It has been the public's perception that Madoff investors were all extremely wealthy and all belonged to exclusive clubs. This perception has been reinforced by the media and the powers that be. The truth is, with very few exceptions, such as Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Picower, and Stanley Chais, most were average, small-time investors. They did not belong to exclusive private clubs or any other fancy clubs. They lived an average American life; they worked hard, contributed to society and saved for their retirement years. But in the end that was not enough. No one, it turns out, could protect them from the worst financial criminal in history, Bernard L. Madoff. As a result, they were all thrown tragically into one club none of them ever expected to join: the "club" of victims. This is their story.
This is the first book of its kind about the Madoff Ponzi scheme, in which 29 Madoff investors band together to tell their story without an intermediary, directly to the public and in their own words. Baring private details and exposing the truth about who the real victims are, they don't hold back as to who really enabled the scheme to continue for 40 years. Listeners need to know what the authorities would rather keep from them, or else they are destined to become the next victims. The book's message is: this can happen to anyone.
The authors are men and women just like the average listener. They come from all walks of life - blue collar, white collar- from all parts of the country and at different life stages. These are working-class families, ex-multi-millionaires, professionals, artists, and retirees. They come from Florida, Minnesota, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and other states. They come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. In short they are regular people, Americans who got sucked into a Ponzi scheme that even the federal government has yet to solve. They all have one thing in common: they were robbed of their life savings by the worst financial criminal in history, Bernard L. Madoff. It is time that the public learns the truth.
This is a story of financial devastation, of lessons learned, of hope and rebirth. It has been more than a year since the fraud came to light and the survivors are now ready to share their experience and the hard-learned lessons with the public.
Though the financial disaster caused major transformations in their lives, transformations which are still ongoing, their spirit has not been broken.
As one of the authors in this book summed up eloquently, "There will always be meaningful work to be done, more fun to be had, and lots more people to love." And in the end, that is the message of hope the authors wish to convey.
©2011 Alexandra Roth, Mary Thomajan, Sarah Fisk, Timothy Murray, Maureen A. Ebel, Robert Halio, RV, Robin Jungreis Swernoff, Jeannene Langford, Elisabetta Sandolo, Allan Goldstein, AKL, Richard M. Friedman, Cynthia Friedman, Stephanie Halio, Steven Norton, Michael De Vita, Emma De Vita, Joanne M., Stephanie E., NES, Ellen Bernfled, Renee Rosen, Joanna W., Norma Hill, Lyn S., LAS, Jackie S., SM. (P)2011 Alexandra Roth Book Project LLC
Any book that doesn't go for the obvious but looks at a part of the story that so much of the mainstream media missed and shows the much wider impact this fraud had on everyday people.
She brings the storytellers alive, as though they are sitting in the room with you. It adds a richness to the story that I don't think you can get by reading the book.
Karen of Northern Michigan
I've listened to quite a few of the Madoff books about the big scam, but found this one to be the most interesting. These stories come from the victims themselves, all of whom describe their financial situation, what class they fall into, and how the scandal has affected their lives long term.. One might thing Madoff mostly screwed with the rich, but he didn't. He screwed over working class people, too.. Amazing that one man was so greedy he didn't care what he was doing to people who had very little, but trusted him to help them have a better tomorrow.
The stories themselves are very interesting.. Some of the victims, are as you would suspect, bitter and angry.. Their lives have been forever changed and have become a financial struggle and sometimes, a nightmare.. but then there are the victims who feel this was a chance to grow, to learn from the experience and who harbor no ill will toward Madoff.. Those stories are the really amazing ones.. Not to take away from the victims who are still very angry.. they understandably have a reason to be so...
The book doesn't mention this, but there are quite a few stories told by couples, only told separately, in their own words.. It's interesting how the same situation can affect two married people, sometimes very differently.
When you listen to these stories, you will understand the depth of what Madoff did, and took, from so many working class citizens who just simply could not afford to be taken. Very sad for them..Shame on you Bernie Made-Off!!!!!
I live in South Africa and most of my friends are not interested in Madoff but I am fascinated with this Man. I would love to find out why he did this terrible thing. Was it the love of money, power, fame or just greed and because he could get away with it. Perhaps we will never know. Maybe I missed some of the stories in this book but mainly they all seemed to have the same story (a bit like my own story) grew up poor, worked hard all my life, invested carefully, lived simply). Very interesting but I must confess I would have liked to hear from people who were rich and wanted a above average investment when they could have chosen a more safer investment i.e. possibly Lehman Bros. (that would have been a mistake). Perhaps a rich, powerful charity - what happened to the charity. as I said I could be incorrect and possibly I missed those stories.
All the stories were interesting
listenable, pleasant, easy on the ear.
possibly for the reasons given above. what happened to the victims - long term
I enjoyed the book.
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