IN THE REVIEW

The Greatest American Shambles

The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery: The Collapse of the Savings and Loan Industry

by Martin Mayer

Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans

by Stephen Pizzo and Mary Fricker and Paul Muolo
We have here, in round figures, 2,200 pages devoted to what is unarguably the greatest financial shambles (or, as the authors of these books and articles with justice variously prefer, “robbery,” “debacle,” “looting,” “scam,” “crisis,” “scandal”) in American history, and we can be certain that at least that number of …

Greed

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

True Greed: What Really Happened in the Battle for RJR Nabisco

by Hope Lampert
Reading these two books, an exhausting and not altogether agreeable diversion, invites recollection of Newton’s statement that if he had seen far, it was because he stood on the shoulders of giants. The takeover of RJR Nabisco, the multi-billion-dollar food and tobacco enterprise, is the story of a number of …