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Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  24,714 ratings  ·  3,370 reviews
In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost.

In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator,
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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Margaret Sullivan They do cover different ground. I mentioned this in my review: Kantor and Twohey had the New York TImes backing them up. A lot of Farrow's story is…moreThey do cover different ground. I mentioned this in my review: Kantor and Twohey had the New York TImes backing them up. A lot of Farrow's story is just being thwarted by NBC in trying to report the story. There is some overlap but generally they are complementary. Both very much worth reading.

Both books do not just talk about the Weinstein story. Kantor and Twohey cover the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, and Farrow covers Matt Lauer and the operations of the Black Cube investigators.(less)
David I am listening to it right now. I normally try to avoid author narrated books, Ronan Farrow does an incredible job. Draws some interesting parallels…moreI am listening to it right now. I normally try to avoid author narrated books, Ronan Farrow does an incredible job. Draws some interesting parallels HW and WA. Hearing it from one who grew up in that environment was bone chilling. (less)

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Emily May
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
“I think that it doesn’t matter if you’re a well-known actress, it doesn’t matter if you’re twenty or if you’re forty, it doesn’t matter if you report or if you don’t, because we are not believed. We are more than not believed—we are berated and criticized and blamed.”

Wow, I thought I’d already gotten as pissed off as possible about the Harvey Weinstein case and subsequent NBC scandal before reading Catch and Kill, but apparently not.

This is an unputdownable book about some astounding and
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
You think you already know this story, but you don’t. This is essential reading.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
do i spend $30 to preorder this vote now

Update— 11/11/19

So glad I did. Stellar, stellar, stellar.
Bill Kerwin
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 21st-c-amer

“I’m sick of all the predatory scum like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Mark Halperin! They deserve to rot in hell, and I hope they do, but I’d rather not read any thing more about them!"

I understand. Believe me, I understand. But I think you should make an exception for one book, and that’s Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. And why exactly is this book an exception? In two words: Ronan Farrow. And for three good reasons.

Reason # 1. As a person, Farrow is
Rebecca Crunden
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
November 2019

In Ronan I trust, basically.

August 2019

Ronan Farrow has a new book, you say?

Excuse me while I search under the sofa for spare change because I must have it.

Elyse  Walters
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Farrow wrote the ultimate
‘can’t-stop-reading’, book!!!
I haven’t read a book faster!!

I read “She Said”, by Jodi Kantor and Meg Twohey about a month ago .....
I’ve followed the Harvey Weinstein scandal....
So I wasn’t expecting to learn as much as we learn in “Catch and Kill”.

Ronan Farrow is the Babe Ruth hero of investigative journalism!! He nailed the truth.

Shocking...creepy...infuriating ....
with truth’ brilliantly exposed!

Chelsea Humphrey
4.25 STARS

Finally finished this one, and I must say I'm incredibly glad I chose the audio. Hearing the audio clips of H.W. incriminating himself is both eery and satisfying. There's not much more that I can add to a review that hasn't already been said, but this was indeed an important read/listen, and I'm grateful to live in a time where some of the monsters in this world are being held to the fire.
Julie Ehlers
Move over, Bad Blood —I've got a new favorite nonfiction read for 2019. The important story Catch and Kill tells—of Harvey Weinstein's horrifying behavior and its decades-long cover-up—is disturbing in the extreme. Fortunately, it's also compellingly written by Ronan Farrow, who even manages to scrounge up a few moments of humor from his own experiences of being threatened and spied on in the course of his work. Exhaustively detailed and impressively current, Catch and Kill is one of those ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it

4.5 stars

When film producer Harvey Weinstein leans into his walker and hobbles into the courthouse - where he's being tried for predatory sexual assault - it's hard to picture the former Hollywood mogul chasing terrified young women around hotel rooms and raping them.

Disgraced Harvey Weinstein entering the courthouse (2020)

Yet the burly producer has a well-known reputation for victimizing women - getting them alone and forcing himself on them.

Harvey Weinstein when he was a Hollywood mogul

Katie B
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's absolutely insane this book seems like it is the plot of a spy movie or something but yet this is real life. This stuff actually happened. And what is infuriating is what horrible things are going on right now that we haven't even heard about yet? I applaud the bravery of the people who were willing to come forward and speak out as well as the journalists including Ronan Farrow who kept on digging for the truth. And my heart goes out to the victims who remain silent, because this book ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2019
Fast paced and breathtaking, Catch and Kill recounts the harrowing story behind Farrow’s 2017 reporting on Harvey Weinstein for The New Yorker. In thrilling detail the writer traces how he launched his investigation into the film executive's sexual violence at NBC News, only to be met with intense pushback from executives and outside agitators affiliated with Weinstein, forcing him to take his reporting to Condé Nast. He outlines step by step the process by which he met with and interviewed ...more
Neville Longbottom
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, nonfiction
It’s probably cliché to describe this book as seeming like a real life spy thriller… but it truly does read at times like a real life spy thriller. Catch and Kill extensively covers the behind the scenes of Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein, how he was trailed by intelligence agencies, and the tactics that were used to try and stop him from getting the story published.

Reading this book really gives the big picture about how Harvey was able to prey on women for such a long period of
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Carreyrou's BAD BLOOD; those wanting the inside story
BOOK TRIGGER WARNING: rape and sexual assault

“Catch and kill” is a term from the tabloid world that refers to tabloids’ purchase of scandalous stories with the express intent of burying them. Ronan Farrow used the term more generally here as he detailed the accusations of abuse surrounding Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Donald Trump.* Countless people “caught and killed” to protect these men.

This book does three things very well, pulling them together to paint a complete
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this more than 5 stars if I could. What a masterpiece.

This is so well-researched, well-sourced, everything I've come to know as the standard of Ronan Farrow's reporting. But beyond that, it's such a powerful account of corporate silence and failure, complicity, of brave sources coming forward, a frankly wild look into the world of international espionage, and so much more. It is also harrowing and incredible to read what Ronan personally went through to get these stories out. Part II of
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book is a fantastic read! A great recap to all of the snippets of naughty men in the media that I saw. I'm surprised to learn of the author's background in this book. I rarely watched TV these past 5-10 years so I picked up this book based on the title and not the author. It's interesting how famous actresses and top executives (men) in the media tip toe around the men like Weinstein. I used to think famous actresses are powerful too but it makes sense because movie mogul like Weinstein has ...more
Donna Backshall
Every year I seek out a few political and true crime reads that I hope will be important ones, to intersperse between the escapist scifi and thrillers dominating my TBR list.

This year I've found more than a few, and I feel so fortunate I got to include Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators in that list. Ronan Farrow does a superb job of relating the day-to-day frustration of his search for justice for the many women left in Harvey Weinstein's greasy wake. As well,
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: governance
This book is not about the MeToo movement. Nor is it about sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry. And while Farrow's difficulties in finding a media outlet to support his reporting on predatory behavior by famous men in the workplace receives great attention, this is not the underlying subject of his account. The issue he is addressing here is a truth he builds toward throughout the many chapters of his story, and is crystalized at long last on Page 347:

One after another, the
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating work of investigative journalism. Ronan Farrow was working at NBC News when he started reporting on sexual abuse allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. As you may know, Weinstein was a powerful figure, and many of his accusers were afraid to talk to Ronan out of fear. But Ronan spent months investigating the story, and eventually the truth came out.

What was especially interesting to read about was how much NBC tried to shut down Ronan's work, in part because
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
This is a nonfiction book that legitimately reads like a thriller. Even though it feels like the Harvey Weinstein scandal has been extensively covered, it's mind-boggling just how much more detail and nuance Ronan Farrow puts into this account of the reporting, and the measures that Farrow had to take to get this incredibly important story out at all.

This is a story about the Weinstein scandal, but it's also a story about the male-dominated hierarchy of NBC, which repeatedly refused to report
L.A. Starks
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Sixty years ago, sociologist C. Wright Mills stated, "acts of elite deviance that cause social harm, regardless of their criminality in a legal sense, are part of the 'higher immorality of the power elite.'" Published on the heels of McCarthyism, his book, The Power Elite, had its critics ("an uneven blend of journalism, sociology, and moral indignation,") but if this morning you woke up to the news of current events anywhere on this globe, you understand too well that "Mills’ warning rings true ...more
Judith E
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
You might think you know all about the Weinstein rape charges and the “Me Too” movement because you’ve seen some news, but until you’ve read Ronan Farrow’s expose’ of the multiple coverups that took place for years to protect well known personalities and powerful CEO’s, you can’t grasp the level of manipulation, denial, and lying that took place.

I was unfamiliar with the practice of the media’s use of the catch and kill tactic to silence whistle blowers and coerce them into signing
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

About as compulsive as book-form investigative journalism gets. Farrow's biggest service with this fascinating and harrowing account is to unpeel in systematic detail the multi-levels of a carefully-rigged system of attrition and protection put in place by the monster-emperors presiding over it. Control everybody with inducements and the threat of swift and irrevocable ruination and behave however you want to. Enormous bravery shown by those pushing back, all of whom, had they failed, faced
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, non-fiction
It has a different focus compared to She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. If Kantor and Twohey's main goal was to get Weinstein's victims on the record and make them feel safe and comfortable, Farrow had to struggle against the media machine to even bring the allegations to light. Rich predators protect each other at any cost.

Lisa Bloom is a snake in both books. #neverforget
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I devoured this story and experienced such a wide range of emotions while reading it.

Why you might not like this book: To state the obvious, you don't enjoy reading nonfiction. While this is nonfiction with a big narrative bent, I can still see it being not enough for people more interested or used to the beats of a fictional story. You might not like this for the fact that it ends, but it doesn't end. There is no neat ending to this nonfiction story that is still developing in many senses. It
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
I needed to tackle this book in little chunks as I found myself getting so infuriated with all the ways in which women are silenced. Even though I thought I had followed the Harvey Weinstein reporting fairly closely, there is much to be gleaned from Ronan Farrows memoir-like 'story-behind the story'.

Spoiler : The senior decision-makers at NBC do not come out of this well.

If you have ever tried to grapple seriously with how a Weinstein or a Lauer can get away with decades long careers in sexual
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is the deep underbelly of male privilege nobody wants to see. Fortunately, for us, Ronan Farrow has taken a direct look into the abyss. Little did he know, the slimy, writhing creatures were just waiting to look back, and in many different forms of powerful abusers, legal threats, and surveillance, I might add.

It is amusing to think how this movement began with just one monster. I guarantee Ronan didn't know what sort of things he was stirring up,
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly truly exceptional. I listened to the audio version of this book and listening felt like a clean slice through the heart: devastating, unflinching, lethal. As a woman, I'd always been aware of the structural power imbalances that I and others had to work against, but Farrow lays bare the layers upon layers that society creates to insulate and protect powerful male predators and makes it clear that in ways both subtle and menacing, the rules are stacked against us. There are some really ...more
I’ve known the name of Ronan Farrow but not much about his credentials except the Pulitzer Prize he won for the Weinstein story. I got to know a bit more about him when I read the recent book She Said by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kanter, who were his fellow recipients of the prize for their part in the exposé of the sexual harassment allegations. So, when I got to know about this book and some related controversy surrounding it, and also watched Chris Hayes’s remarks at the time of the release, I ...more
Christine (Queen of Books)
Absolutely one of the best books of the year. (Of the 180+ I've read so far)

I hung on every word. Catch and Kill is a shining example of investigative journalism. It may: lead you to reflect on power and influence, consider who it is we as a society listen to, and appreciate those who won't stop trying to get the story out there.

It also made me really frustrated and angry. I know saying that will turn some people off from this one. But listen: it's an important book. It's about so much more than
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Ronan Farrow is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, where his investigative reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the National Magazine Award, and the George Polk Award, among other honors. He previously worked as an anchor and investigative reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, with his print commentary and reporting appearing in publications including the Wall Street Journal, ...more
“In the end, the courage of women can't be stamped out. And stories - the big ones, the true ones - can be caught but never killed.” 22 likes
“In the end, the employees said, Jonathan’s routine had been so boring the subcontractor surveilling him had given up. 'I’m interesting!' Jonathan said, when I told him. 'I am a very interesting person! I went to an escape room!” 10 likes
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