Barbarians at the Gate - Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

This book is about the leveraged buy-out of RJR Nabisco. Exciting, eh? It's actually rather more interesting than it sounds, being a huge bidding war for a really very big company, especially when reading about how childishly the people involved get to act. The book's not short by any stretch of the imagination, and starts off quite slowly, but the ending's pacing is pretty good, and it makes all that mysterious investment banking stuff much more accessible.

From a finance-y point of view, it's got lots and lots of lawyers, and not much from the trader-y side. Drexel's junk bonds are a bit of a background theme, but not something that's really brought to the foreground. Perhaps that's a different book.

Posted 2005-06-02.