web site hit counter The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead

Availability: Ready to download

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 deca 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.  


Compare

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 deca 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.  

30 review for The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead

  1. 5 out of 5

    C. Scott

    One of the core assumptions of capitalism is that human beings are basically selfishly motivated. This ignores the altruistic and cooperative aspects of human nature and emphasizes the competitive. As American culture has been taken over by an increasingly fundamentalist brand of capitalism, two things have happened: the rewards for winning have gotten bigger and the punishments for being caught cheating have receded. This has created a perfect atmosphere for what David Callahan calls "The Cheat One of the core assumptions of capitalism is that human beings are basically selfishly motivated. This ignores the altruistic and cooperative aspects of human nature and emphasizes the competitive. As American culture has been taken over by an increasingly fundamentalist brand of capitalism, two things have happened: the rewards for winning have gotten bigger and the punishments for being caught cheating have receded. This has created a perfect atmosphere for what David Callahan calls "The Cheating Culture." In this book, the author makes a convincing case that cheating in the US has gotten out of control. In ways large and small, the incentives to cheat in order to get ahead have gotten bigger and bigger. It starts in school - or even before school as parents compete hard even to get some children into top preschools - and continues into our professional lives. As outsized rewards grow for reaching the top, playing it straight can make a person feel like a fool - especially when cheaters never seem to get caught or punished. The author does a passable job making the connection between the incentive to cheat and the fundamental nature of capitalism, but I felt he could have gone even further. His arguments were strong and his examples were solid, but the ending of the book made me feel a little let down. By focusing on small granular changes that could fix cheating problems on almost a case-by-case basis, the author missed the opportunity to challenge the broader nature of capitalism that is driving this trend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brooks

    This was my first audio book. I agree with the author's main arguement that increased competition through more free-market economics is driving more cheating. However, not sure that free-market is as evil as author believes. Most of the book is arguement by analogy which there are numerous examples. Of course, some of his stories have nothing to do with competition or cheating, but other issues with the current market (child labor, environment, ect). A lot of his work is based on the "superstar This was my first audio book. I agree with the author's main arguement that increased competition through more free-market economics is driving more cheating. However, not sure that free-market is as evil as author believes. Most of the book is arguement by analogy which there are numerous examples. Of course, some of his stories have nothing to do with competition or cheating, but other issues with the current market (child labor, environment, ect). A lot of his work is based on the "superstar economy". Yes, in most professions, fewer people are making more money. That is normal economics and probably good. I think better tax policy and stiffer penalties for "white collar" activities would decrease this issue. I just heard a local company was fined $40,000 for using 250 undocumented works. $40,000? that was probably their savings per week by using those workers. Book was too long and too filled with stories that are from other books. Basic arguement could be summed up as, "higher competition is causing more cheating- dah?"

  3. 5 out of 5

    LA

    V/nostalgic, significant lack of organization, lack of historical context, particularly as related to the trusts of the early 1900s and stock market crash in 1929. These corporations of the early 20th century were every bit as ominous as today's behemoth companies, yet there's no discussion of this. Also, not enough sources to back up the claim of the rich getting richer and smarter (by cheating), whilst those who do not remain broke but virtuous. The book does have an interesting discussion abo V/nostalgic, significant lack of organization, lack of historical context, particularly as related to the trusts of the early 1900s and stock market crash in 1929. These corporations of the early 20th century were every bit as ominous as today's behemoth companies, yet there's no discussion of this. Also, not enough sources to back up the claim of the rich getting richer and smarter (by cheating), whilst those who do not remain broke but virtuous. The book does have an interesting discussion about the dot com bust and Enron fiasco. This appears to be solidly researched and is an interesting read. On the whole, there are still too many inconsistencies and questions left unanswered.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    By the end of the novel I didn't feel the author was either liberal or conservative as he placed blame on all groups. It gives a great deal to think about, especially the importance of people having a value system within their own selves to judge their actions against and not use a relative system. Warning, this book relates so many lies and deceits that you start to think there aren't honest people in the world, but afterall that is the focus of the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kate L

    The book "The Cheating Culture" opened my eyes to how much fraud occurs not only in day to day things like auto insurance and taxes, but also in large companies that have scandals. Cheating in schools has become a bigger issue, as well as cheating in sports. The author explains some of these problems, and even gives solutions as to how people can fix and prevent cheating from occuring. Cheating on taxes has become a big issue in our country today. "Everyone's doing it", which means if your neigh The book "The Cheating Culture" opened my eyes to how much fraud occurs not only in day to day things like auto insurance and taxes, but also in large companies that have scandals. Cheating in schools has become a bigger issue, as well as cheating in sports. The author explains some of these problems, and even gives solutions as to how people can fix and prevent cheating from occuring. Cheating on taxes has become a big issue in our country today. "Everyone's doing it", which means if your neighbor is doing it, it must be okay for you to do it too. Lying about having a teenage driver in your house can save you hundreds of dollars that you would have to pay your auto insurance company. But if you get caught, you have to pay back the amount you have not been paying. Downloading music off the internet illegally does not sound so harmful, but in reality, you could be running a record label out of business or causing a new musician to lose their job. If new musicians are not bringing in money, record labels will let them go. Things in our everyday lives we do not normally think about or consider bad are illegal and could be hurting someone else. Big companies are well known for scandals and fraud. But the CEO's and others involved in these things normally do not have big consequences since they are very powerful and wealthy. The same thing goes for schools. Many big schools do not recognize cheating, or do not address it. If the parents of children are paying the tuition for the students or are helping the school financially, the school completely turns a blind eye to the student cheating. This occurs in high school, and the students that come forward and tell someone that cheating is happening in their school, they are sometimes bullied by their peers for telling the truth. Sports today are very focused on fame and fortune. If you are not playing as well as one of your teammates, you are not making as much money as them. This is why athletes turn to steroids and other drugs to help them become stronger and play better. This can have many negative health effects, and is morally wrong. If you use steroids, you are making it harder for the people not using steroids to make more money. They are working hard, and someone else is injecting steroids to become stronger. The book "The Cheating Culture" made me very aware of the fraud happening today. Many people want to get ahead and become wealthy and successful. Instead of working hard, they are cheating their way to the top. This makes it harder for people at the bottom to make it to the top and many at the bottom believe that because of the cheating, they will never make it to the top.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    It is so tempting to turn anecdotes into trend lines. Large publicized scandals often prompt journalists and others to start looking to broader trends in society, hoping to understand those events or provide deeper context. We want to see what comes next, what we should expect to see in the future so we can better prepare. That is our evolutionary proclivity. But it is erroneous and even dangerous to draw conclusions or try to persuade others based on a few examples or the latest media craze. Da It is so tempting to turn anecdotes into trend lines. Large publicized scandals often prompt journalists and others to start looking to broader trends in society, hoping to understand those events or provide deeper context. We want to see what comes next, what we should expect to see in the future so we can better prepare. That is our evolutionary proclivity. But it is erroneous and even dangerous to draw conclusions or try to persuade others based on a few examples or the latest media craze. Data looks different than a few random examples drawn together by selection bias. It is often messy, with conflicting signals. The world is complex with no clear cut villain and no "one easy step" that will solve all our problems. We should be quite dubious of those who attempt to move us down this path with emotion and a false sense of urgency drawn from cherry-picked evidence. Callahan errs on all counts. Neither an anthropologist nor a researcher in any capacity, he is utterly unqualified to write a book about a "culture of cheating." He never stops to actually evaluate what a culture is. He even admits at the very beginning of the book that he has little data and his arguments are drawn from his personal observations. I suppose people can write books drawn from their own observations, but it is the height of hubris to suggest that the conclusions drawn from our personal observations must necessarily apply to all. You would think too that if the book's subtitle claims that more Americans are doing wrong to get ahead, there would be some basis to that claim. Surveys, data pointing towards an increase in crime, fraud, or some other metric would be the barest of minimum standards to make such an argument. Yet this book is almost entirely devoid of any substantive evidence, save perhaps a random poll or data point drawn out of context to make some point. Read more at https://znovels.blogspot.com/2019/03/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Richie Partington

    14 January 2004 THE CHEATING CULTURE: WHY MORE AMERICANS ARE DOING WRONG TO GET AHEAD by David Callahan, Harcourt, January 2004, ISBN 0-15-101018-8 Five years ago I was in Chicago to attend Book Expo. Early on that Sunday morning in May I was riding the Metra, heading south to McCormack Place. A guy who looked like he was still grasping the last threads of Saturday night had his boom box cranked up, sharing a soulful tune with everyone in our train car. As I prepared to leave the train I asked h 14 January 2004 THE CHEATING CULTURE: WHY MORE AMERICANS ARE DOING WRONG TO GET AHEAD by David Callahan, Harcourt, January 2004, ISBN 0-15-101018-8 Five years ago I was in Chicago to attend Book Expo. Early on that Sunday morning in May I was riding the Metra, heading south to McCormack Place. A guy who looked like he was still grasping the last threads of Saturday night had his boom box cranked up, sharing a soulful tune with everyone in our train car. As I prepared to leave the train I asked him for the name of what it was that he'd been playing. He scribbled it down in my notebook. (King Britt presents Sylk130, "Getting' Into It.") A couple of years later I stumbled across that notebook with the scribble and within ten minutes had successfully downloaded the song over the Internet for free. It's still there in my computer, along with all sorts of great tunes, all downloaded for free, ranging from ancient singles that I was introduced to as a kid by Cousin Brucie and Alison Steele The Nightbird, up through an assortment of killer tunes from the past twenty-plus years of MTV that I can close my eyes and see the videos for. The highly publicized prosecutions of "file-swapping pirates" persuaded me to belatedly dispose of the software I'd used to accumulate that ill-gotten music. But the question is, why did I feel so comfortable and righteous taking it all for free? "Lately, conservatives haven't had much to complain about. Many aspects of Americans' personal behavior have changed in recent years. Crime is down. Teenage pregnancy is down. Drunk driving is down. Abortion is down. Opinion surveys suggest that Americans are growing more concerned about personal responsibility, as conservatives have narrowly defined that term. And much of the supposed 'deviance' that conservatives have anguished about for a quarter century has been waning. "Still, cheating is up. Cheating is everywhere. By cheating I mean breaking the rules to get ahead academically, professionally, or financially. Some of this cheating involves violating the law, some does not. Either way, most of it is by people who, on the whole, view themselves as upstanding members of society. Again and again, Americans who wouldn't so much as shoplift a pack of chewing gum are committing felonies at tax time, betraying the trust of their patients, misleading investors, ripping off their insurance company, lying to their clients, and much more. "Something strange is going on here. Americans seem to be using two moral compasses. One directs our behavior when it comes to things like sex, family, drugs, and traditional forms of crime. A second provides us ethical guidance in the realm of career, money, and success. "The obvious question is: Where did we pick up that second compass?" So asks David Callahan in this fascinating look at where we are headed in America. Led by doped-up sports icons, doctors with bogus prescriptions, auto repair guys who find more to fix then is really wrong, corrupt stockbrokers, and ready-to-buy politicians, the leaders of the parade are the corporate executives. Of course, the amoral behavior by corporate executives is dictated by stockholders who, of course, are us and our parents and friends and our retirement portfolio managers. So where are we all going? "Money, get back. I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack. Money, it's a hit. Don't give me that do goody good bullshit. I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set And I think I need a Lear jet." --Pink Floyd, Money "Cheating is not a new problem in the United States or anywhere else. It has existed in nearly every human society. "In Ancient Greece, the Olympic games were rife with cheating. Athletes lied about their amateur status, competitions were rigged, judges were bribed. Those caught were forced to pay fines to a special fund used to set up statues of Zeus. Greece ended up with a lot of statues of Zeus." There are a set of interrelated influences that the author believes are the cause of the current cheating epidemic in America--the increased pressures of job competition and insecurity, the widening rewards gap between the winners and losers in our economic system, the relentless trend toward deregulation that enhances temptation, and the belief by so many people that the system is so utterly corrupt that they have no fair shot at attaining the American Dream in an ethical manner. "Hey honey-you've got lots of cash Bring us round a bottle And we'll have some laughs Gin's what I'm drinking I was raised on robbery" --Joni Mitchell, Raised on Robbery THE CHEATING CULTURE is an eye-opening introduction to the real world. It will enlighten high school students as to how their peers are adroitly eluding obstacles that might interfere with becoming rich, famous, powerful, and going to Disneyland. The only worry is deciding which is more effective: buying term papers online or paying tutors to write them for you; purchasing the proper mobile electronics to be able to secretly bring your answers into the classroom or having your parents line up a doctor who can sell you the learning disability diagnosis that will permit you more time to complete standardized tests. "The choice between being a winner or a loser in an economy filled with inequities seems stark and frightening to many college students. Says one student: 'Grades are the most important things which judge whether you go to medical school or to work as a janitor.' " It is not surprising that Callahan finds these same students go on to cheat in college, grad school and--for those who thus successfully navigate their way to and through the sidewalks of the Ivy League--in a business world where untold riches can be scooped up at the expense of a gullible public that is unprotected by a deregulated, corporate-lobbied government. And if you somehow get caught and have to pay back fifty grand and kick back for six months in a Santa Barbara country club prison, you still get to keep the millions (or billions) you've salted away and certainly don't ever have to worry about becoming some lowlife cheater who is so pathetic as to have to download music from the Internet. Richie Partington, MLIS Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com [email protected] Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_... http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/facult...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    88 pages in, I gave up on this book. There's serious liberal slant, which devolved into hypocricy. Inherent in Callahan's narrative is that there should be equality in pay, seemingly regardless of any other variables such as actual talent or specialization. He writes that a mediocre doctor doesn't make as much as a specialized heart surgeon. Well, no shit. Why would I pay a specialized rate for mediocre health care? The line that killed any interest I had in this book was when he wrote of an acq 88 pages in, I gave up on this book. There's serious liberal slant, which devolved into hypocricy. Inherent in Callahan's narrative is that there should be equality in pay, seemingly regardless of any other variables such as actual talent or specialization. He writes that a mediocre doctor doesn't make as much as a specialized heart surgeon. Well, no shit. Why would I pay a specialized rate for mediocre health care? The line that killed any interest I had in this book was when he wrote of an acquaintance who "got lucky to bribe a building superintendant" to score a rent-controlled apartment. Wait, what? The ugliness of cheating is the theme of this book, but in this instance bribery was lucky and therefore ok? How is that possible? That's like saying, if I can manage to bribe a state lottery official into selling me a winning ticket, I got lucky, but it wasn't cheating. Serious liberal logic at work here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carter

    The Cheating Culture by David Callahan takes a stance on the immoral ideals and pressure to break ones integrity. I cannot say it is a stance I entirely agree with even after reading the book, but I do believe the stance was well delivered. Callahan's humor was enticing enough to keep the novel from being boring, but mellow enough to allow you to take his points seriously. The way he writes from chapter to chapter grips the reader and every paragraph makes you have to pause and ponder on his ide The Cheating Culture by David Callahan takes a stance on the immoral ideals and pressure to break ones integrity. I cannot say it is a stance I entirely agree with even after reading the book, but I do believe the stance was well delivered. Callahan's humor was enticing enough to keep the novel from being boring, but mellow enough to allow you to take his points seriously. The way he writes from chapter to chapter grips the reader and every paragraph makes you have to pause and ponder on his ideas. The novel is overall very worthy of five stars and I definitely intend to read more of Callahan's work.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This book sure didn't age well. In the 13 years since publication, the problems identified certainly got worse. The proposed solutions are still waiting to happen. Some of the specific people mentioned have, however, not gone unpunished (Enron, Armstrong, etc). It was an interesting study on who has gotten caught, how long it took to get punishment, and who gets an image rehabilitation after. I probably would have enjoyed this more ten years ago as a result.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tim Giauque

    Oof, the cheating culture and conditions that gave rise to it as described in this book have...not improved in the years since its publication. Painful to read at times with fifteen years’ additional hindsight. We are screwed, and that’s because the system has been set up specifically to screw us.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lancer

    I loved this book. I am what the book refers to as a chump. I don't cheat.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Peters

    The main focus of the book is that a winner take all society fosters a dishonest society. This book is full of example after example on how cheating is rife throughout our society, in sports, business, sports, education, law, and in the medical field. You come away with a depressed feeling about our world because you can see exactly what he is saying in the news, but more often than not you can probably recognize the same things a lot closer to home. This book was extremely easy to read and very The main focus of the book is that a winner take all society fosters a dishonest society. This book is full of example after example on how cheating is rife throughout our society, in sports, business, sports, education, law, and in the medical field. You come away with a depressed feeling about our world because you can see exactly what he is saying in the news, but more often than not you can probably recognize the same things a lot closer to home. This book was extremely easy to read and very clear. No principle is put forth without using several examples, which I like. The weakness lies in his personal politics and his readiness to blame everything on the conservative movement. While he does make several good points, it is a shame that his biases undercut his overall message. Yes the unrestrained politics of the right have led to several moral problems in our society, but that is not to say the left get a free pass on the blame. It goes back to my problem with partisan politics as a whole. One point he makes is that I could walk into a bank with a gun and rob it of say $1000. If caught I would be spending a lot of time in a very rough prison paying for my crime. Now if I was a higher-up in said bank I could bilk it out of 100 million dollars through fraud and spend less time in a easy prison. Then after a small fine (in relation to what I stole) I would still walk away with tens of millions. When people get life in prison for misdemeanors (due to the 3 strikes law), how is this fair? How does this promote a more honest and equitable society? It is funny that his weakness in attributing all the bad to the conservatives, he touts the former Democratic Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, as one of the true heroes of our time. The author unfortunately through his biased blindness didn't see that bad people come from all political stripes. Overall it was worth the read for the wonderful examples, but it had the opportunity to be a much better book if not for the political rant the author insisted on infusing in the later chapters. For example, President Bush stole the election through dishonest means (i.e. he cheated) and his brother got away with massive fraud (which he probably actually did), but yet not one mention of the Clintons, especially Senator Hillary Clinton's amazing investing skills or how President Clinton basically got away unscathed for all his doings in the White House. The double standard was extremely disappointing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This book would be an excellent addition to an undergraduate criminology class or class specifically dedicated to white collar crime as it very engagingly documents countless examples of such crime in the late 20th century, hypothesizing that there has been an increase in all forms of nonviolent fraud/cheating in this period due to neoliberal ideology. Callahan posits that the push to get ahead at all costs under "extreme capitalism," and a widening gulf between the have/have nots, as well as gr This book would be an excellent addition to an undergraduate criminology class or class specifically dedicated to white collar crime as it very engagingly documents countless examples of such crime in the late 20th century, hypothesizing that there has been an increase in all forms of nonviolent fraud/cheating in this period due to neoliberal ideology. Callahan posits that the push to get ahead at all costs under "extreme capitalism," and a widening gulf between the have/have nots, as well as growing perceptions of inequality are creating this cheating binge at all levels--from cheating at the SATs to bilking investors out of billions. It is interesting to examine all of these phenomenon together and consider them as part of a culture trend in the US. However... Callahan says from the outset the book is less social science than social critique. However, here is where the book runs into major problems--he contends throughout that cheating is on the rise, yet only offer anecdotal examples because quantitative data is not available or is very limited. The premise of the entire book, though, falls apart if this statement is untrue. Unfortunately I was never convinced by the case-based evidence offered that this is the case. It may be that the scale of frauds are now larger in business because of the changed nature of finance, but as for the prevalence of cheating itself? As a book, too, The Cheating Culture would have benefitted from tighter editing. It often feels repetitive and lacking organizing. Lastly, the end recommendation--that in spite of all the inequalities and structural problems and extreme capitalism--that the individual should continue to be a "chump" (his words" and pay all taxes, was completely unsatisfying and fit right into the individualist narrative in American culture which Callahan was critiquing to begin with. In spite of my critique, I would still recommend reading as it does stimulate thought and conversation about cheating in US culture and the role of inequality and capitalism.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I wish this book had been written after the economic crash of 2008, because I think the author could have made an interesting commentary on the factors that led up to this event. Looking at the news, cheating continues to rise, and has emerged in some areas that were not even touched on in this book - for example, the multiple school districts that have changed students' answers on standardized testing. This example reinforces Callahan's thesis that as penalties for being a "loser" in today's so I wish this book had been written after the economic crash of 2008, because I think the author could have made an interesting commentary on the factors that led up to this event. Looking at the news, cheating continues to rise, and has emerged in some areas that were not even touched on in this book - for example, the multiple school districts that have changed students' answers on standardized testing. This example reinforces Callahan's thesis that as penalties for being a "loser" in today's society grow more severe and the rewards of success become greater, cheating becomes almost inevitable. I completely agree with his premise that economic inequality increases distrust of the system and a perception that the social contract has been broken. While the author does not do an extremely in-depth analysis of growing inequality in the US, several other excellent books and studies demonstrate that the income gap is indeed growing. I believe Callahan wrote this book as the beginning of an examination of how cheating is not merely a moral, but a social, issue, and that he did not intend for this book to be a comprehensive examination of all the factors he cites. I felt he succeeded in sparking a discussion and in offering alternative explanations for the rise in cheating. My major problem with this book is that it endorses solutions that, to me, seem to be too moderate to really effect the changes that are needed. He calls for organizations to adopt ethical guidelines and to enforce them, which is a positive step but far too minor to really change the business culture in the US. I think Callahan underestimated American's potential for movements like Occupy Wall Street and could have called for more sweeping changes in our political systems.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    This could have been much better. The author took a great premise, and some interesting research and beat it to death. It was also incredibly reductionist and anti-corporate. I would have been more interested to see the premise expanded beyond academia and the corporate world. There are so many things that people cheat on, yet think that they are generally good people, so why are some things acceptable, and some not. Also, his "expose" of academia was stupid. Everyone knows that smart kids cheat. This could have been much better. The author took a great premise, and some interesting research and beat it to death. It was also incredibly reductionist and anti-corporate. I would have been more interested to see the premise expanded beyond academia and the corporate world. There are so many things that people cheat on, yet think that they are generally good people, so why are some things acceptable, and some not. Also, his "expose" of academia was stupid. Everyone knows that smart kids cheat. Everyone knows that there is no incentive NOT to cheat. But he didn't go into the murky areas of sharing notes, study groups, and things that aren't technically cheating. As an aside, one of his examples didn't seem like cheating to me. Some members of a class downloaded answers from a professor's website. That doesn't seem like cheating. They didn't steal it, it wasn't expressly prohibited, and it was in the public domain. There is a fine line between "checking your work" and stealing answers. In the end, maybe the fact that I am a corporate tool is why I didn't enjoy his expose so much. But it was certainly interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    I found the book supported my own antidotal conclusions regarding ethics/honesty in our society. It is fun to imagine a better world free from dishonest behavior—I suspect, however, that if the sole source of inhabitants are former residents of this planet, the population of such an environment will be relatively small. Our society has but minimal malice toward those who commit tax fraud, insurance fraud, resume fraud, fidelity fraud, education fraud, etc. Prison sentences are short and fines ra I found the book supported my own antidotal conclusions regarding ethics/honesty in our society. It is fun to imagine a better world free from dishonest behavior—I suspect, however, that if the sole source of inhabitants are former residents of this planet, the population of such an environment will be relatively small. Our society has but minimal malice toward those who commit tax fraud, insurance fraud, resume fraud, fidelity fraud, education fraud, etc. Prison sentences are short and fines rarely paid—making the life of crime and dishonesty quite profitable. Many if not most seem willing to pad expense accounts, fudge on work hours, spend more than they can afford (a form of dishonesty), and fabricate deductions for their accounting with Uncle Sam. Our politicians lie under oath, accept payments from special interest groups, and frequently demonstrate flagrant hypocrisy when one compares the way they preach with the way they live. The author has a very liberal bias and promotes his ideals as the antithesis to his premise that we live in a world that promotes and perhaps even encourages dishonesty

  18. 4 out of 5

    Art

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. According to the author, the cheating culture we find ourselves in can mostly be blamed on Republicans and their laissez-faire economic ideas and policies. He gives lots of examples of cheating in our culture (i.e. academic tests, sports, business, etc.). I'm not saying he's totally wrong in complaining about the dog-eat-dog/Social Darwinism preached by some conservatives and it's link to a cheating culture. However, he ignores the left's contribution I have very mixed feelings about this book. According to the author, the cheating culture we find ourselves in can mostly be blamed on Republicans and their laissez-faire economic ideas and policies. He gives lots of examples of cheating in our culture (i.e. academic tests, sports, business, etc.). I'm not saying he's totally wrong in complaining about the dog-eat-dog/Social Darwinism preached by some conservatives and it's link to a cheating culture. However, he ignores the left's contribution to the cheating culture. For decades, the left has preached relativisim/contextualism. It's not a long leap from thinking there's no absolutes to cheating to get ahead. The author says little to nothing about this contribution from the left side of the political aisle. Had he done so, I would have given the book a higher rating. Although I'm not against most of the "solutions" he offers toward the end of the book, I believe leaving out religion and belief in a final judgment/afterlife is a mistake on his part. Belief in a God who has given mankind rules to rein in his selfishness can go a long ways toward curbing man's baser instincts.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    This 12 hour audio takes a long time to get through in seven minute increments while driving to and from work in my small town--but I persevered. The author takes the listener on a walk through true crime of the non-gory kind. He introduces corrupt doctors, lawyers, accountants, authors, celebrities, athletes, educators, students, parents, tax-payers, admissions boards, politicians, c.e.o.'s, to name a few. He tags the widening gap between the poor, the middle class, and the super rich and the u This 12 hour audio takes a long time to get through in seven minute increments while driving to and from work in my small town--but I persevered. The author takes the listener on a walk through true crime of the non-gory kind. He introduces corrupt doctors, lawyers, accountants, authors, celebrities, athletes, educators, students, parents, tax-payers, admissions boards, politicians, c.e.o.'s, to name a few. He tags the widening gap between the poor, the middle class, and the super rich and the unfairness of laws and punishment as the root of the problem. He suggests some radical changes in government policy and policing. He concludes with a call for personal integrity. The book is well-researched, informative, and thought-provoking.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Joyce

    I am not usually one to read nonfiction. However, this book was mentioned in a documentary on CNBC about classroom cheating, and on whim I decided to read it. I found this book thought-provoking, challenging my ideas about what was fair or not in the economy. Cheating has become more prevalent in American society, and David Callahan attempts to explain why. Be warned, this book does cover finance extensively, which got dull at times, mainly because I do not have the knowledge that responsible adul I am not usually one to read nonfiction. However, this book was mentioned in a documentary on CNBC about classroom cheating, and on whim I decided to read it. I found this book thought-provoking, challenging my ideas about what was fair or not in the economy. Cheating has become more prevalent in American society, and David Callahan attempts to explain why. Be warned, this book does cover finance extensively, which got dull at times, mainly because I do not have the knowledge that responsible adults do about the American economy. I did find it interesting how in the majority of the cases of cheating and fraud, they were all motivated by one thing: money. I believe if you are up to the challenge, you should read it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    M.J. Perry

    This books started very well. It deals with our current understanding that cheating is normal. Everyone does it and so the instances of it occurring are increasing. It's a "bottom line," "winner take all" kind of world and so people feel there is much to gain and little to lose by cheating. Callahan explores medicine, law, Wall Street, sports, journalism and academia, as well as touching on a few other areas. Two problems I had with the book were that its focus was so American and extrapolation w This books started very well. It deals with our current understanding that cheating is normal. Everyone does it and so the instances of it occurring are increasing. It's a "bottom line," "winner take all" kind of world and so people feel there is much to gain and little to lose by cheating. Callahan explores medicine, law, Wall Street, sports, journalism and academia, as well as touching on a few other areas. Two problems I had with the book were that its focus was so American and extrapolation was not easy, and I felt like there was very little conclusion offered except for personal behaviours. I wish to reread it in a few months when I'm not feeling so personally overwhelmed. It's worth reading, just not worth making a number one priority.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    A fun and interesting book that ends on an unexpectedly positive note. David Callahan is very honest about the lack of hard evidence in this field. While the lack of evidence makes it difficult to come to strong conclusions, many of the issues brought up in the various chapters seem relatively obvious in the culture. Whether this reflects the actual frequency of dishonest behavior or merely cultural perceptions is questionable, though I err on the side of believing that dishonest behavior is bec A fun and interesting book that ends on an unexpectedly positive note. David Callahan is very honest about the lack of hard evidence in this field. While the lack of evidence makes it difficult to come to strong conclusions, many of the issues brought up in the various chapters seem relatively obvious in the culture. Whether this reflects the actual frequency of dishonest behavior or merely cultural perceptions is questionable, though I err on the side of believing that dishonest behavior is becoming more frequent. The recommendations include items that should be easy to accomplish, though I have a hard time seeing how they will come about without widespread public pressure in the public sphere.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    I learned so much from this book, I don't even know where to begin. I borrowed this book from my brother who is studying political science/government and read this for a class. He recommended after I had dealt with some unethical behavior at work. A lot of people have said it's repetitive, which I agree with to an extent, and some points I felt were not well argued. Overall, this was very enlightening to me as someone outside the field of politics, law, etc. It has reinforced my stance on ethical I learned so much from this book, I don't even know where to begin. I borrowed this book from my brother who is studying political science/government and read this for a class. He recommended after I had dealt with some unethical behavior at work. A lot of people have said it's repetitive, which I agree with to an extent, and some points I felt were not well argued. Overall, this was very enlightening to me as someone outside the field of politics, law, etc. It has reinforced my stance on ethical behavior for one thing. I'm tempted to give it to my boss to read, I think it would change how she runs our office.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This was a disturbing and eye-opening book to read. I had never thought about how pervasive cheating has become in American culture, and even though this book was written ten years ago, it's still totally relevant today. It is a sad reflection on our country, that people define success by money and keeping up with the Jones, even if it means they have to cheat, whether it's insider trading or gaming the system for government social benefits they are capable of paying for on their own. The madnes This was a disturbing and eye-opening book to read. I had never thought about how pervasive cheating has become in American culture, and even though this book was written ten years ago, it's still totally relevant today. It is a sad reflection on our country, that people define success by money and keeping up with the Jones, even if it means they have to cheat, whether it's insider trading or gaming the system for government social benefits they are capable of paying for on their own. The madness must stop. Ironically, we just watched the insane movie The Wolf of Wall Street, which is a prime example of what was discussed in the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mimi Somsanith

    The author offers three fairly in-depth solutions to correcting the currently corrupt culture that pervades in the U.S. Initially, the suggestions seem far-fetched but look at how far and quickly we've gone away from a smoking addicted majority? The author's explanations can be rude awakenings for many readers. Because the definition of what actually consitutes as cheating differs from person to person, I think the book would be more appropriately titled to be "The Unfair Culture" as the author The author offers three fairly in-depth solutions to correcting the currently corrupt culture that pervades in the U.S. Initially, the suggestions seem far-fetched but look at how far and quickly we've gone away from a smoking addicted majority? The author's explanations can be rude awakenings for many readers. Because the definition of what actually consitutes as cheating differs from person to person, I think the book would be more appropriately titled to be "The Unfair Culture" as the author describes our reaction to various scenarios. This book is worth a read and some discussions.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rishi

    Excellent. While it is more of a rant (social critique) than social science, as the author admits, it gets so many things right that I don't fault it too much for that. (Although I wish he'd mention if he's using inflation-adjusted or purely nominal dollars! Gah!) In many ways, this book is what I was hoping 'Status Anxiety' would be. This makes a nice accompaniment to 'Posh' by Lucy Jackson and both 'The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work' (book) and 'A Kindler, Gentler Philosophy of Success' (TED t Excellent. While it is more of a rant (social critique) than social science, as the author admits, it gets so many things right that I don't fault it too much for that. (Although I wish he'd mention if he's using inflation-adjusted or purely nominal dollars! Gah!) In many ways, this book is what I was hoping 'Status Anxiety' would be. This makes a nice accompaniment to 'Posh' by Lucy Jackson and both 'The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work' (book) and 'A Kindler, Gentler Philosophy of Success' (TED talk) by Alain de Botton.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    The book may have some great truth to it and is interesting, but the author could have gotten the point acrossed by cutting the book in half rather than re-using examples over and over and over.... It's apparent that the author is very cynical and the reading quite negative (naturally, given the subject material). I could only handle reading a chapter at time. Advice: read half of every chapter and you're in business.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This had potential for a compelling book however, the author used it more as a redundant attack and didn't expand into other areas of everyday Amercan life where I feel cheating is also prevelant. He came off as very anti-free market and angry. There are many flaws and thiefs in our current system, which is why I would have liked to see a better presentation of this information. Didn't leave a good taste in my mouth...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    It was hard to rate this book....while very well written and full of compelling evidence about the state of our nation's "social contract", and how that has led to a decline in personal integrity, it did generate feelings of despair. The book was published in 2004. A new afterword suggests a shift toward more ethical behavior in our country may be in the works. Book suggested during ethics discussion by prof during summer Research Methods course.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Who cheats? Apparently, you do. Interestng read about the rise of the cheating culture in America. Book is heavy on examples and talks about all of the various incentives to cheat that are present in our culture. Why do people cheat? Big risk, big reward. Neat takes on how individualism in our culture has morphed into self absorption.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.