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  • Born on Third Base

  • A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good
  • By: Chuck Collins
  • Narrated by: Chuck Collins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

As heard on NPR’s Fresh Air

An essential piece of listening for anyone concerned by the increasing wealth inequality – made worse by the global pandemic and political partisanship

The growing wealth inequality continues to dominate headlines. The divide between the haves and have nots in America is increasingly political and tensions are rising. On one side, the wealthy wield power and advantage, keeping the system operating in their favor, all while retreating into enclaves that separate them further and further from the poor and working class. On the other side, those who find it increasingly difficult to keep up or get ahead are desperate and frustrated waging a rhetorical war against the rich and letting anger and resentment keep us from seeing new potential solutions.

It is time to think differently, says longtime inequality expert and activist Chuck Collins. Born into the one percent, Collins gave away his inheritance at 26 and spent the next three decades mobilizing against inequality. He uses his perspective from both sides of the divide to deliver a new narrative.

Collins calls for a ceasefire and invites the wealthy to come back home, investing themselves and their wealth in struggling communities. And he asks the non-wealthy to build alliances with the one percent and others at the top of the wealth ladder.

Stories told along the way explore the roots of advantage, show how taxpayers subsidize the wealthy, and reveal how charity, used incorrectly, can actually reinforce extreme inequality. Listeners meet pioneers who are crossing the divide to work together in new ways, including residents in the author’s own Boston-area neighborhood who have launched some of the most interesting community transition efforts in the nation.

In the end, Collins’s national and local solutions not only challenge inequality but also respond to climate change and offer an unexpected, fresh take on one of our most intransigent problems.

©2016 Chuck Collins (P)2017 Chelsea Green Publishing

Critic reviews

"This empowering light into a brighter future is a narrative you won’t want to miss.” (Ralph Nader)

“Collins not only talks the talk but walks the walk.... This is a worthwhile book to read, digest, and share.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Engaging story of a man from the 1%

Chuck is really an incredible bloke. The story of how he inherited a fortune then gave it away is really fascinating because it's deeply thoughtful and informed. There's so much in here: radical politics, amusing anecdotes, educational information about inequality...

My only downsides are that it's quite long, and towards the end gets a bit repetitive. Think of it like the Lord of the Rings films - a slog in terms if time and density, but richly rewarding! (I actually listened to it slightly speeded up, which worked really well!)

This book has really galvanised me to think differently, learn more, and be involved in my community. A great inspiration for New Year's Resolutions!

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Profile Image for Barbarina Heyerdahl
  • Barbarina Heyerdahl
  • 11-01-18

Excellent analysis of inequality for m America, including its negative impact on the wealthy...along with everyone else.

Rather than a call for class war fare against the 1%, it is an invitation to the wealthy to work to address inequality—including their very own real part in creating and perpetuating it—and work for a more equitable, inclusive, and just country. Although published before the 2016 elections, it couldn’t be more timely. Even if you are not a member of the top wealth owning 1%—or even top 20%—I think this is worth reading for its ideas on building the needed alliances across class to take on the current disastrous system.

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  • Jeanne Purser
  • 21-11-18

Thought-provoking

Solid ideas to engage the 1% and ourselves to acheive a common good for many.

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  • David Hinton
  • 10-12-17

A dream in the real world

Where does Born on Third Base rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 10%

Who was your favorite character and why?

Author, his story.

Which scene was your favorite?

N/a

If you could give Born on Third Base a new subtitle, what would it be?

Can’t change a perfect title

Any additional comments?

If only more people thought like this the world would be such a better place. Unfortunately, human history tells us the human condition is flawed with selfishness, greed, envy, and pride.