Robber Baron by P-IndependentPublish

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Based on rigorous research, hard-hitting interviews, and original documents, this biography stands out as the most complete examination of Conrad Black, builder of the world's third-largest media empire, the Telegraph Group. Author George Tombs not only worked in Black's empire, but maintained steady communication with him over the years as a journalist, giving him exclusive access and insight into Black's opinions, ideas, values, and personality. Including 100 pages of annotated transcripts from Black's most recent fraud trial in Chicago, this up-to-date biography gives an inside view of the mogul's struggles and successes, throughout his past and into the present.

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									Robber Baron
Author: George Tombs, PhD
Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE
entering the labyrinth 3
CHAPTER TWO
chicago law 37
CHAPTER THREE
dreams of grandeur 61
CHAPTER FOUR
the quebec years 91
CHAPTER FIVE
machiavellian, backroom boy,
kingmaker 135
CHAPTER SIX
paper chase 179
CHAPTER SEVEN
the crown jewel 225
CHAPTER EIGHT
the sun shall never set 271
CHAPTER NINE
his finest hour 305
CHAPTER TEN
completely outmaneuvered 341
CHAPTER ELEVEN
conviction 385
notes 413
selected bibliography 425
index 433
Description

Based on rigorous research, hard-hitting interviews, and original documents, this biography stands out as
the most complete examination of Conrad Black, builder of the world's third-largest media empire, the
Telegraph Group. Author George Tombs not only worked in Black's empire, but maintained steady
communication with him over the years as a journalist, giving him exclusive access and insight into
Black's opinions, ideas, values, and personality. Including 100 pages of annotated transcripts from
Black's most recent fraud trial in Chicago, this up-to-date biography gives an inside view of the mogul's
struggles and successes, throughout his past and into the present.
Excerpt

It was a dark, wintry day in December 2006, with sleek, black leafless trees silhouetted against low
clouds and wet snow fading on the ground.Three months before the start of Conrad Black’s trial in
Chicago on fourteen counts of criminal fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, mail and wire fraud and
racketeering, I had flown from Montreal to Toronto for the day. Black — Baron Black of Crossharbour —
had given me a two-hour appointment at his Georgian mansion, in the exclusive Bridle Path area, to
discuss a new edition of my book about him.I took a cab from the airport. The closer we got to Black’s
house, the more excited my Sikh driver became.“Oh my goodness!”
he said as the ranch bungalows on small lots gave way to
the gloomy neo-Gothic and garish Mediterranean suburban
palaces of Toronto’s arrivistes. “So many rich people live around here. Look at these houses! There must
be so many gardeners working here in the spring. Tell me, sir, what do you do for a living? You are a
university professor — that is a very well-paid job. So, this is the house we are going to? Oh my
goodness, we have to get out at the gate and announce through the radio intercom who we are. Is your
friend also a university professor?”Sprawling 26 Park Lane Circle is a Can.$20-million brick mansion, with
a stately portico entrance and Palladian windows, standing back from the road on an eleven-acre estate.
Black
sometimes jokingly referred to it as his “cottage.” It was his parents’ home, the place where he grew up.
In the 1980s, after Black inherited the place, he hired New York-based celebrity architect Thierry Despont
— whose clients included Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates — and completely rebuilt the mansion, gutting
whole sections and adding an indoor pool and library. Black pays more than Can.$70,000 in annual
property taxes.As we entered the gate, the driveway curved rightward down past the entrance of the
house, then looped back again, in front of the main door. Even in the first week of December, ripe green
apples still clung to the branches of two huge trees. We
came round an enormous weeping willow, then swept in front
of the entrance.Werner, the sixty-five-year-old German butler dressed all in white, stood at the door.With
his stern, obsequious manner, he ushered me to the cloak room, off to the right as we entered, where he
took my leather jacket and hung it up. He then led me back through the two-storey entry hall with barrel-
vaulted ceiling, where portraits of the Prince Regent (the future George
IV) and Napoleon were displayed. To my left was the stairway, where Conrad Black’s father, George, had
fallen over the banister upstairs in 1976 and come crashing down onto the main floor.That was the day
father told son,“Life is hell, most people are bastards, and everything is bullshit.”“Everything in the house
has been changed,” one of Conrad Black’s cousins told me, “except the entrance and the stair where
Uncle George fell to his death.” Even Black once wrote he wasn’t sure whether his father’s death was
voluntary. It was a touchy subject for him. For decades, George Black’s depression and his sudden death
had hung like a cloud over his son. Conrad had preserved the entrance and stairwell intact — it seemed a
grim memorial to his father.By the time I got there, 26 Park Lane Circle had become a gilded cage for
Black. In the lead-up to his criminal trial, he had to post a $21-million bond* — the highest in...
Author Bio
George Tombs, PhD
George Tombs, PhD, is an award-winning journalist and a professor at Athabasca University in Alberta,
Canada, and at the State University of New York. He is the author of Lord Black.
Reviews

"This intimate portrait reveals a man who's spent his life courting the rich and powerful. . . . All of this
enthralling material is placed in clever juxtaposition with taped interviews with the baron himself."

								
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