Summary of The Iron Triangle

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The Iron Triangle book summary


5 Overall

4 Importance

8 Innovation

4 Style


This book is worth reading, given that the Carlyle Group employs important former politicians (such as the first President Bush) and deals with politically sensitive companies. This history of the mammoth private equity firm with its fingers in many government pies reminds you that the right relationships and the right schools can compensate for professional ineptitude. And, if a fraction of author Dan Briody’s implications about it are true, democracy is in serious trouble. But is even a fraction true? This clumsy compilation leaves you wondering. More original reporting and less exaggeration and bias would have helped Briody prove his conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, he does not display the requisite expertise about finance, law, politics or the arms trade. Indeed, given the innuendoes he delivers in breathless, clichéd prose, you could ask if the book just might include a stretcher or two. It is a suggestive stage whisper from outside the political theater’s back door. getAbstract says you’ll find this novelistic report intriguing, if you take it with a grain of salt.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The history of the Carlyle Group, a large international private equity company; and
  • Why some see it as a dark, secret cabal of conservative politicians and influence peddlers at the focal point of the military-industrial complex.

About the Author

Dan Briody is a business journalist who has written for Forbes, Wired, Red Herring and Industry Standard. This book stemmed from his Red Herring article, “Carlyle’s Way.”



What is The Carlyle Group?

Founding partners Stephen Norris and David Rubenstein named their private equity firm the Carlyle Group after New York City’s Carlyle Hotel, where they first met to plan the venture. The name “Carlyle” suggested old-money respectability, an impression they wanted to convey. But the only thing stereotypically “old money” about the Carlyle Group was a measure of eccentricity.

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