Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks Patrick Radden Keefe Picador, €18.99
It is often assumed that reporters wrote the first draft of history. As a writer who spends months on New Yorkers magazine articles, Patrick Radden Keefe has the time and skill to compile more accurate accounts of recent events.
Keefe is an award-winning journalistic star. Born in Boston, his previous books include say nothing, focuses on the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, and Empire of Pain, which dives into the history of the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis. Published last year, it evolved from a 2017 paper that Keefe wrote in New Yorkers, American weekly current affairs magazine.
In his new book Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and CrooksKeefe presents us with a compilation of dozens of his “most famous” reports from his past 15 years with the magazine.
The reports reflect his “permanent preoccupation” with crime, corruption, secrecy, lies, the “permeable membrane separating the licit and illegal worlds, family bonds, [and] the power of denial”.
It’s a great collection of journalism that often makes you imagine that any single article would make for a great Netflix series or movie. Keefe is a master at drawing complex characters and telling complex stories.
The collection begins with a fascinating 2007 article about the forge. These are not sharp vineyards trying to get rid of table wines like old fashioned ones, but forgers who tricked billionaires into spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a century-old legendary wine collection. 18 of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.
Jefferson was America’s minister in France before the French Revolution and became a connoisseur of wine. As president, he is said to have spent the equivalent of €120,000 in today’s currency importing French wines marked with his initials.
In ‘The Jefferson Bottle’, Keefe interviews Bill Koch, the more politically active Koch brothers’ brother, about how he was tricked into buying fakes. Koch reveals the mystery of the scam and enlists a team led by a retired FBI agent to track down the potential forger so that he can sue him.
Keefe’s keen press reveals the complicity or negligence of journalists and liquor auction houses in this scheme.
It’s hard to care so much if billionaires get scammed, so that story doesn’t have the emotions of the rest of the book, which really draws you in from the second part, ‘Crime Family’.
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Keefe had intimate access to the Holleeder family and especially Astrid, the sister and one-time legal counsel of one of the Netherlands’ most notorious criminals, Willem ‘The Nose’ Holleeder.
The Nose became a well-known criminal in the Netherlands following the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, the president of the brewing company, which resulted in the criminal group receiving the equivalent of nearly $30 million in today’s dollars in ransom demands. ransom. Although police arrested Holleeder, the $8 million was never recovered.
The Nose earned him money while serving his sentence, and upon his release from prison, he established himself as a criminal with a growing body count.
Keefe strikes up a conversation with Astrid, the state’s chief witness against her brother, as she navigates between safe houses and confronts the moral and ethical dilemmas she faces on her journey from The Nose’s confidant to the traitor. Released a self-written book called Judas, Astrid has an eye for self-promotion, which makes her story all the more compelling.
Other reports range from a brother’s search for the perpetrator behind the Lockerbie bombing to the profile of the British military veteran who helped create the Donald Trump legend as a successful businessman in the UK. Probationer.
Keefe usually knows when to tell a story straight and when to suggest what motivates his main characters.
In his 2014 book, Empire of Edge, he details how a young trader at billionaire Steve A Cohen’s SAC Capital used his personal relationship with a doctor to sell his shares. pharmaceutical giants Elan and Wyeth.
If it’s like conspiracy from Billionthat’s because Cohen was apparently one of the inspirations for the Bobby Axelrod character.
Mathew Martoma, a young SAC Indian-American trader, began a relationship with Sidney Gilman, chair of the safety oversight committee for trials on “bapi,” a potential Alzheimer’s cure being resonates as a new miracle drug.
A week before Gilman, a respected figure in medical research, announced disappointing results from phase two trials, he informed Martoma.
The two developed a close relationship through dozens of calls the young SAC trader placed on Gilman after he took on a 1,000-euro-an-hour consulting role.
Inside information from Gilman allowed Cohen’s SAC to quietly reverse the massive investment they had made in Wyeth and Elan. It then sold the stock short before the results were announced.
Gilman escaped prison in exchange for giving evidence in Martoma’s trial. Despite the evidence against him and a fraught past, Martoma has maintained her innocence. He refused to turn on Cohen, even after his conviction.
Keefe wondered why the young trader continued to maintain the facade. He pointedly pointed out Gilman was pure but now shunned by friends and colleagues. In contrast, Martoma’s extended family filled the courtroom and still maintained he was a man of honor dictated by the legal system.
The final chapter is a portrait of Anthony Bourdain, CNN food and travel documentary. He tells of his years on drugs, frantic work schedules and unintended progression from a shocking presenter to one of television’s most influential figures.
Published in 2017, the year before Bourdain committed suicide, this is a poignant and compelling end to a good reportage book.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/patrick-radden-keefes-rogues-gallery-uncovers-secrets-and-lies-in-stunning-journalism-collection-41894098.html Patrick Radden Keefe’s Gallery ‘Discovers Secrets and Is Housed in a Beautiful Press Collection’