16 books about the biggest business scams of our time — including Enron, Bernie Madoff, and Theranos

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Like scores of other readers across America, I was recently enraptured by the Silicon Valley nightmare tale of Theranos, the healthcare startup that promised to revolutionize blood testing and seduced notable investors, large pharmacy partners, and hopeful customers alike. It never delivered on its promise, blew through hundreds of millions of dollars, and harmed countless livelihoods along the way.

Instances of corporate deceit and fraud like this aren’t new. When power and money are at stake, people often trade in their consciences for more immediately gratifying rewards — and face the consequences when their elaborate schemes spiral out of control.

Theranos now joins names like Bernie Madoff and Enron, cemented in history and the syllabi of business-ethics courses as lessons of questionable business practices that you don’t want to believe took place. You often hear only about the devastating result of these scandals, but these books bring you back to the beginning and weave fair, thoughtful tales about how they all transpired.

For a fascinating and often horrifying look into how not to run a business, read these 16 books about some of the biggest corporate scandals and scams of our time.

Captions provided by Amazon and edited for length.

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