The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities (Paperback)

The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities By William D. Cohan Cover Image
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“A masterwork of reporting and a devastating critique...required reading” (The New York Times Book Review): The authoritative, full account of the infamous Duke Lacrosse case, in which academia, sports, sex, race, money, and power all collided to devastating effect.

Despite being front-page news nationwide, the true story of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team rape case is more complex than all the reports to date would indicate. The Price of Silence is the definitive account of what happens when the most combustible forces in American culture—unbridled ambition, intellectual elitism, athletic prowess, aggressive sexual behavior, racial bias, and absolute prosecutorial authority—explode on a powerful university campus, in the justice system, and in the media.

In The Price of Silence bestselling author William D. Cohan, whose reporting and writing have been hailed as “gripping” (The New York Times), “authoritative” (The Washington Post), and “seductively engrossing” (Chicago Tribune), presents a stunning account of the Duke lacrosse team scandal and pulls back the curtain on the larger issues of widespread sexual misconduct, underage drinking, and bad-boy behavior. His reconstruction of the scandal’s events—the night in question, the local police investigation, Duke’s actions, the lacrosse players’ defense tactics, the furious campus politics—is meticulous and full.

This story is far bigger than what was told by the media, and is still told today; for at the heart of it are individuals whose lives were changed forever. Now with a new afterword, Cohan sheds light on what is happening as colleges and universities compete with one another and “captures brilliantly the theater of the absurd that is played out on campuses every year over one controversy or another” (The Wall Street Journal).

About the Author


William D. Cohan is the bestselling author of Money and Power, House of Cards, and The Last Tycoons. He has appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, CBS This Morning, ABC Evening News, Good Morning America, and more. He has also been featured on numerous NPR programs, including Marketplace, Diane Rehm, Leonard Lopate, and Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson. In addition to being media savvy, Cohan is himself a Duke alum who worked on Wall Street for seventeen years.

Praise For…


"Meticulous…evenhanded…Mr. Cohan captures brilliantly the theater of the absurd that is played out on campuses every year over one controversy or another."
— The Wall Street Journal

“A masterwork of reporting... Every parent planning to send a child to an “elite” college dominated by an overly powerful athletic program should buy this book... it is required reading.”
— The New York Times Book Review

“Exhaustive, surprisingly gripping…Cohan has added a lot of new details to the narrative…extremely impressive.”
— The New York Times

“Fascinating...What Cohan’s extraordinary 600-page tome shows is that there is a yawning gap between the lofty rhetoric and grubby reality of American elite universities.”
— Financial Times

“The definitive account... rarely loosens its grip on its reader’s attention.”
— Salon

“The first authoritative account... Cohan’s clear-eyed reporting tracks how administrators, lawyers, police, media personalities, Mangum, and the exonerated players reacted to the spotlight and the shadows it cast.”
— Men's Journal

“Top-notch investigative journalism... not just an edge-of-your-seat courtroom drama and a cautionary tale, but also an illuminating fable about the power of status, talent, authority, and belief... the definitive account of the case.”
— Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"Undeniably gripping drama... A comprehensive, illuminating and highly readable study of a notorious episode in the annals of the American justice system."
— Kirkus, STARRED review

“A gripping account of a sensational case.”
— Booklist, STARRED review

“[Cohan] is sharp about following the money…[he] receives extra points for fairness.”
— Karen Long

“With both detail and clarity, the author engages the reader in the paradox of the emergence of Duke as a nationally ranked university where scholastic excellence vied against a 'party hard' social scene.”
— Library Journal, STARRED review

The Price of Silence shows that the Duke lacrosse case was not just a controversial legal investigation that became a heated media circus, but also a conflict that illuminated the fierce pressures on America’s elite universities as they battle for power and prestige and money."
— Bryan Burrough, Vanity Fair contributing editor and the author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich, and coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate

“William Cohan’s scrupulously reported and grippingly written account... gets many of the central characters to speak—and what they have to say is eye-opening.”
— Jane Mayer, longtime staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Dark Side, and coauthor of Strange Justice and Landslide

"The Duke case deserves a thorough account, and Cohan doesn't disappoint."
— Business Magazine


Product Details
ISBN: 9781451681802
ISBN-10: 1451681801
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Pages: 688
Language: English