Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff

Overview

Bestselling author James B. Stewart's newsbreaking investigation of our era's most high-profile perjurers, revealing the alarming extent of this national epidemic.

Our system of justice rests on a simple proposition: that witnesses will raise their hands and tell the truth. In Tangled Webs, James B. Stewart reveals in vivid detail the consequences of the perjury epidemic that has swept our country, undermining the very foundation of our courts....

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Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff

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Overview

Bestselling author James B. Stewart's newsbreaking investigation of our era's most high-profile perjurers, revealing the alarming extent of this national epidemic.

Our system of justice rests on a simple proposition: that witnesses will raise their hands and tell the truth. In Tangled Webs, James B. Stewart reveals in vivid detail the consequences of the perjury epidemic that has swept our country, undermining the very foundation of our courts.

With many prosecutors, investigators, and participants speaking for the first time, Tangled Webs goes behind the scene of the trials of media and homemaking entrepreneur Martha Stewart; top White House political adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby; home-run king Barry Bonds; and Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff.

The saga of Martha Stewart's conviction captured the nation, but until now no one has answered the most basic question: Why would Stewart risk prison, put her entire empire in jeopardy, and lie repeatedly to government investigators to save a few hundred thousand dollars in stock gains? Moreover, how exactly was the notoriously meticulous Stewart brought down?

Drawing on the accounts of then-deputy attorney general James Comey and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Stewart sheds new light on the Libby investigation, making clear how far into the White House the Valerie Plame CIA scandal extended, and why Libby took the fall.

In San Francisco, Giants home-run king Barry Bonds faces trial due to his testimony before a grand jury investigating the use of illegal steroids in sports. Bonds was warned explicitly that the only crime he faced was perjury. Stewart unlocks the story behind the mounting evidence that he nonetheless lied under oath.

Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme is infamous, but less well known is how he eluded detection for so long in the face of repeated investigations. Of the four he is the only one who has admitted to lying.

The perjury outbreak is symptomatic of a broader breakdown of ethics in American life. It isn't just the judicial system that relies on an honor code: Academia, business, medicine, and government all depend on it. Tangled Webs explores the age-old tensions between greed and justice, self-interest and public interest, loyalty and duty. At a time when Americans seem hungry for moral leadership and clarity, Tangled Webs reaffirms the importance of truth.

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Editorial Reviews

Sissela Bok
…provocative and hard-hitting…As in earlier books such as Blood Sport and Den of Thieves, Stewart offers riveting accounts of the unfolding of each drama. He brings to bear his superb skills as an investigative reporter, interviewing the main participants in the four cases, and acquiring previously secret grand jury transcripts and notes by FBI agents and other investigators through Freedom of Information Act requests.
—The Washington Post
Scott Turow
Given that the cases remained in the headlines for years, Mr. Stewart has set himself a considerable task in ensuring that his book is not simply a rehash of yesterday's news. It is far from that. In addition to scouring and synthesizing the vast public record, including court material, amassed in each case, he conducted extensive interviews…with sources normally forbidden to talk, including lawyers and federal investigators. The result is a hugely engaging book that significantly deepens our understanding of how, in each instance, the mighty fell…Part of Mr. Stewart's magic as a writer is that he is both exhaustive and engrossing. The onrush of facts somehow never overwhelms a steady narrative current.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143120575
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 628,303
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

James B. Stewart is the author of Heart of a Soldier, the bestsellers Blind Eye and Blood Sport, and the blockbuster Den of Thieves. A former Page One editor at The Wall Street Journal, he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his reporting on the stock market crash and insider trading.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Part 1 Martha Stewart

1 "Can I Go Now?" 3

2 "Everyone Is Telling the Same Story" 45

3 "A Conspiracy of Dunces" 85

Part 2 I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

4 "This Is Hush-Hush" 123

5 "All the Reporters Know It" 154

6 "Double Super Secret Background" 203

7 "A Cloud over the White House" 220

Part 3 Barry Lamar Bonds

8 "I'm Keeping My Money" 265

9 "Everybody Is Doing It" 303

10 "You're a Snitch" 331

Part 4 Bernard L. Madoff

11 "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" 363

12 "Some People Feel the Market" 392

Conclusion 433

Acknowledgments 443

Notes and Sources 445

Index 455

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    a pleasure to read. Facinating subject handled very well by the author.I highly recommend this book there is a lot to learn from reading it

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    A waste of paper

    This author continues his pattern of offering his opinions as analysis.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Pants in fire

    Well writen and compelling insight to a growing problem that affects us all.

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