Booktober 12th: “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood (John Carreyrou).png
By Source, Fair use,

[This is Day 12 of #Booktober! Stay tuned for more recommendations!]

What It is: A deep dive into the rise and fall of the biotech company Theranos and its mysterious and evasive founder Elizabeth Holmes, based on the author’s Wall Street Journal investigative reporting in 2015.

Why You Should Read It: Bad Blood is, at its core, a story about ambition, hubris, and self-deception. Holmes isn’t just the “villain” behind a multi-million-dollar scam, but in some ways, she seems almost pitiable, as she spins a web of big promises and bigger cover-ups and misdirections that completely envelops her. Since my day job is in the world of medical research regulations, I was intrigued from the very start by the seemingly-impossible premise of a medical technology giant built entirely on claims without evidence, but Carreyrou makes plain how much people are willing to suspend disbelief when they’re desperate or greedy enough to do so. This is a fascinating study of human nature and the inevitability of being found out.


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