Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell

Author(s): John Preston

Biography & Memoir | History

In February 1991, Robert Maxwell made a triumphant entrance into Manhattan harbour on board his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine. He had come to complete his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. Crowds lined the quayside to watch his arrival. Taxi drivers stopped their cabs to shake his hand, children asked for his autograph and when Maxwell went to dine in the most fashionable Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, all the diners gave him a standing ovation. Ten months later, he disappeared off the same yacht and was found dead in the water.


Within a few days, Maxwell was being reviled as the embodiment of greed and unscrupulousness. No one had ever fallen so far and so quickly. What went so wrong? How did a man who had once laid such store on the importance of ethics and good behaviour become reduced to a bloated, amoral wreck?

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Costa Winner of the 2021 Biography Award

This is the best biography yet of the media magnate Robert Maxwell - by turns engrossing, amusing and appalling... it slips down as richly, easily and pleasurably as a tablespoonful of Beluga caviar' -- Robert Harris Sunday Times

'Electrifying... the supreme chronicler of modern British scandals' --Mail on Sunday

'This is such a richly detailed, well-written, gripping biography I wished it could have been twice as long' -- Lynn Barber Daily Telegraph

'I have a shelf full of books about frauds, but this one is by far the most enjoyable. By turns self-righteous and revolting, Maxwell makes the perfect villain' -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday

'Any good biography of a mountebank depicts not only its subject but also the ambivalent society that accommodated the monster. John Preston's Fall does this with deft understatement ... Preston's A Very English Scandal used an almost novelistic eye to revive a well-worn scandal. Fall is equally satisfying' -- Quentin Letts The Times

'An absorbing profile of the war hero turned rogue ... Preston comes to his subject with the advantage both of hindsight and his great skill at exposing hypocrisy and subterfuge ... he has an eye for the telling detail and an ear for the revealing quote' Observer, Book of the Week

General Fields

  • : 9780241388693
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : Viking
  • : 0.368317
  • : January 2021
  • : ---length:- '9.188'width:- '6'units:- Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Preston
  • : Paperback
  • : 2104
  • : English
  • : 352