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I didn't know there was so much to say about fraud. This is at once a cultural and a legal history. The listener seeking flash or entertainment will probably be disappointed. It sounds more like a textbook than anything else. But the expression is sophisticated. The words chosen are crystalline in their aptness and clarity. As a professor in law, it is surely in my wheelhouse, and in that, a pleasure to listen to. What appears between the lines is a very rich social and social-class history of business groups in America. The Republican Protestant elites (and the prejudices surrounding them) in their battles with the relative outsiders in business are particularly well described. Also interesting is the fine line between energetic entrepreneurship and fraud, exemplified in the development of Sears, as it tangled with and engaged various regulators. Better Business Bureaus, Rotary Clubs, a curtain is pulled back and more revealed about the struggles and balances between eager promoters and (sometimes self-appointed, sometimes blinkered) guardians of business virtue in American history. Here I get a different vantage in the dynamics between sometimes vital, sometimes intrusive regulators, and the private forces they wrestle with.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Edward J. Balleisen and/or Tom Perkins?
I actually pre-ordered this before it was released as I am interested in the subject matter. Unfortunately, within 10 minutes of listening I realized that this wasn't the sort of book I thought it was going to be. This book takes a scholarly approach to "fraud" as a subject, instead of exploring the characters and details involved in various frauds in American History. The result is that it has the feel of an extremely dry and boring academic text. The monotone narrator certainly didn't help also, and it was very difficult to stay awake while listening.