In 2000, the bottom dropped out of David Denby's life when his wife announced she was leaving him. To make matters worse, it looked like he might lose their beloved apartment in the split. Determined to hold onto his home and seized by the "irrational exuberance" of the stock market, Denby joined the investment frenzy with a particular goal: to make $1 million in one year so he could buy out his wife's share of their home. Denby gathered courage from stock analysts, from the siren song of CNBC, and from tech gurus and lying CEOs at investment conferences. He befriended tech stars like ImClone founder Sam Waksal and Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodgett, both now disgraced in scandals. He plunged into a season of mania, swept forward on the currents of greed, hucksterism, and native American optimism that caught up so many in that era--with cataclysmic results. AMERICAN SUCKER is his account of those years of madness and then of recovered sanity, written with the rueful insight and bitter humor that only a wiser man could attain. What began as a money chase developed into an encounter with such eternal issues as envy, time, love, and death. With wit, warmth, and tough- minded candor, Denby explores not only his own motives and illusions, but the whole panoply of desire, greed, and willful blindness that consumed the nation.


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American Sucker
by David Denby

Little, Brown and Company
January 1, 2004
ISBN #0316192945
320 pages
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