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The Champion

September-October 2018 , Page 55 

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Book Review: Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White Collar Criminal

By Adam Dec and Andrew George

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Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White Collar Criminal

By Eugene Soltes
Public Affairs (2016) 


When high-achieving people are accused of financial crimes, the same question inevitably comes up: why would they risk everything? Couldn’t they just have enjoyed being slightly less successful? They must have some character defect. Or perhaps an addiction? An evil gene? Maybe they were just raised wrong.

In his sweeping — and occasionally subversive — first book, Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White Collar Criminal, Harvard Business School Professor Eugene Soltes looks for the “why” behind financial crime. Drawing from research in history, psychology, philosophy, and economics — as well as interviews with white collar convicts that alone are worth the read — Soltes tries to see both the forest and the trees of white collar crime.

He starts with a sociological history of American business. For most of that history, the concept of financial “crime” was foreign to the American public’

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