Press Release: Circle of Greed by Carl M. Cannon and Patrick Dillon

From two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, a meticulously reported, gripping narrative — filled with vivid characters, bare-knuckle battles in courtrooms and boardrooms, and political intrigue at the highest levels of government — that tells the epic story of William Lerach, once the leading class action lawyer in America and now a convicted felon

Circle of Greed

The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees

Carl M. Cannon and Patrick Dillon

“A well-reported, densely written saga”
— Kirkus Reviews

Over the course of his meteoric career, William S. Lerach achieved the status of being the most feared and loathed lawyer in America—at least in corporate boardrooms and executive suites. For more than two decades, he and his then firm Milberg Weiss (called by many “the meanest law firm in the country”) threatened, shook down and sued top Fortune 500 companies, recovering more than $40 billion in ill-gotten gains from corporations and banks on behalf of shareholders defrauded at a time when wealth in America had reached unprecedented heights and corporate scandals involving fraud, deception and insider trading were running rampant. 

One of the shrewdest, tactically tough, persistent and fearless members of the bar, Lerach achieved enormous victories in suing some of the largest names in American business—Tyco, WorldCom, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Enron—and was hot on the heels of Halliburton and its then CEO Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States, when he fell from grace, brought down by the same corrupt impulses of his enemies. In January, 2008, Lerach pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and making false declarations under oath, and was subsequently sentenced to two years in federal prison and required to forfeit more than $7 million and his license to practice law.

Published at the time of Lerach’s projected March 8 release from federal custody, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Carl M. Cannon’s and Patrick Dillon’s CIRCLE OF GREED: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees (March 2, 2010; Broadway Books; $28.00) is a meticulously reported, gripping narrative—animated by vivid characters, bare-knuckled brawls, and political intrigue at the highest levels of government—that takes readers inside some of the most extraordinary courtroom and boardroom battles of the last 20 years to provide an illuminating portrait of an outsized figure of Shakespearean dimension.

Based on unprecedented access to Lerach, Cannon and Dillon offer a multi-faceted portrait of a man who was as reviled for his hubris, acrimony, scorched earth tactics and hyper-partisanship as he was renowned for his meticulous legal preparation, capacity to ferret out fraud, and ability to outwit and outwork some of the toughest and most famous lawyers in America as well as the titans of industry at the highest levels of power.  Set against the backdrop of the biggest financial boom in our nation’s history, their book also offers a rare glimpse into the high stakes world of publicly-held companies, stock options, stock manipulation, insider selling, and class-action lawsuits. 

In the spirit of Barbarians at the Gate and The Smartest Guys in the Room, CIRCLE OF GREED is a classic American morality tale, one that recounts the epic rise and fall of one man while shedding light on the corporate arrogance and illusions that have marked recent times.

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CIRCLE OF GREED

The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to
Its Knees

By Carl M. Cannon and Patrick Dillon

Publication Date: March 2, 2010

Published by: Broadway Books

Hardcover; $28.00

978-0-7679-2994-3

About the Authors

CARL M. CANNON is the senior Washington correspondent for PoliticsDaily.com. Previously, Carl was the DC bureau chief for Reader’s Digest and, for a decade before that, covered the White House for National Journal. Before coming to Washington during the Reagan presidency, he worked for six newspapers over a 20-year span, covering police, courts, politics, education, and race relations at newspapers in Virginia, Georgia, and his home state of California.

Carl has won numerous awards, including a share of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989, the prestigious Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting of the Presidency, and the Aldo Beckman award for “excellence in presidential news coverage.” He is also a past president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. In 2007, Carl was a fellow-in-residence at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he taught a study group on the Press & the Presidency.

He is a co-author of Boy Genius, a 2005 biography of White House aide Karl Rove and author of The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War, a 2003 book exploring how presidents and other American leaders have employed the language of the Declaration of Independence in times of national crisis. He and his father, Reagan biographer Lou Cannon, co-wrote Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy, which was published last year.

PATRICK DILLON is the executive editor of California Monthly magazine and also writes for the Christian Science Monitor. Formerly, he was editor of Forbes ASAP, an assistant managing editor and columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, and editor of West, the newspaper’s award-winning Sunday magazine. His columns and essays have appeared in more than 100 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Fast Company and Coastal Living.

He has won numerous awards, including a share of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. He is the author of a satirical novel The Last Best Thing and the non-fiction book Lost at Sea, proclaimed one of the best non-fiction books of 1998. He has been a frequent guest on CNN and National Public Radio.

 

To schedule an interview with Carl M. Cannon and/or Patrick Dillon, please contact David Drake at 212-782-9001 or ddrake@randomhouse.com

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