March 12, 2018
Westminster colleagues take note: Portfolio author Ryan Holiday will be at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 16, at 7:00 p.m. to talk about his new book, CONSPIRACY: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue. Examining the case that rocked the media world, and the billionaire mastermind behind it, Holiday’s narrative is part cyber-era true-crime and part complex, thought-provoking investigation of questions of privacy and power in the digital age.
Holiday chronicles the chain of events that led to the fall of Gawker, which filed for bankruptcy in 2016. The company’s problems seemingly began in 2012, when, citing the First Amendment, Gawker founder Nick Denton refused to take down an illegally recorded video of Hulk Hogan with the estranged wife of a radio personality. Hogan filed suit, claiming violation of his privacy rights, and was awarded $140 million. As Gawker shut down, Peter Thiel, the PayPal founder and venture capitalist, revealed that he had financed several lawsuits against Gawker, including Hogan’s, determined to get revenge on Gawker for having outed him as gay in 2007.
In Holiday’s masterful telling of this nearly unbelievable conspiracy, informed by interviews with all the key players, this case transcends the narrative of how one billionaire took down a media empire or the current state of the free press. It’s a study in power, strategy, and one of the most wildly ambitious–and successful–secret plots in recent memory.
Holiday is also the bestselling author of TRUST ME I’M LYING: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, PERENNIAL SELLER: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, and THE DAILY STOIC: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance and the Art of Living. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power,
Holiday went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians, and served as director of marketing at American Apparel.