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Book Title: Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family|
The author of the book: Laurie Sandell
Date of issue: October 31st 2011
ISBN 13: 9780316198936
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.92 MB
Edition: Little, Brown and Company
Read full description of the books Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family:In December 2008, Bernie Madoff, once considered a premiere fancier, was arrested for the largest ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Although the country had in recent history witnessed several massive corporate fraud cases as the economy spiraled downward and, in some respects, wasn’t surprised by another, somehow the Madoff scandal was different. The reason was Madoff’s family. The two men who walked in that day and reported Maddoff to the authorities weren’t disgruntled investors. They were Maddoff’s own sons, Mark and Andrew.
At first glance, Mark and Andrew seemed to be heroes who had been forced to do the unthinkable all in the name of justice. Even though they had reported Bernie, the fact remained that the two men had worked side-by-side with their father for over twenty years. Everyone, especially the investors who were collectively out over $50 billion, wanted to know: How could Mark and Andrew have not known about Bernie’s ponzi scheme? For most, the answer was simple. The fraud was a family affair. The sons battled rumor, proclaimed their innocence explaining they worked in a separate part of the company, and were never charged with any crime, but the daily scrutiny and speculation would take its toll. In the end, as Bernie sat in prison where he was sentenced to 150 years, his once tightly knit family would fall apart.
Truth and Consequences goes behind the headlines to detail the personal effect Bernie’s actions brought to Mark, Andrew, and his wife, Ruth. Told primarily from the accounts of Andrew and his fiancée, Catherine, Sandell portrays a family that were just as much victims of Bernie as the investors who lost their entire savings. She details Mark and Andrew’s privileged childhood, their close bond with each other and with their mother, and the respect and intimidation they had for their father. Andrew and Mark, according to Sandell, felt shock, horror, and betrayal as their father confessed to them that his entire business was a lie. Whatever anger they felt towards Bernie couldn’t compare to the anger they felt towards their mother who, although supposedly innocent of the fraud, chose to stay with Bernie. The brothers felt their mother had failed to protect them and worse, had chosen Bernie over them. After Bernie is imprisoned, you follow along as Andrew, separated from his first wife and now in love with Catherine, picks himself up to begin a new life while Mark, fixated on the nasty and speculative headlines implicating him and his brother, falls deeper and deeper into despair and misery, eventually committing suicide on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.
Truth and Consequences is certainly an easy and entertaining read, but I did not feel like I was getting the whole truth. Whereas before I may have believed the brothers’ innocence in the fraud, Sandall’s syrupy sweet account of Andrew makes me doubt him. One doesn’t have to be painted as a choirboy in order to be innocent of fraud and when you go to that extreme, it leaves a foul smell in the air. Sandall’s portrayal of Catherine was even worse and at times, I wondered if this was her application for sainthood. (The reader learns early on that it was Catherine who approached her to write this book. Not surprising and I would be even less surprised if I heard Andrew and Catherine hired her to do so.) Moreover, in this account there are obvious “monsters” in the family other than Bernie. Mark’s wife and, at times, even Mark get a heavy hand by Sandall. In the end, there was good background and descriptions of the events and how the family dealt with it, but the one-sidedness of it all felt disingenuous.
Read information about the authorLaurie Sandell has written for Esquire, GQ, Glamour, Marie Claire and InStyle, among others, and has contributed cartoons to New York, Glamour, and the Wall Street Journal. Her first book, the graphic memoir The Impostor’s Daughter, was nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award. Her new book, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, was published by Little, Brown on October 31, 2011. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
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