Fallen Giant

  • by Ronald Shelp
  • Narrated by Dennis Holland
  • 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Fallen Giant, author Ron Shelp - who worked within the AIG organization for more than a decade - sheds light on AIG, the company, and Hank Greenberg, the man. Through in-depth research, candid interviews, and firsthand experiences, Shelp provides a detailed look at how AIG was originally created and reveals how Greenberg's unrelenting drive to be the best may have led to his untimely departure from AIG.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Two books in one

The first "book" here is on C.V. Starr's remarkable life and his founding of AIG, and plays across a canvas of most of the 20th century and the planet. Very little is said technically about insurance. It is a broad personal and corporate story. Starr was from northern California; the company that became AIG was formed in Shanghai, China and is a "reverse multinational."

The second "book" centers on the author's own experiences as a close insider at the top of AIG under Starr's successor, Hank Greenberg, another amazing person. This is laced with personal details and a "you are there" feel, almost gossipy at moments, of a strikingly lavish corporate lifestyle: private golf courses, art collections, fancy dinners, weekend homes, etc. But the story weaves in and out of bigger topics such as AIG's influence at high levels of US government, and with foreign governments. I was dazzled with how a company like this opened doors and pulled strings in our society and others. It basically runs through Greenberg's departure from AIG, before the circa-2008 "meltdown" and swaps fiasco story fully took hold (a pretty good book on that is "Fatal Risk"). The AIG saga continues. More histories would be welcome -- perhaps more critical of Greenberg, perhaps with more business details as such.
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- Phil O.

Poorly written and poorly narrated

Any additional comments?

It is not hard to believe that the authro is not a writter, but an ex-insurance executive. This story is disjointed and lacks any compelling pace. Additionally, the narrator voice is too sugary and lacks depth. The book does a good job of telling about CV Starr, Also, because it is the only book about Hank Greenburg, other than a book Mr. Greenburg wrote, it might be worth reading. Also, way too much about all the lawsuits.

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- Steve

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-31-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios