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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Extraordinary Circumstances

Extraordinary Circumstances: The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower

By Cynthia Cooper

Former Vice President, WorldCom

John Wiley (2008)

The WorldCom fraud story shows how power and money can effect and change people, exposing weakness in character. How individual rationalization for behavior and judgment can lead good, common people to make erroneous decisions giving into job pressure and superior intimidation.

Cynthia’s story is told in her very fine book. Written in a readable, compelling “Woodward-style,” yet not falling into the trap of slanting facts to reinforce her own opinions as Woodward seems to do – she uses clearly presented facts to create a reader’s window into the timeline, personalities, hierarchy structure and the corporate collapse of WorldCom. Cynthia’s understanding of the whole breadth and depth of events is laid out so clearly that the reader is able to understand the events as the dominos fall.

Cynthia’s honorable story is one of a woman in corporate America standing up for beliefs and ethics grounded in her youth. Good character choices and courage clearly shine. While tragedy is all about in Extraordinary Circumstances, wonderfully written, this book is pleasurable and informative reading.

A common person we can all identify with and respect, Cynthia Cooper is clearly a corporate businesswoman who can wear the suit without letting the suit wear her.