Sunday, January 16, 2011


I recently read "The Smartest Guys in the Room" by Bethany MacLean and Peter Elkind a 2003 book about the rise and fall of Enron Corporation which went bankrupt in late 2001. I found it a bit disappointing. I already knew the general outline of the Enron story, how Enron had used shady accounting methods to appear successful for a time until inevitably it all came crashing down, and I don't feel this book added much to my understanding of what happened. Nor did I find the author's recounting of the history all that entertaining. The book is quite long (400+ pages) and at some point the stories of greed and stupidity become repetitive and boring. It reminded me of the saying about not being able to "see the forest for the trees" . I would have preferred a much shorter book that concentrated more on the big picture and less on the sordid details.

So in summary unless you have an insatiable demand for stories of business professionals behaving badly I would skip this book.

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