By Ryan Holiday
Image of the cover of Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday. Wesley Donehue's book reviews and recommendations.

Tabloid website was an Internet juggernaut until it messed with the wrong men. The first mistake was outing gay Silicon Valley investor and billionaire Peter Thiel. The second mistake was publishing Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. When a group of people get together in secret to take down another group of people, we call that a conspiracy.

Peter Thiel didn’t let his hatred for Gawker go after he was outed. He assembled a group of strategists and attorneys and then he sat back and waited for the right opportunity. It took ten years. The opportunity finally came in the form of famed wrestler Hulk Hogan. Hogan’s wife called and said she wanted a divorce. In despair, he called his best friend for a shoulder to cry on. His friend gave him more than that. He gave him his wife. The friend said that he and his wife were in an open marriage and that the wife wanted to have sex with Hogan. It happened. Multiple times on multiple days, taped without Hogan’s knowledge. And of course, those tapes were leaked online.

Hogan wanted to sue Gawker, but he didn’t have the funds. Thiel stepped in and secretly funded Hogan’s case. Hogan himself didn’t even know who the funder was. Everything was secret and Gawker never saw it coming. That’s why Gawker no longer exists. They were sued out of existence.

I’m not spoiling the book for you. This is all common knowledge. This book is the story of the intricate details, the amazing strategy, and how it all went down. And this is the story of the aftermath and how it bled over to a presidency.

I picked up this book because I’ve become a huge Ryan Holiday fan and after I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. It’s a real page-turner. I recommend this book to anyone interested in conspiracies, men with big egos, drama, or just a good ole fashioned story about a balding fat man with sex tapes.

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