Since 1997, on the second Monday of each month, twenty-six of the most powerful men in business, the Vanderbilts and Morgans of their time, would gather to eat dinner, hear investment pitches, and take one of the few breaks they got all month with the handful of people on earth they saw as their peers. When Washington Post reporter Shannon Henry heard about these meetings, she knew that the story of the dinners and the tales told at them would provide a fascinating portrait of the greatest business boom in the history of the world.
What went on in these four-star restaurants and private dining clubs is the inside story of the 1990s...the unimaginable growth of the economy, and in hindsight, its all-too-predictable fall. Henry, widely labeled the "dot-com diva," was the only reporter who had ever been allowed continued access to this intimate and influential group, which included America Online co-founders Steve Case and Jim Kimsey, NASDAQ vice chairman Al Berkeley, WorldCom CEO John Sidgmore, chief executive of MicroStrategy Michael Saylor, Virginia governor and former tech investor Mark Warner, and AOL executive and Washington Wizards co-owner Ted Leonsis. In The Dinner Club, Henry brings readers right to the dinner table, providing an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at these stories of ego, greed, dreams realized, dreams dashed, and the handful who continue to thrive.
From bankrupt companies to blockbuster surprise deals, Henry paints a ruthless, charismatic, and at times humorous portrait of the '90's boom. At one point the mercurial nature of the group and its members' concern about their reputations caused them to un-invite Henry to the meetings. But in the end, she was allowed to return and to chronicle the rise and fall of many of their companies. And now, with so many of these companies in disarray, Henry gives extraordinary insight into what these men were thinking and saying. They didn't think failure could happen to them, because they thought that they were different. But it did.
The Dinner Club is not only the inside story of this historic time, but also a glimpse into the future of America, as the members of the club created a legacy that will forever affect us all.