• Holding the Line

  • Inside the Nation's Preeminent US Attorney's Office and Its Battle with the Trump Justice Department
  • By: Geoffrey Berman
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Berman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (884 ratings)

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Holding the Line

By: Geoffrey Berman
Narrated by: Geoffrey Berman
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Publisher's Summary

"Throughout my tenure as US attorney, Trump's Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining—in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired. I walked this tightrope for two and a half years. Eventually, the rope snapped."—from Holding the Line

The gripping and explosive memoir of serving as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in the face of the Justice Department’s attempts to protect Trump’s friends and punish his enemies.

Ascending to the leadership role of US Attorney for the Southern District, which includes Manhattan and several counties to the north, is a capstone to any legal career: it entails guiding a team of the best lawyers in America in selecting and winning cases that often have global import. Geoffrey Berman was honored to be tapped for the job by Donald Trump in 2018. The manner in which Trump had dispatched his predecessor Preet Bharara was troubling, but the institution was fabled for its independence. Surely he could manage.

So began one of the most tumultuous two-and-a-half-year stretches in the over two-hundred-thirty year history of the office. Almost immediately, Berman found himself pushing back against the Trump Justice Department’s blatant efforts to bring weak cases against political foes and squash worthy cases that threatened to tarnish allies and Trump himself. When Bill Barr became attorney general, Berman hoped and believed things would get better, but instead they got much worse. The heart of Holding the Line is his never-before-told account of the lengths Barr went to in corrupting the independence of the office, and the lengths Berman had to go in preserving it. Finally, Trump and Barr, fed up with Berman’s principles, summarily fired him, though he refused to go quietly and prevented Barr from installing someone who might be more compliant. Berman’s determined defense of the values of prosecutorial independence, without fear or favor, made him a hero to everyone who shares those values.

Holding the Line also relates the remarkable casework of the Southern District in Berman’s time there, including taking down notorious sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Lawrence Ray, Big Pharma executives, and vicious criminal syndicates, and repatriating Nazi-looted art. Riveting in themselves, these stories showcase the esprit de corps that makes the Southern District so special, and the stakes Berman felt in protecting its integrity against all foes, up to and including the US attorney general and the president of the United States.

©2022 Geoffrey Berman (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Holding the Line

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Excellent Story of SDNY JD during Trump Years

Well written and interesting account of Southern District of New York US Attorney’s Office during the Trump/Barr years when Trump and Barr tried to obstruct/subvert independent investigation/enforcement of the laws of our nation. Geoffrey Berman is an excellent narrator (He sounds a lot like Peter Coyote on PBS Ken Burns documentaries).

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One of the best post-Trump books

Downloaded on Tuesday and finished by Thursday morning this book kept my attention with Berman’s details and behind the scenes insight.

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Historically significant and a great read

Holding The Line was a really insightful and clearly written book about the SDNY during the term of Geoffrey Berman's tenure as the head of that office. He did an excellent job of narrating his own book and I found his style fair, reasonable and honest. I appreciated not only his observations of others, I also appreciated his own critiques of himself. No person gets everything right and his plain talk and honesty in presentation left me impressed. I also felt like I learned a great deal about the SDNY and am glad I took the time to learn more about how justice is supposed to work. Thank you for such an interesting and informative read.

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Great behind the scenes look

Geoff Berman describes his time as head of SDNY under Trump’s DOJ. Berman provides an incredibly interesting and seemingly honest story about the SDNY cases under his tenure and about the truly shameful conduct of Bill Barr. I highly recommend this book.

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Powerful Truth, Valuable Insight. Great Read.

"Holding the Line", means upholding democracy; its a tough high-wire act that is not for the feint of heart. Geoffrey Berman shows how he spoke truth to power under extreme pressure and did the right things at the right time. This is not the usual tell all book to make money after leaving office or an attempt at self-redemption. Every chapter is enlightening and valuable to know the rest of the story behind the "Breaking News". He did not have to grab every headline to be a champion for truth and justice; he simply honored the oath he took to lead the SDNY. His choices, his integrity, his passion for justice helped save democracy while he steered the ship.

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Factual, well written and holds readers interest.

Berman is an honorable man. Trump and Barr would not understand. Anyone interested in law and government should listen.

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Outstanding

This book should be required reading for all Americans. This is the kind of citizen we all want to work for, the kind of man we women want to marry, the kind of father that I actually had and whom I miss so much. Outstanding explanation and record of criminal contempt by despicable people.

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Insightful

A glimpse into aspects of the Trump Reign of Terror that other books haven’t covered. Highly recommend.

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Inspiring!

I was truly inspired by this book. I too experienced “bullying” at my job and drew strength from Mr. Bergman’s experience with Barr.
I punched the bully In the nose, figuratively of course. I’ve left my job but not without doing what I thought was the right thing to do. After leaving I had several people tell me that they wished they had my courage. I don’t see it as courage, I see it as the right thing to do.
Thanks for such a great book!

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Enlightening and entertaining

It was fascinating to learn about not only the political machinations of the Trump administration and William Barr, who tried very hard to undermine the Justice Department, but also about specific cases that SDNY prosecuted. It's comforting to know that we have so many brilliant attorneys working for us. And yes, William Barr is a thug and he's a thug on a religious crusade, which makes him doubly dangerous.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-22-22

Great listening book.

An honest man, America needs more of these if its democracy is going to stand.

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  • Moneenroe
  • 09-28-22

Excellent.

Really enjoyed listening to Holding the Line. Great insight into legal activities and political interference. Its going to take many many more with Mr. Berman's integrity to save the US from the wave of Fascism sweeping the country.

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  • LF, Brisbane
  • 10-07-22

Fascinating!

Enjoyed hearing his recount of his time in the SD. People criticise him for not making this public earlier, rather waiting to profit from a tell all book, but I argue that his focus was rightly on keeping the Trump administration from interfering in his investigations and prosecutions.

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  • Annabelle
  • 09-15-22

A must read!

This book is a gob smacking eye opening example of what USA could have been, if Trump had been re-elected.
The calculated corruption not only of Trump, but his sycophants ready to do his bidding.
The work of SDNY has to be commended and the leader in US.