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Conspiracy of Fools
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About the Author

Kurt Eichenwald wrote for the New York Times for more than twenty years before becoming a senior writer for Newsweek. A two-time winner of the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism and a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, he has been selected repeatedly for the TJFR Business News Reporter as one of the nation's most influential financial journalists. His book, The Informant was turned into a major motion picture. He lives in Dallas with his wife and three children.

Reviews

In this latest book on Enron, New York Times reporter Eichenwald-two-time winner of the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism-documents a tale of systematic greed, fraud, and criminality that is now known as the scandal of scandals. The author acknowledges that many people are to blame, but he singles out former Enron executives Andrew Fastow, Ken Lay, and Jeffrey Skilling, deftly analyzing the aggressive "mark to market" accounting and the frenzied deal making that contributed to Enron's demise. Eichenwald offers vivid portraits of the main characters with revealing vignettes that capture a corporate tragedy of epic scale. Clearly, with the trials of Lay and Skilling still to come, the story of Enron remains unfinished. Two recent Enron books, Robert Bryce's Pipe Dreams and Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind's The Smartest Guys in the Room, are both excellent. However, Eichenwald's account will rightly be judged the definitive book to date. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/04.]-Richard Drezen, Washington Post, New York City Bureau Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

This enormous, intimate blow-by-blow of Enron's implosion gets as close to what actually happened, in terms of people making (bad) decisions in real time, as anyone who wasn't there with a concealed video-phone possibly could. Having combed endless documents and interviewed countless principals and peripherals, Eichenwald (The Informant) presents short declarative sentences (and lots of sentence fragments) that may have run through the heads of men like top executives Skilling, Lay and Fastow as they managed to cook a very large set of books, as well as men like Stuart Zisman, a lawyer in the firm's wholesale division who wrote an early memo titled "Overall Book Manipulation" that stated "the majority of investments being introduced to Raptor are bad ones." Eichenwald's bald depictions ("Skilling sank deeper into depression"; "It couldn't be true, [Anderson partner Tom] Bauer thought") make for real tension. Collegial meetings at the White House with Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and others; charged conference calls with skeptical investors; endless buy-ins, buyouts and acronyms-all are presented in a rat-a-tat style thick with corporate anxiety, keeping pages turning even as the details themselves are numbing. (Luckily, Eichenwald includes a "Cast of Characters" and "List of Deals" so that readers can remind themselves of past carnage.) As an unadorned attempt to get into the heads of some major manipulators, this book can hardly be bettered. (On sale Mar. 8) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Kurt Eichenwald's bestseller, The Informant

"Ranks with A Civil Action as one of the best nonfiction books of the last decade."
--New York Times Book Review

"The thriller of the year--and it's all true!"
--Dallas Morning News

"One of the most intriguing--and nearly unbelievable--nonfiction books in recent memory . . . a tangled tale worthy of John Le Carr ."
--Portland Oregonian

"A compelling narrative . . . a business book for Grisham readers."
--Chicago Tribune

"Reads like a well-written whodunit."
--Denver Post

"A spellbinding account, as much of a page-turner as a Grisham novel."
--Washington Monthly

"I guarantee it'll keep you reading late into the night."
--Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action

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