McLean and Nocera Dance with the Devils 6

Two weeks ago RaceTalk was offered the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book “All the Devils are Here” which is co-written by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. We were immediately intrigued given both authors’ extensive history covering business and management in the media.

Bethany McLean is the former editor-at-large for Fortune magazine, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and the author of a book titled “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” Her book explores the behind the scenes drama that lead to the collapse of Enron. The book was later turned into a film. According to the Business Insider, McLean will begin a new role as a Wall Street and finance columnist for Slate in the coming weeks.

McLean’s co-author Joe Nocera (who RaceTalk interviewed after his sudden and aggressive call from Steve Jobs)  is best known for his expert reporting on management and business for the New York Times. Prior to his current role, Nocera, like McLean, worked as an editor for Fortune magazine. He also wrote regular columns for GQ and Esquire and served as a contributing editor to Newsweek.

In their joint effort “All the Devils are Here” McLean and Nocera take an inside look into the United States financial crisis. The book opens with an eight page of glossary titled “Cast of Characters” to assist readers in remembering who is who. There are also two upfront page of nothing but critical acronyms! From the prologue alone the reader feels a knot in his/her stomach as the poor judgment and incredible greed comes to light.

I don’t want to give away too much for interested readers, but the tone of the book is set very early. In the first chapter we learn that a star at Merrill Lynch, John Breit, finds himself being pushed out because in his role as risk manager he was reporting findings that would slow the “growth” of the business. The reader gets the sinking feeling this is going to be one of the milder stories.

If you’re interested in the decisions and the key players that influenced the eventual topple of the U.S. economy, “All the Devils are Here” is a must read. Written by two of the most knowledgeable business reporters, this is an expertly detailed and analytical account of our nation’s financial demise. You can listen to McLean read an excerpt from the book on this Vanity Fair podcast.

If you find reading a 350 plus page book intimidating, you can experience a visual account of the financial crisis via the documentary “Inside Job” which is currently playing in theaters.

Thank you to Bethany McLean, Joe Nocera and their team for sharing their latest project with us here at RaceTalk. We’re frightened but enlightened.

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