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Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Paperback – October 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The Spitzer story may have seemed like daily news fodder when it broke. But there was a deeper story here. Peter Elkind, a financial reporter who wrote a good book about the Enron debacle, now makes a fine case for taking the time to go back to the beginning and scope out the whole tale. Spitzer was an iconoclastic, caustic politician. He came out of an intense upper-crust New York family with a superhuman need to succeed. Early on, he was an unlikely politician - awkward, impatient, arrogant. He found his calling as the state's Attorney General, attacking financial practices that everyone thought were untouchable. If he was overzealous and stubborn and unreasonable, voters didn't care. The public hunger for a political leader who could Get Things Done pushed his popularity ever upward. He coasted to victory as Governor. There was talk, and not a small amount, of a first Jewish President.
We like to watch them climb, and man, do we love to see them fall.Read more ›
Elliot's father, Bernie Spitzer, was quoted as stating "I play to kill" and fought authority throughout his career. His friends state Bernie raised Eliot to be a "warrior". Eliot attended Princeton where he put together a campus-wide toga party in addition to creating the jocular Antarctica Liberation Front. The group though did declare that student participation on university committees were designed to minimize recommendations from students.
Eliot married Silda Wall, who was unhappily married when she met Eliot. Spitzer became a prosecutor who indicted several organized crime leaders. Spitzer used undercover agents, sting operations, and installing listening devices into Gambino crime organization offices. A high profile trial led to a plea bargain when those accused ended their allegedly illegal operations, paid $12 million in fines, and served no prison time. This did cause an immediate crippling change in mob businesses.
Spitzer then spent 18 months in private practice before deciding to run for Attorney General. His wife was surprised he sought public office before their children were grown. His wife gave birth to their third child five days after he announced his candidacy.
Spitzer self-financed his own campaign. He was in a primary against Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and former State Sen. Karen Burstein.Read more ›
I did like the straight forward layout of his rise to Attorney Justice and he did cover the major cases Mr. Spitzer prosecuted, although I do wish he had given more information on the final outcome of some (Richard Grasso, for example). "Troopergate" was handled well, but I do wish he had fleshed out more the character of Joseph Bruno, recently in the news for being convicted in Federal Court for theft of honest services. But, of course, I am sure Mr. Elkind couldn't get even close to Mr. Bruno to get any inside information.
For those who like detail, Mr. Elkind does a very good job of tracing the rise of the Emperors Club VIP but I do wish he had given more background on the individuals involved. He explains well how the investigation proceeded and admits what he does not know - how this first came to the attention of the US District Attorney. I did come away convinced that if the Feds want to trace you via monetary transactions (i.e., something other than cash), they will probably get you in the end.
This is a quick read, and an insight to the corruption of politics that exists in New York. Mr. Spitzer is one of only many who have crossed the line, and as I write, several more are either under indictment or being investigated. This book would be of interest more to those like to read about politics, particularly the seamy side.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good nonfiction account.
In our world it seems that many of our best and brightest are just not so bright when it comes to sexual discretion. Read more
Eliot Spitzer used to be a big deal in New York state politics.A crusading attorney general who battled against Wall street excesses and a governor elected with one of the highest... Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Charles H. Levenson
I found this a well-written and compelling story of New York politics. Particularly interesting given Spitzer's current bid for comptroller. Narcissism run riot.Published on August 11, 2013 by Kindle Customer
This book, written by a friend of the former governor, is a great blow-by-blow of Spitzer's meteoric rise and startling fall. Read morePublished on January 26, 2013 by Cathy
Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer by Peter Elkind
"Rough Justice" is the interesting story of the political career of the very complex and unique Eliot... Read more
I was a big fan of Peter Elkind's The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, which he co-wrote with then-Fortune magazine co-worker, Bethany... Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by Andy Orrock
As a resident of New York, I was thrilled when Spitzer took office as governor, thinking, like many in the state, here is a man who is unafraid to challenge to status quo. Read morePublished on October 28, 2011 by Natalie Cladt