Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud

Riverhead. Oct. 2019. 608p. notes. index. ISBN 9781594634437. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780698405103. POL SCI
Whistleblowing is a vital weapon against organizational fraud according to former banker Mueller (contributor, The New Yorker; Extra Virginity), who begins this book by reviewing the federal False Claims Act, which gives citizens the right to sue on the behalf of the government, and its resulting recovery of some $60 billion since 1986. The author also considers cases involving hospital overbilling, toxic mortgages at Citigroup, the fraudulent marketing of psychotic drugs, the My Lai Massacre, Hanford Nuclear Reservation safety concerns, and others. Mueller profiles whistleblowers’ backgrounds, motivations, and the retaliations they suffered, while interweaving personal accounts with a deep analysis of the meaning of whistleblowing in the context of organizational authoritarianism, greed, moral ambiguity, conflicts of interest, and secrecy. Government agencies are often apathetic or even hostile to whistleblowers, says Mueller, because of the revolving door between government service and private enterprise.
VERDICT Mueller’s powerful but disheartening story of pervasive fraud and a general collapse of ethical behavior with only glimmers of hope from the bravery of whistleblowers is fully accessible to general readers and substantive enough for academic audiences; a must-read.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month