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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (327 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Diana B. Henriques Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781452673295
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Who is Bernie Madoff, and how did he pull off the biggest Ponzi scheme in history? These questions have fascinated people ever since the news broke about the respected New York financier who swindled his friends, relatives, and other investors out of $65 billion through a fraud that lasted for decades. Many have speculated about what might have happened or what must have happened, but no reporter has been able to get the full story-until now. In The Wizard of Lies, Diana B. Henriques of the New York Times-who has led the paper's coverage of the Madoff scandal since the day the story broke-has written the definitive book on the man and his scheme, drawing on unprecedented access and more than one hundred interviews with people at all levels and on all sides of the crime, including Madoff's first interviews for publication since his arrest. Henriques also provides vivid details from the various lawsuits, government investigations, and court filings that will explode the myths that have come to surround the story. A true-life financial thriller, The Wizard of Lies contrasts Madoff's remarkable rise on Wall Street, where he became one of the country's most trusted and respected traders, with dramatic scenes from his accelerating slide toward self-destruction. It is also the most complete account of the heartbreaking personal disasters and landmark legal battles triggered by Madoff's downfall-the suicides, business failures, fractured families, shuttered charities-and the clear lessons this timeless scandal offers to Washington, Wall Street, and Main Street. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Wizard of Lies makes for riveting reading.”

    New York Times

  • The Wizard of Lies makes for riveting reading. The New York Times
  • “A riveting history of Mr. Madoff’s shady dealings and the shattering consequences of his theft.”

    The Economist

  • “In the end the story holds us not because of the engrossing details of the scam, but because of the human dimension.”

    Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • “Pam Ward’s voicing is professional and well connected to the content.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis | 2/12/2014

    " Author Diana Henriques is a senior financial writer for the New York Times and deftly covers the ongoing saga of Bernie Madoff. The Ponzi scheme he was able to keep going over many years is astounding. He fooled savvy investors and fended off numerous half-hearted and inept SEC queries. I suspect that if the financical crash of 2008 hadn't happened he'd still be going strong. The early part of the book describes the still murky story of how and when he began stealing his clients' money. It's a bit vague but Henriques pins down what she can. The last part of the book, after his confession and arrest, is stronger, describing the huge undertaking of unraveling the mess, still going on at the time of publication and likely to continue for many years. Not only were wealthy investors affected but many small investors were wiped out as well. The descriptions of investors willing to overlook the questions about Madoff's investment returns and the keystone cops work of the SEC is enough to scare anyone away from investing in anything but a sturdy box to bury in the backyard. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kal Fisher | 2/8/2014

    " interesting but not much is revealed that hasn't already come out in various articles and news programs. wished it had probed more into the psychology of b.m. but henriques seems timid to do so... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jodi | 2/5/2014

    " Couldn't get through it. I just didn't understand all the wall street talk. Not a book for someone outside the finance industry. I was hoping for more family drama. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abdul Musa | 1/19/2014

    " Wow! Interesting story of Bernie Madoff and the many lives he destroyed. Then again one could argue some destroyed their own lives. The sad fact is that this ponzi type scheme can and will happen again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oldesq | 1/7/2014

    " Not much new here if you've followed the case from the beginning. Although the author was the first to be granted a press interview with Madoff behind bars--she readily acknowledges that it is likely he lied his way through their two face to face and subsequent email meetings--thus lending little or no value to the encounters in terms of the complex story of Madoff. Ms. Henriques seems especially sympathetic to the family and maybe that is warranted but it is difficult to know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 nelly | 12/31/2013

    " really enjoyable read that makes you think about this scandal adn some of it's more profound implications. it read kind of like a thriller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 12/23/2013

    " Fascinating book exposing how Bernie Madoff managed to weave the most intricate web of lies and thus bilk over $20 billion from "investors" from all over the world without his wife or 2 sons knowing what he was doing. Diana Henriques, a financial reporter for the NYTimes, does a great job following the money trail and explaining how the underlying trust in Bernie Madoff's "good character" made almost everybody blind to his global Ponzi scheme. Henriques manages to put a human face Madoff's crime victims too making the book even more poignant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joel Beerman | 12/18/2013

    " The con man of all con men's story is interesting, especially as the scam begins to fall apart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 11/29/2013

    " It is a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsey | 11/26/2013

    " I didn't understand all the technical financial details, but I thought the author showed a lot of insight into Madoff and his crime. A fascinating read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harry | 11/15/2013

    " Well written description of a financial vulture who did the largest white collar crime in history stealing $60 BILLION. Yes I wrote $60 BILLION. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer R | 2/19/2013

    " This book has more of the technical details on how Bernie M. was able to pull this giant scam off. Its fascinating and it makes you want to stock up on water and non-perishables and start buying gold and hiding it in your underground bunker. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin Spadafore | 12/10/2012

    " Learned about bankruptcy law, stocks, wall street, investments, and more! in a very well written and easy to understand book. I really enjoyed every page of this book. What a worldwide catastrophe! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 11/25/2012

    " A great deep dive into the mechanics of the scandal and aftermath. Not a ton of gossip. But a lot of lessons in business and life. Highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William Blair | 9/3/2012

    " An easy read. Not too much technical (financial) jargon. A better explanation for what was going on, what happened, and who did it than anything I saw on, say, PBS's Frontline. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lpage1479 page | 1/21/2012

    " This is a fascinating book about a fascinating character. It is a lesson for all of us about not putting all of our eggs in one basket. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 8/16/2011

    " Everyone should read this. A fascinating account of the ultimate con man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harry | 6/19/2011

    " Well written description of a financial vulture who did the largest white collar crime in history stealing $60 BILLION. Yes I wrote $60 BILLION. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 6/19/2011

    " Learned about bankruptcy law, stocks, wall street, investments, and more! in a very well written and easy to understand book. I really enjoyed every page of this book. What a worldwide catastrophe! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 5/31/2011

    " This was a good and clear look at the Madoff scam. Kind of repetitive and preachy at the end but overall very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 5/21/2011

    " Most of this is just a repeat of wsj and nytimes Nothing new and at times hard to follow "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 nelly | 5/15/2011

    " really enjoyable read that makes you think about this scandal adn some of it's more profound implications. it read kind of like a thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 4/30/2011

    " Darn good book. Being uninitiated in the world of Wall Street, I sometimes became entangled in the jargon of money-speak. But the author kept the pace up as we watch the heat build up on Bernie through the years. Good book for those interested in the great charlatans of American history! "

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About the Author

Diana B. Henriques is the author of The White Sharks of Wall Street and Fidelity’s World. A senior financial writer for the New York Times, she is a George Polk Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Her work has also received Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Worth Bingham Prize, among other honors.

About the Narrator

Pam Ward found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress’ Talking Books program. The fact that she can work with Blackstone Audio from the beauty of the mountains of Southern Oregon is an unexpected bonus. She has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards.