Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cohan's THE PRICE OF SILENCE & the Mainstream Media WALL OF SHAME

A few yards of the long Wall of Shame built by early Puff Pieces in the Mainstream Media on William D. Cohan’s THE PRICE OF SILENCE:

Dorothy Rabinowitz in the WALL STREET JOURNAL (18 May 2014) says what the early reviewers of William D. Cohan’s THE PRICE OF SILENCE ought to have said, if they had been honest and conscientious: “A Dishonest Rewrite of the Duke Lacrosse Case /On an author's publicity tour, he's even more explicit in trying to taint the students who were falsely accused.”  Some of you know about Cohan’s attempts to silence critics, his piece in the Huffington POST expounding the theory that there has been “too much” free speech!

Other correctives are in KC Johnson’s blog, Durham-in-Wonderland, the many one-star reviews on Amazon, and elsewhere. See for examplehttp://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2014/05/rabinowitz-eviscerates-author-cohan.html

Intelligent and well-informed reviews keep being posted on Amazon. Yesterday, Mark Wylie (“real name”) from Spokane, Washington, posted (I think) the best one-star review on Amazon yet.

Editorial Reviews (from Amazon—authors’ names removed so as to hide their shame)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In 2006, when members of the Duke lacrosse team were accused of raping a stripper hired to entertain at a party, the case shone a harsh light on growing concerns about the blurred line between athletics and academics. The relationship between sports and the academic side of college life has long been troubled, with student athletes often exempted from attending classes and their bad behavior routinely overlooked. The Duke case was complicated by the fact that the alleged victim was a black woman and her alleged attackers were privileged young white men. The case had all the elements of controversy—race, sex, tensions between town and gown, and the larger issue of how universities balance the corrupting influences of the prominence and profitability of their sports programs. Cohan (House of Cards, 2009) explores the social dynamics that clouded every aspect of the case. Drawing on interviews and official records, Cohan details the events of the night and the growing turmoil on campus as news of the alleged crime spread, setting in motion the university’s machinery to protect its reputation. Cohan explores the usual disconnects that occur in high-profile crime cases between what is reported by the press, chronicled in official records, and perceived as public opinion and what really happened. A gripping account of a sensational case. --Vanessa Bush


“Meticulous…evenhanded…Mr. Cohan captures brilliantly the theater of the absurd that is played out on campuses every year over one controversy or another… Our tour guide in this chamber of horrors, Mr. Cohan, is remarkably dispassionate as he sets forth the fallout from the initial charges: the lacrosse season canceled, three of the team's players indicted, a community in upheaval as a bitter debate over race, sex and class raged, fueled by (often intemperate) media attention.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“At once a masterwork of reporting and a devastating critique of a university that has lost its way…what Cohan has done, to superb effect, is to bring a forensic level of reporting to the event, so that we are forced to throw out its long-accepted narrative and look at it with new eyes.… Every parent planning to send a child to an “elite” college dominated by an overly powerful athletic program should buy this book. For those with children thinking of Duke, it is required reading.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Exhaustive, surprisingly gripping…The Price of Silence proves its worthiness…When the story broke, it had plenty of salacious aspects…but the story turned out to be far more complex, a drama made rich by the characters’ apparent refusal to play their assigned roles…remarkable…Cohan has added a lot of new details to the narrative…extremely impressive…Ultimately, Mr. Cohan’s account is valuable for what the case says about wealth and our legal system.” (The New York Times)

“Fascinating...What Cohan’s extraordinary 600-page tome shows is that there is a yawning gap between the lofty rhetoric and grubby reality of American elite universities... It is around the issue of sports that the tangled questions of power, money, racism and culture crystallize particularly clearly…as anthropologists know, every society has power networks and rituals that enable groups to coalesce. But another truism of anthropology is that rituals are most effective in upholding power structures – however distasteful – when nobody talks about them at all, be that on Wall Street or university campuses. In that sense, then, the good news about the 2006 scandal was that it spurred debate about standards.” (Financial Times)

The Price of Silence is the definitive account of what happened up to and after Crystal Gail Mangum made her accusation. Its 600-page length might at first seem more appropriate to a presidential biography or a history of one of the world wars, but The Price of Silence earns its heft, and unlike most biographies and histories, it rarely loosens its grip on its reader’s attention.” (Salon)

“In his new book The Price of Silence, William D. Cohan presents the first authoritative account of what happened on the evening of March 13, 2006 and the chaos that followed. Cohan’s clear-eyed reporting tracks how administrators, lawyers, police, media personalities, Mangum, and the exonerated players reacted to the spotlight and the shadows it cast. In the book, Cohan speaks with a number of important figures who had never before spoken publicly about the scandal, including both Mike Nifong and former Duke University Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Steel.” (Men’s Journal)

“Top-notch investigative journalism defines this examination of ‘one of the most improbable legal sagas in American history’. . . meticulous . . . not just an edge-of-your-seat courtroom drama and a cautionary tale, but also an illuminating fable about the power of status, talent, authority, and belief. Throughout, Cohan’s spare prose and objective tone cast his subjects in a humane light, even when their behavior is stunning . . . the definitive account of the case.” (Publishers Weekly, STARRED review)

"Cohan seemingly leaves no stone unturned in covering all aspects of the case... undeniably gripping drama... A comprehensive, illuminating and highly readable study of a notorious episode in the annals of the American justice system." (Kirkus, STARRED review)

“The relationship between sports and the academic side of college life has long been troubled…Cohan explores the social dynamics that clouded every aspect of the case…Cohan explores the usual disconnects that occur in high-profile crime cases between what is reported in the press, chronicled in official records, and perceived as public opinion and what really happened. A gripping account of a sensational case.” (Booklist, STARRED review)

“[Cohan] is sharp about following the money…[he] receives extra points for fairness.” (Karen Long Newsday)

“Acclaimed investigative journalist Cohan turns from his previous focus on Wall Street to the 2006 Duke Lacrosse Scandal…Cohan tells the complex story, drawing on public records and interviews, to portray the sports players and the three indicted students, the police investigators, the expert defense team, the academic leadership, and the district attorney who generated a media storm over the case until it was dismissed and he was disbarred. With both detail and clarity, the author engages the reader in the paradox of the emergence of Duke as a nationally ranked university where scholastic excellence vied against a “party hard” social scene. ..This excellent presentation of media-generated hysteria over a criminal investigation offers insights into police work, prosecutorial excess, and an extensive and expensive legal defense, set in a North Carolina city where the wealthy university was neighbor to an economically stressed black community and seemed to echo national tensions.” (Library Journal, STARRED review)

“William Cohan’s fascinating The Price of Silence shows that the Duke lacrosse case was not just a controversial legal investigation that became a heated media circus, but also a conflict that illuminated the fierce pressures on America’s elite universities as they battle for power and prestige and money. Cohan’s deep character study of the principal figures involved also reveals the case as a crucible of fate that created distinct winners and losers." (Bryan Burrough, Vanity Fair contributing editor and the author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich, and coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate)

“William Cohan’s scrupulously reported and grippingly written account of this elite campus horror story makes clear that if you thought you knew what happened at Duke, as I did, there is much more to learn. This is a story that ought to disturb anyone who cares about contemporary college life. For the first time, Cohan gets many of the central characters to speak—and what they have to say is eye-opening.” (Jane Mayer, longtime staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Dark Side, and coauthor of Strange Justice and Landslide)

About the Author

Wiliam D. Cohan is the bestselling author of Money and Power, House of Cards, and The Last Tycoons. has appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, CBS This Morning, ABC Evening News, Good Morning America, and more. He has also been featured on numerous NPR programs, including Marketplace, Diane Rehm, Leonard Lopate, Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson, and many others. In addition to being media savvy, Cohan is himself a Duke alum who worked on Wall Street for seventeen years.

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