NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the award-winning author of Empire of Pain and Say Nothing—and one of the most decorated journalists of our time—twelve enthralling true stories of skulduggery and intrigue
"An excellent collection of Keefe's detective work, and a fine introduction to his illuminating writing." —NPR
“Fast-paced...Keefe is a virtuoso storyteller." —The Washington Post
Patrick Radden Keefe has garnered prizes ranging from the National Magazine Award to the Orwell Prize to the National Book Critics Circle Award for his meticulously-reported, hypnotically-engaging work on the many ways people behave badly. Rogues brings together a dozen of his most celebrated articles from The New Yorker. As Keefe says in his preface “They reflect on some of my abiding preoccupations: crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.”
Keefe brilliantly explores the intricacies of forging $150,000 vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney who represents the “worst of the worst,” among other bravura works of literary journalism.
The appearance of his byline in The New Yorker is always an event, and collected here for the first time readers can see his work forms an always enthralling but deeply human portrait of criminals and rascals, as well as those who stand up against them.
The 12 essays in this superlative collection from New Yorker staff writer Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty) reflect, as he says in his preface, his abiding preoccupations: "crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial." "The Jefferson Bottles" chronicles how the sale of bottles of wine that supposedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, resulted in a lifelong crusade against wine fraud by billionaire Bill Koch. "Crime Family" charts the daily life in hiding of Astrid Holleeder, a Dutch woman who brought down her own crime family by testifying against her brother. "A Loaded Gun" explores why neurobiologist Amy Bishop shot and killed three colleagues at the University of Alabama decades after she was suspected of killing her own brother. "Winning" takes a look at the rise of Donald Trump from the point of view of Mark Burnett, creator of The Apprentice, and in "Journeyman," chef Anthony Bourdain, more rebel than rogue, muses on dining with Barack Obama. Every one of these selections is a journalistic gem. Immensely enjoyable writing married with fascinating subjects makes this a must-read.
This guy can write
Every story for me was just told brilliantly. I love the author’s style and the subject matter was just awesome.
I don’t read non-fiction most of the time. This was as eye-opening as it was gripping, and given that it’s a collection of long-form articles, it is digestible piece by piece in single sittings. 11/10.