Author John Preston to discuss new book about tycoon Robert Maxwell
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Author John Preston to discuss new book about tycoon Robert Maxwell

Writer behind A Very English Scandal and The Dig will talk about his new work which details the life of the businessman at an event hosted by Wimbledon Synagogue.

Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell

Author John Preston is set to discuss his new book detailing the life of notorious business tycoon Robert Maxwell.

Preston, who has also penned A Very English Scandal and The Dig, will talk about Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell with fellow author Anne Sebba during the event next month, which is hosted by Wimbledon Synagogue.

In February 1991, Maxwell – the media mogul and former MP – made a triumphant entrance into Manhattan harbour aboard his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, to complete his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. 

Crowds lined the quayside to watch his arrival, taxi drivers stopped their cabs to shake his hand and children asked for his autograph. But, just 10 months later, Maxwell disappeared from the same yacht off the Canary Islands, only to be found dead in the water soon after.

Maxwell was the embodiment of Britain’s post-war boom. Born an Orthodox Jew, he had escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fought in the Second World War, and was decorated for his heroism with the Military Cross. He went on to become a Labour MP and an astonishingly successful businessman, owning a number of newspapers and publishing companies.

Fall.

But on his death, his empire fell apart, as long-hidden debts and unscrupulous dealings came to light. Within a few days, Maxwell was being reviled as the embodiment of greed and corruption. No one had ever fallen so far and so quickly.

In this gripping book, Preston delivers the definitive account of Maxwell’s extraordinary rise and scandalous fall.

The talk will be streamed via Wimbledon Synagogue’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, 5 May, 7.30pm. For more details, email jackie@wimshul.com

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston is published by Viking priced £18.99 (hardback) and available now.

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