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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columbia Professor Visits Southland

Please welcome Columbia University Professor, James B. Stewart, on the Los Angeles leg of his nationwide tour for his newest book "Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff."

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This free event is sponsored by Zócalo Public Square, an LA-based non-profit organization which "connects people to ideas and to each other in an open, accessible, non-partisan" way. 

Where:     Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Downtown
When:      Monday, May 23rd
                6:30 P.M.
                              (registration is not yet available, but should be shortly)
Cost:        FREE


Book Description

Bestselling author James B. Stewart's newsbreaking investigation of our era's most high-profile perjurers, revealing the alarming extent of this national epidemic.

Our system of justice rests on a simple proposition: that witnesses will raise their hands and tell the truth. In Tangled Webs, James B. Stewart reveals in vivid detail the consequences of the perjury epidemic that has swept our country, undermining the very foundation of our courts.

With many prosecutors, investigators, and participants speaking for the first time, Tangled Webs goes behind the scene of the trials of media and homemaking entrepreneur Martha Stewart; top White House political adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby; home-run king Barry Bonds; and Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff.

The saga of Martha Stewart's conviction captured the nation, but until now no one has answered the most basic question: Why would Stewart risk prison, put her entire empire in jeopardy, and lie repeatedly to government investigators to save a few hundred thousand dollars in stock gains? Moreover, how exactly was the notoriously meticulous Stewart brought down?

Drawing on the accounts of then-deputy attorney general James Comey and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Stewart sheds new light on the Libby investigation, making clear how far into the White House the Valerie Plame CIA scandal extended, and why Libby took the fall.

In San Francisco, Giants home-run king Barry Bonds faces trial due to his testimony before a grand jury investigating the use of illegal steroids in sports. Bonds was warned explicitly that the only crime he faced was perjury. Stewart unlocks the story behind the mounting evidence that he nonetheless lied under oath.

Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme is infamous, but less well known is how he eluded detection for so long in the face of repeated investigations. Of the four he is the only one who has admitted to lying.

The perjury outbreak is symptomatic of a broader breakdown of ethics in American life. It isn't just the judicial system that relies on an honor code: Academia, business, medicine, and government all depend on it. Tangled Webs explores the age-old tensions between greed and justice, self-interest and public interest, loyalty and duty. At a time when Americans seem hungry for moral leadership and clarity, Tangled Webs reaffirms the importance of truth. 

Stewart Bio
James Stewart is the author of the national bestsellers Blind Eye, an investigation of the medical profession, Den of Thieves, about Wall Street in the 80’s, and Blood Sport, about the Clinton White House.  Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction was published in 1998 and The Heart of the Soldier:  A Story of Love, Heroism and September 11 in 2002.  Stewart is also the author of The Partners (1983) and The Prosecutors (1987).  His new book, Disneywar, was published in February 2005.  All of his books have been published by Simon & Schuster.  He is currently Editor-at-Large of SmartMoney magazine, a contributor to The New Yorker, and formerly Page One Editor of The Wall Street Journal.  

Stewart is the recipient of a 1988 Pulitzer Prize for The Wall Street Journal articles on the 1987 stock market crash and the insider trading scandal.  As a reporter at The Journal, he covered the Milken and Boesky scandals, the mergers and acquisitions boom of the 1980s and the world of investment banking and the stock market.  Stewart became The Journal's page one editor in 1988, overseeing coverage of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the failed Soviet coup, and the presidential elections of both 1988 and 1992.  He is also the winner of the 1988 George Polk award and the 1987 and 1988 Gerald Loeb awards.  Blind Eye was the winner of the 2000 Edgar Allan Poe Award given annually by the Mystery Writers of America.   In 2002 Stewart received the Order of Lincoln, the highest honor given by the State of Illinois to an Illinois native or resident,Stewart, 53, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and DePauw University.  Prior to joining The Journal in 1983, he was Executive Editor of American Lawyer Magazine and was a lawyer with the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.  He was born and attended public schools in Quincy, Illinois.  He is a member of the New York bar and an adjunct professor of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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