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Madoff: Book summary and reviews of Madoff by Richard Behar

Madoff

The Final Word

by Richard Behar

Madoff by Richard Behar X
Madoff by Richard Behar
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  • Publishes
    Jul 9, 2024
    384 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

Fifteen years after Bernie Madoff's arrest, renowned investigative journalist Richard Behar delivers the definitive account of history's largest—and longest-running—financial fraud.

Some $68 billion evaporated during Bernie Madoff's epic confidence game. Two people were driven to suicide in the wake of the Ponzi Scheme's exposure. Others went to prison. But there has never been a satisfying accounting for how Bernie got away with so much, for so long. Until now.

Richard Behar's relationship with Madoff began in 2011 with a simple email request from the inmate. By the time Madoff died in 2021, he had sent Behar more than 300 emails and dozens of handwritten letters, participated in some fifty phone conversations, and sat for three in-person jailhouse interviews—a level of access provided to no other reporter. Behar also established relationships with hundreds of regulators, prosecutors, FBI agents, investors, Wall Street experts, ex-employees of Madoff's, family members, school classmates, and others.

The result is the final word on the criminal behind history's most enduring fraud—and on those who believed him, covered for him, or locked him up. Behar illuminates not only the fraud's origins—decades earlier than Madoff claimed in his confession—but also the complicity of investors, Wall Street insiders, family members, and some of the largest banks in the US and Europe.

Shocking, infuriating, riveting (and at times absurdly funny), Madoff shows us how Bernie ensnared thousands of investors. As Behar's dogged reporting over the last fifteen years makes clear, however, there aren't many innocents left standing by the end of this tale. Just about everyone involved is guilty, at a minimum, of humanity's most consistent weakness: greed.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A savvy debut ... Behar skillfully elucidates Madoff's scheme... . Behar's entertaining account shows how easily a sociopathic liar will be enabled by a greedy system." —Publishers Weekly

"A penetrating account of the web of lies that won the late con man Bernie Madoff his billions ... A well-written, swift-moving story of true crime and punishment." —Kirkus Reviews

This information about Madoff was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Richard Behar

Richard Behar is a contributing editor for Forbes, and an associate producer and narrator of an upcoming docuseries on organized crime in the former Soviet Union. He previously worked on the staffs of Fortune and Time, and carried out probes for Fast Company, CNN, and BBC. In 1998, he conducted the only prison interview of Dennis Helliwell, who ran the longest-known Ponzi scheme prior to Madoff's arrest. In 2005, Behar launched Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance committed to shedding light on the Moscow murder of his friend and colleague, Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov. Over a four-decade career, Behar has garnered more than twenty journalism awards. Madoff: The Final Word is his first book.

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