Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America



In "Tangled Webs", Pulitzer Prize-winning author James B. Stewart applies his investigative reporting and storytelling skills to four dramatic cases all involving people at the top of their fields: Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, Barry Bonds, and perhaps the most notorious liar in financial history, Bernard Madoff. 

Stewart draws on extensive interviews with participants, and previously undisclosed documents and transcripts to show how such celebrated and successful role models found themselves accused of lying – with devastating consequences not just for them but for an ever-widening circle that ultimately includes everyone who cares about the truth. 

Though these stories captured the nation as they unfolded, "Tangled Webs" answers the many questions that remain unresolved: 

  • Why would homemaking doyenne Martha Stewart have lied about a relatively small stock trade when she was a billionaire? And what caused her apparently solid alibi to come crashing down?
  • How far into the White House did the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal extend and why was assistant to the vice president Scooter Libby the only official charged?
  • Home-run king Barry bonds was earning over $15 million a year and was granted immunity from prosecution as long as he told the truth under oath about illegal steroid use in professional baseball. How did he end up facing perjury charges?
  • How did disgraced financier Bernard Madoff keep a Ponzi scheme going for more than twenty years, despite repeated investigations by regulators?

Drawing on these vivid examples, "Tangled Webs" explores the age-old tensions between greed and justice, self-interest and public interest, loyalty and duty. Using cases that touch nearly every aspect of American life, Stewart shows how far-reaching perjury’s corrosive influence is. At a time when Americans seem hungry for moral leadership and clarity, "Tangled Webs" reaffirms the central importance of truth.

Product Details

ISBN 978-1-59420-269-8
Hardcover, 473 PAGES

Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: Can I Go Now?
  • Chapter 2: Everyone Is Telling the Same Story
  • Chapter 3: A Conspiracy of Dunces
  • Chapter 4: This is Hush-Hush
  • Chapter 5: All the Reporters Know It
  • Chapter 6: Double Super Secret Background
  • Chapter 7: A Cloud over the White Horse
  • Chapter 8: I'm Keeping My Money
  • Chapter 9: Everybody Is Doing It
  • Chapter 10: You're a Snitch
  • Chapter 11: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
  • Chapter 12: Some People Feel the Market