From Publishers Weekly
Masters's examination of the New York State attorney general's seven years in office is timely, given Spitzer's prosecutions of powerful financial industries and his candidacy in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Even if Spitzer fails in his bid for the governorship, the book is worthy of study because it clearly explains the complicated, unsavory practices of insurance companies, mutual funds, Wall Street brokerages and the New York Stock Exchange. The author also skillfully places Spitzer in the context of previous reformers within government, especially Theodore Roosevelt, Louis Brandeis and Rudy Giuliani. She shows, too, how philosophical differences between state and federal regulators over the past 100 years set the stage for the crusading Spitzer. Masters, a New York–based reporter for the Washington Post, holds degrees from Harvard University and the London School of Economics that prepared her well for dissecting the arcane, corrupt industry routines usually unknown to consumers. Though Masters received cooperation from the 46-year-old Spitzer and many of his aides, this warts-and-all book demonstrates how the mostly sincere, mostly decent Spitzer can be hurt by his overweening ego and quick temper. (July)
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Spitzer, New York's combative attorney general, has made a name for himself prosecuting Wall Street investment bankers and expanding his office into areas traditionally considered federal domain, from civil rights to environmental protection. Washington Post reporter Masters renders a penetrating view of a man who has set his sights on the governorship of New York. Based on interviews with Spitzer, his friends and colleagues, executive targets, regulators, and prosecutors, Masters examines the influences on Spitzer's drive and pugnacity. From a privileged background, Spitzer has been an admirer of progressives from Theodore Roosevelt to Louis Brandeis. Spitzer has taken on the giants of Wall Street, including Merrill Lynch, AIG, and online trading firms, building court cases and making out-of-court settlements to investors. His critics have compared his zeal and political ambition to those of another former prosecutor, Rudolph Guiliani. As Spitzer prepares for his next political move, readers will enjoy this look at a progressive crusader whose passion and sense of moral outrage have led him to take on the lions of Wall Street. Vanessa Bush
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