Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. But in the hands of Kurt Eichenwald, the players we think we know and the business practices we think have been exposed are transformed into entirely new, and entirely gripping, material. The cast includes but is not limited to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul O'Neill, Harvey Pitt, Colin Powell, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alan Greenspan, Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, Jeff Skilling, Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch, and Michael Eisner. Providing a you-are-there glimpse behind closed doors in the executive suites of the Enron Corporation, the Texas governor's mansion, the Justice Department, and even the Oval Office, Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.
©2005 Kurt Eichenwald; (P)2005 Books on Tape
"As an unadorned attempt to get into the heads of some major manipulators, this book can hardly be bettered." (Publishers Weekly)
"Conspiracy of Fools is a splendid achievement. Mr. Eichenwald has an encyclopedic grasp of a watershed business collapse, and has turned it into a gripping read, a true tale for our times." (The New York Times)
"A page-turning financial thriller....This book compares with Liar's Poker and Barbarians at the Gate in its breadth and depth of coverage of esoteric corporate culture and financial practices, recognizing the compelling human drama beneath the scandal." (Booklist)
Non Fiction Reader
Enron's financial world was complex and difficult to explain. This book does an excellent job of providng an over-view and details, in an understandable way. It is not a pretty picture, and there are times the reader will gleen a less then objective interpretation (almost a voyeur's glee) in telling some of the details. But then, some are startling. If I were a prosecutor, I would present my case exactly as the book is written. Highly recommend it as informative and entertaining.
I have listened to this book several times and each time I get more out of it. As an investor, I learned how you can't believe even the financial advisors. I'm glad I got the unabridged version.
I wasn't sure purchasing this audiobook was a wise choice. "Thirty hours? Really?" I thought. Having read and seen "The Smartest Guys in the Room," however, this book seemed like the next step. I was not disappointed!! It was like crack in audiobook form. From the first chapter, the listener is drawn into the fascinating financial maelstrom that is the notorious Enron legacy. Eichenwald's writing provides much detail without it being overwhelming, while moving the story along at a compelling pace - not an easy combination to achieve - and Robertson Dean's narration ... I would listen to that man read from the telephone book. I'd have to say this is one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. My only recommendation would be to keep a running list of all the players, because so many people are involved.
This book is fascinating and worth listening to. Unfortunately, it places all the blame for Enron on Andrew Fastow and portrays Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling as poor innocent children. if you read other sources (for example, the October 2002 Forbes Article "Andrew Fastow, Fall Guy" By Dan Ackman) it is clear that the problem with Enron was endemic and not just one bad apple. If you can stand more of the detail of the financial transaction involved, Enron's demise is more credibly portrayed in "Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron" by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. Eichenwald gives too many venal and greedy people free passes to be wholely credible.
I was always interested in the Enron fiasco and "Conspiracy of Fools" provided a very detailed account of the tragic events. I especially appreciated the insights into the specific schemes and how they were implemented. A good listen. Highly recommended.
Very complex but clearly explained--engrossing and impressive--better than fiction--and I cannot imagine how it could be abridged--go for the full version--it's worth every minute--my husband is going to LOVE this one. Road trip.
Who knew that a 30 hour book on the collapse of a company could be so interesting? It is very interesting to hear from the inside how events progressed - and the magnitude of the incompetence of key players in the story.
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