Written horribly.....researched sloppily.....out of date (isn't great that Disney bought ABC?) and above all with no real perspective or anything new to say about the company. Almost everything in this book was culled from other articles (Time, the New Yorker, etc....) and sound bites. There is no focus or thesis of any kind--"Disney...powerful....money".....is about as close as it comes. I know Ron Grover writes for Business 2.0 so I expected better from him but....oh well.
It would be wonderful if one of these media writers actually did some real research on the Walt Disney company--not "What have they done over the past twenty years" the same old story which is so boring--but: What does Disney mean as a company? How does it fit into American life? (Radio Disney, the Disney stores, etc...) Or if you are focusing on Eisner, maybe try to portray him as a PERSON rather than a cut-out 2dimensional character with less depth than Mickey Mouse. Eisner may be "imperial" but he's also a human being--how do the things that have been written about him compare with what he perceives himself as, the early, more positive portraits of him as a "huggable CEO" or perhaps the friendly if airbrushed annual reports he writes every year? What does Eisner's 20-year relationship with Jeffrey Katzenberg and its subsuquent self-destruction say about him as a person? (And more importantly: WHAT WAS EISNER'S REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JEFFREY KATZENBERG LIKE? Were they simply like colleagues, friends, rivals, father/son or brother/brother? Why did they stay together for so long? How did Frank Wells "keep them working together"? How does Jeffrey Katzenberg's impressions of his experiences at Disney ( reflected in flms like Prince of Egypt, Shrek) compare with "what really happened"? Why did Disney (or why DOES Disney) continue to censor Katzenberg from their records as well as all books and DVDs? Oh, and one more thing: Michael Eisner may have been partially responsible for Katzenberg's expulsion but there was a whole board of directors (including a certain man named Roy Disney) who were against Katzenberg from the start because Katzenberg did not bother to "form ties" with them. Why did Stanley Gold and Roy Disney so vigorously oppose Katzenberg? What Don't their efforts to "save Disney" at this present time reek of HYPOCRICY?
Well, these are just some questions that a media writer could tackle--but these are hard questions and no writer does. Out of all these books I though Joe Flower's Prince of the Magic Kingdom was the best-written and best-researched....except its even more out of date. I'd like to see Joe take another crack at it, and Ron too.