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Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Paperback – October 6, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (October 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843924
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,792,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Even if there weren't a prostitution thread, this would be a page-turner. Elkind's style is journalism at its best: well-reported but pared down, and full of colorful scenes."
-Samantha Henig, Newsweek.com

"The Eliot Spitzer story plays like a novel that might have been plotted by Theodore Dreiser and peopled with characters by Tom Wolfe. The governor of New York, aka "Mr. Clean", aka "the Sheriff of Wall Street", is transformed by a prostitution scandal into "the Luv Gov" and "Client 9." The tireless reformer compared to Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne; the moralistic square, who carried a briefcase in junior high, finds his much ballyhooed future as a possible presidential contender smashed to pieces, and the word "disgraced" seemingly permanently stapled to his name like a Homeric epithet."
-The New York Times

"Peter Elkind's Rough Justice, [is] an absorbing account of Spitzer's improbable journey from New York rich kid to celebrated Wall Street scourge - to infamous Client No. 9 of the Emperor's Club.
An editor at large at Fortune magazine and co-author of a book about the downfall of Enron Corp., Elkind captures the conflicting sides of Spitzer. He was an idealist who was genuinely outraged by the Wall Street pandemic. Yet Spitzer was also plagued by a volcanic temper and an over-caffeinated ego that was unable to keep his worst impulses in check."
-Los Angeles Times

"[Elkind] is a fantastic researcher who has used both his powers of persuasion and the freedom of information laws to full advantage. Readers are treated to the frantic e-mails of aides as they coped with Spitzer's foul-mouthed tirades and wild mood swings. The book also has the first interviews with the governor's favorite date from the Emperors Club prostitution ring."
-Washington Post

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter Elkind is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of The Death Shift. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Fortune, and Texas Monthly.


More About the Author

Peter Elkind is an editor at large at Fortune magazine and an award-winning investigative reporter. His latest book is Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. He is also the coauthor of the national bestseller The Smartest Guys in the Room, about the collapse of Enron, and the author of The Death Shift. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and Texas Monthly, and is a former editor of the Dallas Observer. He lives in Texas.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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We like to watch them climb, and man, do we love to see them fall.
Seth Faison
In fact, if you threw a twist into fiction like the doozy Spitzer perpetrated on the world, you'd think, "Come on! That wouldn't happen!"
Andy Orrock
This book would be of interest more to those like to read about politics, particularly the seamy side.
M. McDonald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Seth Faison on May 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Eliot Spitzer provided us newspaper readers with a juicy story - upmarket politician gets caught with upmarket hooker - for a couple of weeks in 2008. There were legal papers that clocked the movements and telephone calls of `Client #9,' with engrossing specificity, as he prepared for assignations with the alluring Ashley Dupree. There were funny details, like his reluctance to take off his calf-hugging black socks during intercourse (unlikely, it turns out). There were those memorable pictures of Ashley unclothed, over pages and pages of the New York Post. More than anything, there was the enduring irony of a man who built a political career on sterling ethics, who presented himself as all goody-two-shoes while he bulldozed sleazy Wall Street practices, getting his ultimate come-down from such a tawdry kind of lawbreaking.

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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vermont Reader on May 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not have a big prior interest in Eliot Spitzer, and he was barely on my radar screen when his career imploded so spectacularly. However, it does get my attention when someone engages in such amazing self-destructivness, so I ordered the book. Normally these biographies which are inspired by one particular event begin with scenes from the event, then go back and do the whole life story -- how his parents met, blah blah blah, and I have to work through those like the meat loaf before I get to the dessert of the real reason for the book. The structure of this book is no different, but Elkind's account of Sptizer's background and rise to power is fascinating. I never thought that I would find much interest in Albany politics, but Elkind's narration is very readable. There is very little salacious detail here, and despite the author's conversations with Spitzer, no attempt to explore why a person in his position would take such huge risks, and the reader can only speculate about the compulsion that Spitzer was operating under. Nonetheless, this was a fast and gripping account of the rise and fall of a man who could have been president.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LEON L CZIKOWSKY on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Welcome to a Greek tragedy" were Spitzer's words when his scandal with a prostitute became know. The wealthy Governor, living in a $17,000 a month apartment in Manhattan, was the son of a real estate businessman. He had been a famous prosecutor with notable cases against Wall Street operations and even prostitution services. There are some suspicions that his downfall may have been assisted by someone seeking revenge.

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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. McDonald on May 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I must say I live in the Albany, NY area and this scandal was covered extensively by the local media, particularly the newspaper, "The Times Union." I do believe Mr. Elkind did a good job of covering the rise and fall of Mr. Sptizer, as best anyone could. As he pointed out, numerous times, Mr. Spitzer is not an introspective man and is not prone to reveal his emotions and inner thoughts easily. Thus, I can realize why Mr. Elkind could not get deep enough to reveal the answer to the question of why Mr. Spitzer threw it all away.

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.
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