American Sucker

By David Denby (Electronic Book, 2004)
In early 2000, the bottom dropped out of the life of New Yorker writer David Denby when his wife announced she was leaving him. To make matters worse, it looked as if he might lose the beloved New York apartment they shared with their children. Determined to hold on to his home and seized by the "irrational exuberance" of the stock market, then approaching its peak, Denby joined the investment frenzy with a particular goal: to make one million dollars so he could buy out his wife's share of their place. Denby gathered courage from stock analysts and from the siren song of CNBC. He listened both skeptically and raptly to dreaming tech gurus and boastful CEOs at investment conferences. He got to know such charming and persuasive New Economy stars as ImClone founder (and Martha Stewart buddy) Sam Waksal and Merrill Lynch Internet analyst Henry Blodget, both of whom would eventually be disgraced in scandals that affected millions of investors. Racing around the country, he struggled to understand the leading-edge technologies of fiber optics and anticancer biotech therapies. He plunged into a season of mania and was swept forward on the alternating currents of hope, greed, hucksterism, and American optimism that caught up so many in that era -- with cataclysmic results. American Sucker is a beautifully written, mesmerizing account of those years of madness. What begins as a money chase becomes an encounter with such eternal issues as envy, time, love, and death, leading to a slow recovery of sanity and happiness. This is a classic tale of the bubble related not by a market guru or an investment professional but by a witty, perceptive, and eloquent outsider.

In early 2000, the bottom dropped out of the life of New Yorker writer David Denby when his wife announced she was leaving him. To make matters worse, it looked as if he might lose the beloved New York apartment they shared with their children. Determined to hold on to his home and seized by the "irrational exuberance" of the stock market, then approaching its peak, Denby joined the investment frenzy with a particular goal: to make one million dollars so he could buy out his wife's share of their place. Denby gathered courage from stock analysts and from the siren song of CNBC. He listened both skeptically and raptly to dreaming tech gurus and boastful CEOs at investment conferences. He got to know such charming and persuasive New Economy stars as ImClone founder (and Martha Stewart buddy) Sam Waksal and Merrill Lynch Internet analyst Henry Blodget, both of whom would eventually be disgraced in scandals that affected millions of investors. Racing around the country, he struggled to understand the leading-edge technologies of fiber optics and anticancer biotech therapies. He plunged into a season of mania and was swept forward on the alternating currents of hope, greed, hucksterism, and American optimism that caught up so many in that era -- with cataclysmic results. American Sucker is a beautifully written, mesmerizing account of those years of madness. What begins as a money chase becomes an encounter with such eternal issues as envy, time, love, and death, leading to a slow recovery of sanity and happiness. This is a classic tale of the bubble related not by a market guru or an investment professional but by a witty, perceptive, and eloquent outsider.

Product Details

American Sucker
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $9.99 US/$9.99 CAN
  • ISBN-13: 9780759509436
  • On Sale Date: 01/12/2004
American Sucker