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Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron [Paperback]

Our Price $ 15.73  
Retail Value $ 18.50  
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Item Number 441198  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   440
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 5.54" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.07 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 7, 2004
Publisher   PublicAffairs
ISBN  1586482017  
EAN  9781586482015  

Availability  98 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 06:12.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

Item Description...
A classic investigative narrative of how Enron's business practices led to its own downfall, Pipe Dreams reveals what went wrong not just on the books, but in the minds and hearts of the company's managers. . The self- destruction of Enron, once America's seventh- largest company, was the most spectacular failure of a company in a generation, with devastating impact on workers, investors, and the American economy. Anyone interested in business or in our culture needs to know just how it happened. Robert Bryce's Pipe Dreams, widely praised as the best book published on Enron, is a hard-hitting, incisive, and compelling narrative that explains the company's rise and fall while illuminating the personalities, egos, and dreams of the people who built the company and of those who destroyed it.In a new afterword to the paperback edition, Bryce also examines the current state of the suits and their enormous cost to the American public. Finally, an Enron book that actually explains what happened at Enron, said Publishers Weekly: This isn't just the first book to make sense out of the debacle; it's a vivid cautionary tale about the consequences of the lurid excesses-personal and prof

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More About Robert Bryce

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Bryce spent twelve years as a reporter for the "Austin Chronicle" and was most recently a senior writer at "Interactive Week." He has published more than 800 articles for publications including "The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Talk, Texas Monthly, U. S. News & World Report, " and "Salon." He lives in Austin, Texas. PublicAffairs will publish his new book, "Cronies, " in spring 2004.

Robert Bryce currently resides in Austin, in the state of Texas.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Ultimate Organizational Culture Piece  Jan 13, 2008
I've used this book at the undergraduate and graduate level to stimulate class discussion about ethics and organizational culture. Student reaction has been excellent.
The Foward by Molly Ivans should be a clue  Jun 23, 2005
The fact that an alleged business book has a forward by Molly Ivans lets you know that this book will be more political and slanted than others. I could care less about politics which is why I found this book so dissapointing. Despite the fact that Enron thrived under the Clinton era, Bryce seems obsessed with slamming Bush. So instead of information on the actual causes of the Enron debacle we have endless Bush bashing which for even non Bush fans (like myself) ruins the whole reason for reading this book. Unless you like Political satire, stay clear of this disaster of a book.
Entertaining But Unnecessarily Biased  Jun 13, 2005
This is a highly readable account of some of the highlights of the Enron collapse. The author provides a very easy-to-understand account of the financial manipulation of the company's books. In an attemtp to make the book popular and available to a wider audience, the analysis seems to be *very* superficial. In some cases, the critical comments the author makes of some of Enron's employees ignore the fact of the way the business world works. For example, there is a constant drible about Enron's political financial support to the GOP. Well...., most companies, whether large or small, known or unknown, do support and donate to political parties (in the USA and around the world) - this doesn't mean corruption or anything else.

It seems that along the way, the author tries to pick any issue to give him leverage to criticize Enron. And, in the way, the serious analysis is gone.

My recommendation to a reader who is in a management postion in a large company is to check elsewhere for an accurate, non-trivialized account without the hype. However, if the reader is not engaged in business, then this book is a quick read and quite enjoyable despite being a dry topic.
Brazos49 is Right  Jul 23, 2004
Just finished reading this and was disappointed to the point of deciding to write a non-positive review. I expected to see piles of glowing reviews and be that lone dissenter, but I was pleased to see Brazos49's review. He is right on the money - and even in tune with some sideline players, whereas I echo his statements from the position of a total outsider. Yes, it was a quick light read - fun at times - but there was no meat, no real explanation, clearly no understanding of finance and real business by the author. His explanation of the Enron collapse was like a news report that says that the cause of the accident was because the car went off the road. No kidding. The few financial numbers he included weren't well referenced in the text, nor did they really support his sensationalist statements. Bottom line: it's easy to take pot shots from the rim of the canyon, and while clearly excesses occurred and the targets of these shots deserve no defense, there are few black and whites in this world. Bryce's portrayal of ALL Enron actions as evil comes across as naive and petty; there is no real balance or intelligent analysis here, just mudslinging. Look elsewhere for an account of the Enron debacle.
Uber-Execucrats Get Stomped  Jul 16, 2004
Out of many books available on the Enron travesty, this one probably offers the most bang for the buck with its fast-moving and incredibly informative structure. Bryce has sufficient skills as an investigative journalist and provides a healthy mix of history, finance, and politics, allowing the general reader to understand what happened with that ridiculous corporate house of cards at Enron. Bryce's main theory is that the company was done in by a lack of hard cash, as just about all of its revenues were long-term contractual deals in which cash would actually come in slowly and periodically, although the "revenues" could be claimed immediately through preposterous over-use of "mark-to-market" accounting. Meanwhile, greedy executives who set up such deals were paid millions in hard cash bonuses immediately, long before a single cent of actual cash was made for the company. This in turn led to preposterous deal-making shenanigans that were little more than schemes to cook the books and claim profits, such as a bizarre web of tax havens and false subsidiaries set up by the crookedest executive of all, Andy Fastow.

Bryce's cash-centric theories on the Enron downfall are open to scrutiny by financial experts, and could possibly be shot down, but that doesn't affect the quality of the book's condemnation of the Enron executives and the suffering they caused for employees and investors. Bryce has a wonderfully biting and sarcastic writing style that leads to some unexpected chuckles, with quips like "there's no sex in laying pipe," "Texas-sized sphincter," and my personal favorite "uber-execucrat" (referring in particular to Enron's purchased statesman Henry Kissinger). Bryce should probably take some heat for his treatment of the women in Enron's upper ranks who may have gotten to the top by less-than-wholesome means, especially Rebecca Mark, who nevertheless blew away a few billion dollars. Bryce is generally harsh in his portrayals of all the guilty executives - from the unscrupulous Fastow and the self-worshipping Jeff Skilling to the utterly incompetent Ken Lay. But these greedy plutocrats, who pocketed tens of millions for their personal fortunes while ruining the lives of thousands of employees and sticking investors with billions in losses, deserve harsh treatment. That's just the beginning of the punishment they deserve. (...)


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