It’s a tantalizing offer to anyone fallen on hard times: Here’s a business that promises to make you $150,000, in your spare time, in just a couple of years. All it costs to get started is $250 - and a dream. A salesman from the network marketing company Amway made this pitch to Erik German’s father in the early 1980's and touched off the darkest chapter in his family’s past.
Two decades later, armed with a reporter’s notebook, German investigates the grim reality behind the gleaming promises of a company that offers personal deliverance in the service of selling soap.
Erik German, a former Newsday reporter, who has covered everything from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to controversies in rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina, provides the poignant, cautionary tale of how hard work and following the rules pursuing the American dream - as sold by "network marketer" Amway - crushed a man’s spirit and left his family bankrupt. Jeff Allin (whose TV and movie work includes appearances on everything from St. Elsewhere to Star Trek Voyager and House of Cards) shares what German, with two decades of hindsight and a wealth of investigative experience, learns about the company that sold and then stole his father’s dream.