Jul 24 • 17M

Notes on "You should write the book"

Some extra commentary for paying subscribers to SMIRK on a recent post about how this project came about, and the reactions I got when I first started it.

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My experiences uncovering the story of, and falling in love with, Martin Shkreli.
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An evening in Manhattan. (Getty Images)
An evening in Manhattan. (Getty Images)


Happy Sunday!

I wanted to provide some additional commentary, to paying subscribers, on my most recent free post, “You should write the book,” about how this whole project came about.

When Martin Shkreli first suggested I write a book about him, back in 2017, I solicited feedback from a lot of noted authors and other people in the publishing world. Some reactions were very encouraging, and others were not so encouraging.

It was clear to me early on there was a lot of public curiosity about Martin — people have been saying his “15 minutes” were up for seven years now, and the “Pharma Bro” continues to make viral headlines…even though he is now banned from the pharmaceutical industry.

I think the reason is that a lot of people out there, perhaps a lot quieter than I am, don’t buy the hyperbolic rhetoric about him. The negative opinions might be loud, but they are “roads to nowhere” that don’t stand up to logical scrutiny. (If the opinions were truly ONLY negative, the story would have died off long ago.)

I couldn’t help but want to dive into that controversy and try to make sense of it.

This episode is for paid subscribers