Tad's Reviews > Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart
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Jul 25, 2011

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Read in November, 2010

One of the great non-fiction writer/reporters in America, Stewart is the Bloomberg professor of business journalism at Columbia University. This book is among the reasons why Columbia would seek him out: The book is a culmination of the work he did with his deputy news editor at the Wall Street Journal covering the 1980s junk-bond scandals of Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky. He and the editor won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for coverage of the 1987 stock-market crash. The book is a strong example of Stewart's ability to use narrative in non-fiction writing, and the more minor characters he uses to propel the stories are exemplary. I do sometimes believe he is swayed by his incredibly deep reporting to tell us too much, detracting from the narrative. But he is a master who young journalists should read, both to learn what's possible as a reporter, and what's possible as a writer of non-fiction.

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