

It is not a book born or politics and partisanship, but of concern and love for her adopted country.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
Initially, the idea of this book appealed to me and I guess the basic premise of the book is correct: America is crumbling, inequality is rising and the US needs a serious change of course if it wants to remain a global power in the long run.

However, you won't get that idea from the actual contents of the book, as it is a completely incoherent piece of writing (I based the premise above on the flap text). Huffington is in populism overdrive and engages in elite bashing without any argumentation.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think that most American readers will by now agree with Huffington's grim diagnosis of country's economic state. More and more of the middle class is steadily slipping into the lower class, thanks to outsourced jobs, a crashed economy, stagnant wages, rising costs of living, and fewer opportunities for advancement than ever. However, Washington DC, far from focusing on these problems, has become a servant to the agenda of a few immensely rich and powerful corporate leaders, providing them with ...more
Russ Fugal
Sep 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Very good synopsis of many ills that face our nation today. Short on answers, though.
The author rightly points out how broken the political system is, but all of her solutions are political. Even in the 'what you can do as an individual' section is laden with political calls for National Service and openness to 'a more perfect union' of anti-individualism. Not all solutions were bad, but incomplete.
She talks of the power lobbiests have in DC, then naively assumes public financing of elections w
Jan 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Third World America" preaches to the choir somewhat, but it contains a lot of common sense ideas that can be put into action that I think will sound reasonable to Americans of any political persuasion.

In particular, of the section where Huffington details steps average Americans can take to prevent the country's economic segregation from worsening, I found two parts particularly compelling: the section about how volunteering can change the outlook of the unemployed drastically; and the section
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Therese by: Book Club Read
Read for "Real World Reads" non-fiction book club at Crystal Lake Public Library for March 2013. The woman is a genius, I am ready to elect her right now. A lot of what is in this book I have been saying for years, and I was very surprised. I do not know much about her, but will start paying attention to her now and looking at The Huffington Post online. I thought she was spot-on about the issues, how they arose, and had some very smart ideas on how to fix the mess. I found her willing to poke a ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I've heard people around me saying for some time now that the "middle class" is deteriorating. I didn't really even realize this to be true until recently when things pretty much hit home... the company I work for began to "outsource" a whole lot of our work to another country. This suddenly began to set the red flashing lights in motion for me and my co-workers alike. So far, no one has been let go... so far. But everyone is feeling unsteady these days. Not as secure as we once had.
This book wa
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book to anyone who still believes that this country is still committed to working class families, the middle class and the American Dream. Arianna Huffington exposes how lobbyist and politicians have sold out America to corporate greed and special interests. This is a clearly written and extensively referenced polemic about increasing inequality in the USA and how it is leading to extreme poverty in what were previously the middle classes. Numerous quotes from Elizabeth Warren, ...more
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Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books.

In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national repor
“It’s not that capitalism isn’t working. It’s that what we have right now is not capitalism. What we have is corporatism. It’s welfare for the rich. It’s the government picking winners and losers. It’s Wall Street having its taxpayer-funded cake and eating it, too. It’s socialized losses and privatized gains.” 1 likes
“There are no lobbyists for the American Dream.” 0 likes
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