[Download] Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story By Kurt Eichenwald

Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story

By: Kurt Eichenwald
Narrated by: Stephen Lang
Length: 10 hours
Release date: Mar 14, 2005
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (165 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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From an award-winning New York Times reporter comes the full, mind-boggling story of the lies, crimes, and ineptitude behind the spectacular scandal that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever . . .
It was the corporate collapse that appeared to come out of nowhere. In late 2001, the Enron Corporation--a darling of the financial world, a company whose executives were friends of presidents and the powerful--imploded virtually overnight, leaving vast wreckage in its wake and sparking a criminal investigation that would last for years. But for all that has been written about the Enron debacle, no one has yet to re-create the full drama of what has already become a near-mythic American tale.

Until now. With Conspiracy of Fools, Kurt Eichenwald transforms the unbelievable story of the Enron scandal into a rip-roaring narrative of epic proportions, one that is sure to delight readers of thrillers and business books alike, achieving for this new decade what books like Barbarians at the Gate and A Civil Action accomplished in the 1990's.

Written in the roller-coaster style of a novel, the compelling narrative takes readers behind every closed door--from the Oval Office to the executive suites, from the highest reaches of the Justice Department to the homes and bedrooms of the top officers. It is a tale of global reach--from Houston to Washington, from Bombay to London, from Munich to Sao Paolo--laying out the unbelievable scenes that twisted together to create this shocking true story.

Eichenwald reveals never-disclosed details of a story that features a cast including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul O'Neill, Harvey Pitt, Colin Powell, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alan Greenspan, Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, Jeff Skilling, Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone. With its you-are-there glimpse into the secretive worlds of corporate power, Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.

From the Hardcover edition.
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62 Responses to “[Download] Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story By Kurt Eichenwald”

  1. Terrie L.

    Spellbinding page turner of driven business people
    A spellbinding and intriguing case study of an aggressive corporation—a corporation on steroids. This was a real page burner, very entertaining. I gained a greater understanding of the Enron culture and its demise. An extremely worthwhile book to read.

  2. Nell Alge

    If you work for a living then get this book
    This book is fascinating. You know people just like these people. You see stuff just like this every day, on some level and to varying degrees. Bad decisions being made by poor leaders and no one really minding the store while the really bad people push and bully in their positions of power to take full advantage of their situation and ruin so many lives, including, ultimately their own. Incredibly well written with a terrific narrator. Give this book a chance. You will not regret it.

  3. Regan Carlston

    great book
    Would you listen to Conspiracy of Fools again? Why?

  4. Timothy

    A wonderful insight
    Who knew that a 30 hour book on the collapse of a company could be so interesting? It is very interesting to hear from the inside how events progressed – and the magnitude of the incompetence of key players in the story.

  5. Customer

    Gripping, even if you thought you knew the story
    Who knew that accountancy, internal controls, and good (or bad, in this case) management mattered so much? I knew the basic story, but this well-written and powerfully narrated book had my complete attention over several days as I binge-listened. I just couldn’t put it down. A 5-star in every respect.

  6. Jacquelin G.

    Be prepared
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

  7. Myung Suet

    Truly riveting story that leaves no rock unturned
    What made the experience of listening to Conspiracy of Fools the most enjoyable?

  8. Teresa B.

    Too fascinating to be fiction
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  9. Glynis Maka

    Good story…well written. Good narrator.
    Listened twice so far. Lots of information for just one listen. Recommend for anyone in business…interested in Enron..
    or true crime.

  10. farmhouselady

    Best Enron related book I have come across.
    Any additional comments?

  11. Tyron Kittner

    Starts slow but give it a chance
    I almost gave up on this and I am glad I didn’t. What the author did was incredible. Great story and great orator. I saw a doc on Enron and thought that might make this repetitive but no. I can’t imagine any other book or doc coming close to this content.

  12. M. Myers

    A must listen!
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  13. Iona Longmore

    Buy them One at a Time
    I give this book 4 stars because the explanations of events are very interesting and comprehensive, well written and well read. It is perhaps worthy of 5 stars in that respect. I took off a star because I purchased the whole unabridged book and I could barely stomach the EXTENT of overwhelming personal and private detail the book offers.

    I was really grateful to listen to the first 5 or 6 hours, describing how the players got involved, what “Mark to Market” is, and how Enron executives began the spiral that led to their eventual and inevitable downfall. But after a while I couldn’t take all the personal battles, politics, alchohol and awful marital and social details. I just couldn’t IMAGINE sitting through it for another 25 hours of audio.

    SO I rented “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.” They do a great job of telling the rest of the story (California, Arthur Andersen, Employee fraud). However the movie glosses over exactly what the first part of this book elucidates, and that is crucial to getting a perspective on the players and their tricks. If I had it to do over again, I would buy Part 1 and listen to it FOR SURE, and then, if you are into the extent of detail this offers, buy Part 2.

  14. Francis Linderleaf

    Really a great book. I just could not stop thinking and talking about this book to whoever would listen. I also felt compelled to look up all the main characters on Wikipedia along the way as I could not wait to find out what happened. After listening to this book I had a weird (and unsubstantiated) feeling that I was somehow an authority on the Enron case with some sort of uncommon knowledge.

    I have listened to a lot of audio books in a lot of genres but only this one and The Company by Robert Littel really grabbed me in this way.

  15. Leslie A. Foote

    greed in detail
    I had a hard time slogging through this. You get the gist really early that folks are playing with fire and not playing by the rules. The author really tries to go into painful detail. Unfortunately,this is only likely to be appreciated by someone who is familiar with the jargon of high level economics. The narrator does an admirable job of delivering a fairly dry narrative.

  16. Neal Wiechec

    Very complex but clearly explained–engrossing and impressive–better than fiction–and I cannot imagine how it could be abridged–go for the full version–it’s worth every minute–my husband is going to LOVE this one. Road trip.

  17. Sean

    Long..but worth it.
    If you could sum up Conspiracy of Fools in three words, what would they be?

  18. Eusebia Kamerer

    Too unbelievable to be fiction
    This book is well worth the two credits – both in length and in quality.

    This story is told like a Grisham or Bender novel. Knowing how this is going to end is apart of what makes this book so surreal.

    It shows the danger of arrogant and narcissistic personalities running a company, especially one that dealt with billions of dollars.

    The research that had to be done to tell the story in this way is mind boggling. The author goes into what people are thinking, what they ate for lunch that day, what was happening in their family life in a manner that you can’t stop listening.

    This book again confirms that “if it’s too good to be true…”

    There’s lots of characters and the author goes into who they all are and where they fit in the forth part of the book at about 7 hours. It would be good if this was available to look at every 3 or 4 hours of listening.

  19. Queenb

    Great Read
    Who would have thought anyone could turn this business nightmare into a readable, can’t wait to hear more type of story. Good read. Greed and avarice do incredible things to people. I certainly hope a lesson is learned.

  20. Ok Conlogue

    Couldn’t put it down…
    Would you consider the audio edition of Conspiracy of Fools to be better than the print version?

  21. Destiny Maontesano

    Amazing Story
    The Enron story is beyond the average person’s capability of understanding, myself included. This book allowed me to understand the actions that brought Enron down. The writing is excellent. It feels more like a novel than a nonfiction work. I highly recommend this to anyone that is interested in the Enron story, finance, accounting, and human nature.

  22. Foster Bovio

    I have to say, beyond learning corporate and financial terms I didn’t know before, this book is amazing. It is a very well written narrative, I only got lost once or twice, and that was mostly do to the 36hour length than anything.

    This book sure opened my eyes to what actually went on at Enron, from start to finish, it’s amazing. I would drive around the city aimlessly just so I could listen! You would hear one absurdity that passed for logic at Enron and would think that surely, this would be the final nail in the coffin, then you realized you were only two hours in. it’s that good.

    The narration is the only reason this book didn’t receive a five star. I found the character voices indistinguishable at times, and the character personalities seemed to be reduced to, whiny, angry, pensive and passive. There wasn’t a lot of differentiation or vocal personality. Other than that, it was well paced, clearly read and a joy to listen too.

    The first hour sets things up, it may seem a little slow, but it is definitely worth it. A real must read for any business owner. It should be subtitled, how not to ruin an company.

  23. Delmar Wyker

    They thought they had the secret sauce.
    At the end there’s an interview with Kurt Eichenwald and he captures the entire debacle well, describing the arrogance of senior management at Enron. Almost every one of them (there were some exceptions) were willfully ignorant as long as it paid. And it paid big, until it stopped paying.

    I’m sorry there’s no lesson about crime not paying. To the contrary, the 30 hours and 30 minutes of this book shows that crime can pay, and although it’s embarrassing to get caught, the penalties are light to non-existent – mostly non-existent. Senior management and the board made out like bandits, because they were bandits who got away with it, in my opinion.

    I liked Eichenwald’s approach. This book must have consumed all his time for a period of years. I think his efforts will ultimately help a lot of people to see and hopefully stop instances of this type of thing happening again. I feel sorry for the employees who held company stock, very sorry this happened to them.

  24. Santa Schrock

    A story of greed and corporate dysfunction
    If you could sum up Conspiracy of Fools in three words, what would they be?

  25. Lieselotte Murrey

    A great "read"
    If you could sum up Conspiracy of Fools in three words, what would they be?

  26. Teodoro H.

    Great book – appears that the Enron debacle was actually caused many years before by poor business decisions that took Enron out of its core money-making business – a cautionary tale. I listened to this in the car, at the mall, cleaning house — until it was done. The book was surprisingly compelling, given that I already knew the ending!

  27. Bernard B.

    Great Book!
    It was like listening to a fast pace novel. 30hrs of my life went by too fast!

    The Enron scandal presented in a way that anyone could understand. Who would have thought that could happen!

  28. Angelena N.

    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  29. Lavern Audrey

    better than fiction… could make this stuff up…
    What made the experience of listening to Conspiracy of Fools the most enjoyable?

  30. Larita Rochow

    Unbiased and comprehensive
    A very interesting, but sadly tragic story of greed and incompetence that ruined thousands of unwitting investors.

  31. Eugenio Westrum

    Wildly Entertaining
    Would you consider the audio edition of Conspiracy of Fools to be better than the print version?

  32. Franklyn Poorte

    Fall guy
    This book is fascinating and worth listening to. Unfortunately, it places all the blame for Enron on Andrew Fastow and portrays Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling as poor innocent children. if you read other sources (for example, the October 2002 Forbes Article “Andrew Fastow, Fall Guy” By Dan Ackman) it is clear that the problem with Enron was endemic and not just one bad apple. If you can stand more of the detail of the financial transaction involved, Enron’s demise is more credibly portrayed in “Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. Eichenwald gives too many venal and greedy people free passes to be wholely credible.

  33. Bonny

    The beginning and fall of Enron!
    I, like millions of others, was a loser when Enron fell. Again, like others, I watched the hearings and tried to understand how this could have happened. Now, it has been clearly explained! The full story of Enron is unbelievable and opens up the main reason for the domino fall of the other major companies and their subsequent bankruptcies which followed shortly thereafter. The average person will be dumbfounded to learn how these executives “thought” while the manipulation by the investment and accounting companies of the “stock” would appear to have been for the financial gain of everyone involved. It is easy to see why the current attitude of corporate malfeasance is so widespread.

    I have enjoyed this book many times and each time something new comes to my attention.

  34. Daniel J. Meyers

    This was a great book. It provided hours of listening enjoyment. It is well worth the cost, it is almost a steal.

    I will listen to this one again and again.

  35. Steve Escalante

    Very detailed and long
    What an in depth account of these events! Pretty slow and not thrilling but very informative. Scary to think these things happen.

  36. Melisa D.

    I have listened to this book several times and each time I get more out of it. As an investor, I learned how you can’t believe even the financial advisors. I’m glad I got the unabridged version.

  37. Paige Gambone

    Excellent & Better than I remember
    I own this book; sometimes I look thru my Library for something to listen to. As a CPA, the story of Enron has always intrigued me. I know it only takes two sneaky Client employees to perpetuate a fraud. But this? This was much more than ‘two bad apples’.

    Mr. Eichenwald did an amazing job researching and explaining (in layman’s terms) the deals. Back when this happened, I thought the Company used derivatives to ‘trick’ AA. No, it was really a simple shell game, just like you see at a baseball game (you know, the Monkee, between innings?) Of course, Skilling is so intimidating, he scared many of the accountants by implying “You’re so stupid, I can’t believe you can’t understand how our Company works.” It did the trick, the accountants went away, and probably stayed away.

    The Reader is excellent, and uses many voices. Lay comes off as calm & blind, which he was.

    I definitely recommend this book.

  38. Curtis Levitsky

    Loved this book!
    I’ve listened to this several times. Enjoyable and instuctive. Should be required reading for all business owners 🙂

  39. Wilber S.

    Made me an Addict
    This was the book that started me listening to books. What a great story. The complexity is more manageable when it’s read TO you – if I had seen the book on a shelf, I would never have picked it up. The book makes commuting fun.

  40. Leonard Lavoie

    Enjoyed it !!
    The book was thoroughly enjoyable!! but it felt like fiction with good and bad guys… mostly bad greedy guys !! but loved it !!

  41. Miguelina Aydelott

    This is one of the most remarkable drama stories of our time. It should be REQUIRED READING for anyone attending school for their MBA or advance accounting courses. I have been sorely impressed with this detailed narration and attempt to get inside the heads of the corporate culture that expanded during the late 90’s– and ultimately burst. Headlines and sweeping generalities of the media claims during the Enron melt-down do not even scratch the surface of these events that began in 80’s. If economics, investment, finance, accounting or a desire to really understand the Enron events are your pursuit, I strongly recommend putting the time aside to listen to this production.

  42. Christine L.

    Great book!
    I have listened to The Smartest Guys in the Room, and I can tell you that this book provides a much more subtle telling of the Enron tale than its more famous cousin. The major players are more human and, therefore, more believable in this narrative. I recommend it without reservation.

  43. Eleni Drobot

    Great story of corporate America gone amuck. If I hadn’t know it was true, I wouldn’t have believed it. The reader had the perfect voice.

  44. Lucien Pano

    I went into this not sure if a 30-hour book about Enron would really be all that interesting. However, I ended up really enjoying it. It was very, very detailed and thorough, and the author did a great job of making the financials easy to understand. I could follow what was happening with the money with no problems and I have no financial or accounting background. The book is very much a narrative, and in spite of the large cast of characters and the detailed series of events, you get so that you are really engrossed in the story. It was hard at times to remember that this all really happened! The author obviously went to a lot of trouble (as he discusses in the interesting interview with him at the end of the book) to tell the story based on facts and not demonize anyone. The people come across as authentic and complex, just like they should. Even the corrupt people can be sympathetic (or at least pathetic) at times. I was a teenager when Enron went bankrupt so I really didn’t know anything about the story going in, but that didn’t affect my ability to follow the book – the author didn’t make any assumptions about what people already knew about Enron.

    I really enjoyed the narration. It engaged me in the book and was neither over-dramatic nor monotone. There were only two or three mispronounced words that I caught, which is honestly pretty impressive in 30+ hours of reading.

    My only complaint is that there wasn’t another 10 hours about the trials and the aftermath. I understand why – because the trials were ongoing when the book was written – but I still wanted it to continue! In general, the ending wasn’t that satisfying, but it is real life, so obviously it couldn’t all get neatly wrapped up. Overall, I would recommend the book to people interested in history books, actually, since it reads like a good history book, with a clear narrative and interesting in-depth coverage of the whole history of Enron as well as its demise.

  45. Ted

    Well done
    I was always interested in the Enron fiasco and “Conspiracy of Fools” provided a very detailed account of the tragic events. I especially appreciated the insights into the specific schemes and how they were implemented. A good listen. Highly recommended.

  46. Deidre Meierhofer

    Good Writing, horrible Narration
    What did you like best about Conspiracy of Fools? What did you like least?

  47. Teodoro Serey

    Gripping account.. great listen.
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  48. Glen Caperon

    This book leaves you speechless
    So entertaining! It is written in a storytelling style and when you think this story must end now it is just getting more unbelievable. You thought you knew everything that happened at Enron? You listen to this book and you learn that you knew nothing. I had to listen to the book twice two years ago and I just listened to it again. You don’t want to miss a second of this book.

  49. Yulanda Sheehy

    Enough is way too much
    The beginning of this book was fascinating, it was clearly explained to a financial moron like me what exactly was happening and why. But I quit halfway through the 2nd part. Hey, guys, I got it in the first part, I understand, I don’t need to have every deal explained ad nauseam. I GOT it! I’ll go log into MSNBC to see how it all ends.

  50. Harley Storment

    The best title about the Enron collapse
    Extremely engaging, very human and very considered. Unlike “Smartest Guys in the Room” and “Power Failure” does not try to point fingers but lets the reader draw own conclusion(s). Also tells the story of the involved to the end (and beyond), which the other two titles lacked.

    Really loved it, to the point I would listen to the title beyong my normal window of opportunity. very well performed and … Just fantastic.

  51. Lavon Lissy

    Enron? Questions Answered.
    What did you love best about Conspiracy of Fools?

  52. Reggie Kauahi

    Everything Enron
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  53. Ryan Burke

    Fantastic and extremely detailed
    While I was completing my MBA I found this book and devoured it. Not only is the material important to our business generation but it is riveting. This book tied all of my study together and created a healthy business critic out of me. Read and listen to this book!

  54. Annalee Boatright

    Great read
    This book helped me gain some understanding of the events surrounding Enron’s life and death as well as the roles some of the principals played. It reads like engaging fiction and was never tiring despite its length. The reader was great as well. Highly recommended.

  55. Peter Hansing

    Love the story!
    Give all the story so that you can feel what really happen. I just can stop listening.

  56. Renaldo Schmaling

    This is the best book I have ever read! I want more!!!

  57. Selma Elchert

    Interesting take on the Enron debaucle
    Compelling take on the Enron disaster. The author makes complex financial issues easy to understand. He seems to give Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay more of a pass than they probably deserve. I’m listening to The Smartest Guys in the Room to get another perspective on the issues. Both books together give a more full picture of why what happened did.

  58. Cayla Biller

    Addicting and Comprehensive!!
    I wasn’t sure purchasing this audiobook was a wise choice. “Thirty hours? Really?” I thought. Having read and seen “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” however, this book seemed like the next step. I was not disappointed!! It was like crack in audiobook form. From the first chapter, the listener is drawn into the fascinating financial maelstrom that is the notorious Enron legacy. Eichenwald’s writing provides much detail without it being overwhelming, while moving the story along at a compelling pace – not an easy combination to achieve – and Robertson Dean’s narration … I would listen to that man read from the telephone book. I’d have to say this is one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to. My only recommendation would be to keep a running list of all the players, because so many people are involved.

  59. Herb Pedulla

    Great Read
    I really enjoyed this book. It was a page turner and hard to put down

  60. Nydia Orick

    Very nice job.
    If you could sum up Conspiracy of Fools in three words, what would they be?

  61. Melany Roetzler

    Whether or not you care about Enron…
    … this should be required reading for anyone interested in business, management, politics, great scams, or just wants an exciting story that they already know the end of. The author’s fly-on-the-wall details of how key figures behaved; the intricacies of the financial sleight of hand; and the behavior of the management, employees; auditors, lawyers, and rating firms were beyond what even the most cynical (well almost the most cynical) person could imagine. It is a true tragedy – on both the personal and political level – which reads like a fast-paced novel. If you are interested in (or obsessed by) other contemporary accounts of corporate and political bad behavior (as for just one example, The Big Short) don’t miss this book.

  62. Mose M.

    Just plain boring!

    I should have loved it. I’m the CEO of a small cap corporation myself and, by the way, I have previously been a manager in a “Fortune 100” company.

    Sorry, I just didn’t like this book.

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