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The Liar's Ball. The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World's Toughest Tycoons

  • ID: 2330747
  • Book
  • December 2014
  • Region: Global
  • 256 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"Vicky Ward has done it again. She has taken a subject and a cast of characters, many of whom we would not invite to dinner, and woven a page–turning, compelling tale. She transforms real estate players, who to most of us are stick figures, into pulsating characters. Yes, they are greedy. But they also can be visionary and vulnerable, and damn interesting." KEN AULETTA, The New Yorker

"This riveting book is far more than an exposé of ambition, greed, and business acumen (which, it turns out, is composed in equal parts of hubris, chutzpah, and sheer brilliance) at the apex of the New York real estate world. It is also a most subtle analysis of character, motive, passion, and rivalries, the stuff of which great fiction is made. The Liar′s Ball will be a revelation to those of us who′ve always wondered how real estate tycoons become billionaires one day and can go bankrupt the next. I couldn′t put this book down. It′s a romp of a read." HENRY LOUIS GATES, Jr., Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University

"The story of the world′s most valuable office building is a gripping tale of boom and bust, battling billionaires, and huge egos flirting with disaster in their relentless, debt–financed pursuit of the ultimate trophy deal. Vicky Ward sheds fresh light on tycoons from Donald Trump to Steve Jobs as she brilliantly explores the vision and fragility at the heart of the most volatile part of American capitalism." MATTHEW BISHOP, New York Bureau Chief, The Economist

"Lucid, action filled, and built on astounding access how did she get all that information? to some of the most powerful and secretive men (yes, all men) in the world. And a rip–roaring read as well." JAY FIELDEN, Editor in Chief, Town & Country

"The Liar′s Ball is about men with edifice complexes. In this case, the ones who have left their mark all over New York City. Thanks to Vicky Ward, one of the most secretive, ruthless, and successful boys′ clubs has been exposed. This is a fascinating and unputdownable book." DR. AMANDA FOREMAN, author of A World on Fire

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Preface ix

Cast of Characters xi

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 Stealing the Spotlight 1

Chapter 2 Alpha Males 11

Chapter 3 The Rigged Bid 21

Chapter 4 Harry s Hero 37

Chapter 5 The Odd Couple: The English Lord and the Housewife Tycoon 49

Chapter 6 The Age of the Wolf 65

Chapter 7 Donald Trump s Bag Man 79

Chapter 8 The Money Hunters and the Salesman from Indianapolis 91

Chapter 9 Donald s Force Majeure 103

Chapter 10 Paradise, Briefl y 109

Chapter 11 Mr. Toad s Wild Ride 117

Chapter 12 Tick Tock A Year on the Clock 129

Chapter 13 The Fall That Wasn t 145

Chapter 14 Aftermath 153

Note about the Sources 157

Acknowledgments 159

Notes 161

Bibliography 231

About the Author 233

Index 235

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Vicky Ward
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