Peter Wallison noticed something odd on the Amazon.com page for his new book.
Immediately after its publication last month, a throng of online commenters gave it overwhelmingly negative reviews. They called his account of the 2008 financial crisis “not truthful,” “biased,” and “not accurate,” though none of the reviews indicated that they had actually read his book. More than 60 commenters rated it one star.
There are many, many deaths in this medium-sized volume. An obliging debutante who has agreed to marry two men jumps in a river. A widow cheers up a young companion with the story of how she lost her husband, her children, and her father in the space of a few weeks. Two women are transfixed by the sight of a carriage rolling over, only to see their husbands emerge from it “most elegantly attired but weltering in their blood.”