• Servants of the Damned

  • Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump, and the Corruption of Justice
  • By: David Enrich
  • Narrated by: Will Collyer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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Servants of the Damned

By: David Enrich
Narrated by: Will Collyer
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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times’s Business Investigations Editor and #1 bestselling author of Dark Towers comes a long-overdue exposé of the astonishing yet shadowy power wielded by the world’s largest law firms, following the narrative arc of Jones Day, the firm that represented the Trump campaign and much of the Fortune 500, as a powerful encapsulation of the changes that have swept the legal industry in recent decades.

In his acclaimed #1 bestseller Dark Towers, David Enrich presented the never-before-told saga of how Deutsche Bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality. Now Enrich turns his eye towards the world of “Big Law” and the nearly unchecked influence these firms wield to shield the wealthy and powerful—and bury their secrets. To tell this story, Enrich focuses on Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms. Jones Day’s narrative arc—founded in Cleveland in 1893, it became the first law firm to expand nationally and is now a global juggernaut with deep ties to corporate interests and conservative politics—is a powerful encapsulation of the changes that have swept the legal industry in recent decades.

Since 2016, Jones Day has been in the spotlight for representing Donald Trump and his campaigns (and now his PACs)—and for the fleet of Jones Day attorneys who joined his administration, including White House Counsel Don McGahn. Jones Day helped Trump fend off the Mueller investigation and challenged Obamacare. Its once and future lawyers defended Trump’s Muslim ban and border policies and handled his judicial nominations. Jones Day even laid some of the legal groundwork for Trump to challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

But the Trump work is but one chapter in the firm’s checkered history. Jones Day, like many of its peers, have become highly effective enablers of the business world’s worst misbehavior. The firm has for decades represented Big Tobacco in its fight to avoid liability for its products. Jones Day worked tirelessly for the Catholic Church as it tried to minimize its sexual-abuse scandals. And for Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, as it sought to protect its right to make and market its dangerously addictive drug. And for Fox News as it waged war against employees who were the victims of sexual harassment and retaliation. And for Russian oligarchs as their companies sought to expand internationally.

In this gripping and revealing new work of narrative nonfiction, Enrich makes the compelling central argument that law firms like Jones Day play a crucial yet largely hidden role in enabling and protecting powerful bad actors in our society, housing their darkest secrets, and earning billions in revenue for themselves.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 David Enrich (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Servants of the Damned

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The love of money is the root of all evil

I once heard someone said that they stand behind their principles and if you did not like them, well they had others. The story of Jones Day is a classic example of how money can overcome principles that lead to disastrous results. It is also said that you can not cheat an honest man. By the time Trump came onto the stage in the book, Jones Day was no longer an honest man. Trump just made Jones Day aware that they were heading down a dangerous path with a very flawed individual. The problem became one of do you bail out or crash and burn.

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Interesting and Frightening

Couldn't stop listening. How did a few men with unbridled desire for POWER go from a small law practice intent on justice and fairness evolve into such an amoral group dedicated to worshipping money and power? Read the book and find out how subtly yet outlandish it happened under your nose using exclusion and outright authoritarian techniques.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating account of how they got here

An indictment of corporate lawyering and the win at any cost attitudes that brought us to the state of the nation today. This book exposes the dangers of bumper sticker ethics as applied to the legal profession and the single mindedness that permitted talented individuals to justify their support of Trump.

The author sets the stage by telling us who Jones Day used to be and how it grew and morphed into what it is today
It also exposes the incestuous relationships among law firms like this and regulatory bodies as well as the judiciary that insulate corporations from the laws that the rest of us have to live by.

If you have wondered how the hell Trump got elected and why Republicans stuck by him, this books offers an answer.

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Thank you David Enrich

Very interesting expose of the power of money and what normally “good ethical” people will do to get it.

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Must Read If You Care About Democracy

The dark methods employed by the largest and richest law firms for their rich and powerful clients smacks in the face of justice. It's all about the money and thirst for power.

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Two books; one involves Trump

There is a lot of law firm inside baseball here. There is a lot about products liability, and the ethos of some firms in doing the less pretty corporate representation. There is much violin-playing for the poor plaintiff victims against the evil defenders of the corporate and profitable. As I recall, Trump enters, about 6 hours in. I notice this author (as in his last title) manages to shoehorn Trump into the title. The biggest takeaway about Trump and this firm for me, was the specifics about how influence was worked on Trump to do his federal judicial appointments.

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A very disturbing story, well told

The book works hard for fairness and balance. However there is simply no getting away from seeing Jones Day as a highly immoral enterprise that has wrought considerable and long lasting damage to America. This is a truly remarkable book and the audiobook is excellent.

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Peek Behind the Curtain

A thorough and fast-paced peek behind the curtain of a machine that first steered the transformation of companies’ relationship to the public, and then hitched its future to transforming the relationship of the Presidency and Judiciary to the public AND companies. Riveting. If this story doesn’t fill your heart with rage against the machine, you are the machine.

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A dissapointing ending to a book with great potent

A book with a lot of potential which was sadly ruined by over the top political overtones.

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Money not Morality Drives the Legal System

This book is emblematic of the forces that influence our society from government to the common man. Unfortunately as a rule most of us walk around obviously to what intellectual elements control the world!