The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

My review of Rough Justice, the new biography of Eliot Spitzer by journalist Peter Elkind is the review of the week at Time Out New York.

Here’s an excerpt:

We may never know what launched the federal investigation of Emperors Club VIP, the New York City call-girl ring. It wasn’t the sort of case that attracted the FBI, which normally wouldn’t have bothered to wiretap the sweaty, Russian-born pimp in his sixties who ran the operation with his much younger girlfriend. The bureau also wasn’t in the habit of busting johns. What is clear is that from day one, the real target of the investigation was Client No. 9, Eliot Spitzer.

Did someone drop a dime and tip off the feds? It sure seems that way. Rough Justice, journalist Peter Elkind’s revealing and sympathetic biography of the disgraced governor, is peppered with hints that the politician’s secret life wasn’t so secret. According to Elkind, even Mario Cuomo believed Spitzer was “unfit” to be governor for reasons that cryptically had something to do with the “relationship between a man and a woman.” Spitzer privately believes that the investigation was a political hit by one of the enemies he made during his crusade against Wall Street. His loyal wife, Silda, has come to believe this, too. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Spitzer, the man once known as the Sheriff of Wall Street, handed his enemies the ammunition they needed.

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