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The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead
Synopses & Reviews
You're standing at an ATM. It can't access account information but allows unlimited withdrawals. Do you take more than your balance? David Callahan thinks most of us would. While there have always been those who cut corners, he shows that cheating on every level-from the highly publicized corporate scandals to Little League fraud-has risen dramatically in the last two decades. Why all the cheating? Why now?
Callahan pins the blame on the dog-eat-dog economic climate of the past two decades. An unfettered market and unprecedented economic inequality have corroded our values, he argues-and ultimately threaten the level playing field so central to American democracy itself. Through revealing interviews and extensive data, he takes us on a gripping tour of cheating in America and offers a powerful argument for why it matters. Lucidly written, scrupulously argued, The Cheating Culture is an important, original examination of the hidden costs of the boom years.
"[T]he book's strength lies in tying together assorted detailed descriptions of cheating throughout the system....[Callahan] offers straightforward, commonsensical solutions." Publishers Weekly
Book News Annotation:
Callahan, a co-founder of the public policy center Demos, identifies America's free-wheeling economic climate of the past 20 years as the cause of rampant cheating—corporate scandals, doping in sports, plagiarism by journalists and students, and corner-cutting in the most mundane matters—that is a major hidden cost of the boom years. The "Winning Class," he argues, has the money and clout to cheat without consequences, while the growing "Anxious Class" believes that choosing not to cheat will cost them their only shot at success in a winner-take-all world. Callahan uses interviews and data to show why all the cheating matters.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Free cable television. Imaginary tax deductions. Do you take your chance to cheat? David Callahan thinks many of us would; witness corporate scandals, doping athletes, plagiarizing journalists. Why all the cheating? Why now?
Callahan blames the dog-eat-dog economic climate of the past twenty years: An unfettered market and unprecedented economic inequality have corroded our values and threaten to corrupt the equal opportunity we cherish. Callahan's "Winning Class" has created a separate moral reality where it cheats without consequences-while the "Anxious Class" believes choosing not to cheat could cancel its only shot at success in a winner-take-all world.
Updated with a new afterword analyzing the latest on cheating from the Martha Stewart trial to the Tyco and Enron sentencings, The Cheating Culture takes us on a gripping tour of cheating in America and makes a powerful case for why it matters.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -336) and index.
About the Author
David Callahan is cofounder and director of research at the public policy center Demos. The author of five books, he has published articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today, and has been a frequent commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. He received a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University and lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
"Everybody Does It"
Cheating in a Bottom-line Economy
Whatever It Takes
A Question of Character
Cheating from the Starting Line
Crime and No Punishment
Dodging Brazil 259
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