Tangled Webs:How False Statements are Undermining America:From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff by James B. Stewart, part 2

Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie MadoffFinished 5-31-11, rating 4/5, current events, 441 pages, pub. 2011

(part one reviewed here)

I jumped on my soapbox in the first half of my review so I’ll try to exercise some restraint this time around.  Lying is bad.  Perjury is worse.  How can we be a country ruled by law if people, under oath, lie.  I covered the first two celebrity perjurers, now on to the last two.

Barry Bonds is not a likeable guy, he used some sort of steroid, and his old friend was so faithful to him that he went to jail instead of testifying against him.  Oh, and the case is just now going to trial.  It’s like 10 years later! Sprinter Marion Jones was somehow caught up in the same investigation and she’s already served her time!  There were a lot of players involved and since baseball is not my thing, it was my least favorite.

My husband is a portfolio manager, so the Bernie Madoff case was right up my alley.  Somehow Bernie got away with lying to the SEC for years and to many different people.  Seriously, the SEC looks bad.  There were a few people in the SEC who were actually doing their jobs, but they or their superiors were in awe of Madoff’s power and reputation.

I really liked this book.  I thought all the stories were interesting and told with an easy to understand, yet detailed, narrative.  I complained in my first post that people made excuses for liars if they liked them.  I had to swallow that sentiment this week as my beloved Coach Tressel (Ohio State football coach) fell prey to the exact problems addressed in this book.  He didn’t commit the crime, but he did lie to cover it up.  If it can happen to the squeaky clean sweater vest, it can happen to anyone.

This book was sent to by the publisher for this book tour.

James’ Tour Stops

Wednesday, May 11th: Take Me Away

Thursday, May 12th: Laura’s Reviews

Tuesday, May 17th: Power and Control

Tuesday, May 17th: Marathon Pundit

Wednesday, May 18th: Man of La Book

Wednesday, May 25th: Stacy’s Books

Wednesday, June 1st: Bibliophiliac

Monday, June 13th: Lisa Graas

Tuesday, June 14th: Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms

Wednesday, June 15th: Deep Muck Big Rake

14 thoughts on “Tangled Webs:How False Statements are Undermining America:From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff by James B. Stewart, part 2

  1. Nise' says:

    My mother always to me, “Be sure your sin (lie) will find you out.” Of course, I was rolling my eyes as she said it. I then told it to my kids with the same reaction, but it is true! It may take awhile but it is true. I was watching the interview on 60 minutes with the cyclist talking about PED use in the sport and the guy he was telling on still insists he never used. Anyway, enough blabbling, this is a book my father-in-law would like. Thanks for the review(s).

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Funny how Weiner-gate highlighted this topic. He needed you and your mother to give him some advice!

  2. Margot says:

    I just read both parts of you review. Excellent job. I’m a news junkie too and love it when these people get caught. It does bother me though when the news jumps ahead and decides guilt instead of letting a jury do that. But, I’m with you in my concern for the morals in our culture. It’s very hard to raise children in an environment like this. But, as Nise’s mother said – you will always get caught.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Thanks, Margot! It was nice to get the details of the cases instead of just the sound bites we got on the news coverage at the time. Again, Rep. Weiner just proved the point this week that lying never pays and usually makes you look like an ass.

  3. Amy says:

    This book sounds fascinating. I really enjoyed your review, soapbox included :o). I think the moral and legal mindset of our country could be discussed for days, weeks and months and no resolution or solution found.

    In the Madoff case, I was really surprised that he got away with it for so long when, i think it was his daughter-in-law who worked for the SEC, I think there was more going on behind the scenes with family involvement than the investigators were able to discover or, at least, we were told.

    I think fame and celebrity sway many people, even those who are supposed to uphold the law. I think a lot of people are more lenient when judging the guilt of famous individuals. Whether it’s because those doing the judging don’t want to be disliked by others, or they are starry-eyed or they cannot believe a celebrity would break the law, I’m not sure. But I think, over the course of history, many famous people have been able to get away with breaking the law. Not always but often! It’s really a shame.

    Sometimes it looks as if things are changing for the better… Martha Stewart did go to jail, as did Madoiff finaly and Strauss-Kahn was arrested for attacking a female hotel employee. But then I think about the Bush/Karl Rove/Libby situation and it feels as if the powerful always win in the end.

    Thanks for a great and in-depth review of this book. I think it would have had me “seeing red” at times!

    • stacybuckeye says:

      The Libby case did have me seeing red since everyone involved lied, even President Bush and only one guy took the fall (and with no jail time it really wasn’t much a fall).
      I was surprised that so many people seemed in awe of Madoff. Why do so many think people with money are to be so admired and respected? It’s sad.

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