The Chickenshit Club by Jesse Eisinger
Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

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This book is a wakeup call, delivered calmly yet with no shortage of well-reasoned urgency, to a nation whose democratic traditions are being undermined by backroom dealing, deregulation, and the consolidation of corporate power. It's a chilling read, and a needed one.
-NPR

Synopsis

From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, “a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission…It is a book of superheroes” (San Franscisco Review of Books).

Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed “Too Big to Fail” to almost every large corporation in America—to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs—explains why in “an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism…a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy” (Bloomberg Businessweek).

Jesse Eisigner begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives.

“Brave and elegant….a fearless reporter…Eisinger’s important and profound book takes no prisoners (The Washington Post). Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. “This book is a wakeup call…a chilling read, and a needed one” (NPR.org).
 

About Jesse Eisinger

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Published July 11, 2017 by Simon & Schuster. 401 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Chickenshit Club
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on May 01 2017

Good fuel for the fire for those who decry the rise of corporate power, a rise unlikely to be altered by the current administration.

Read Full Review of The Chickenshit Club: Why the... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Jason Heller on Jul 30 2017

This book is a wakeup call, delivered calmly yet with no shortage of well-reasoned urgency, to a nation whose democratic traditions are being undermined by backroom dealing, deregulation, and the consolidation of corporate power. It's a chilling read, and a needed one.

Read Full Review of The Chickenshit Club: Why the... | See more reviews from NPR

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by James Kwak on Jul 05 2017

With its broad historical scope, Eisinger’s book lacks the juicy, infuriating details of “Chain of Title,”...But for someone familiar with the political landscape of the contemporary United States, Eisinger’s account has the ring of truth.

Read Full Review of The Chickenshit Club: Why the... | See more reviews from NY Times

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85%

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