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DisneyWar (Unabridged)
 
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DisneyWar (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by James B. Stewart (Author), Patrick Lawlor (Narrator)
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 25 hours and 47 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 28 April 2005
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ64EU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Once upon a time, one man ruled America's greatest entertainment company. This is the untold story of his triumphs and failures, and of the revolt that cost him his kingdom.

"When You Wish Upon a Star", "Whistle While You Work", "The Happiest Place on Earth", these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world. So when Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, corporate boardrooms, theme parks, and living rooms around the world, everywhere that Disney does business and its products are cherished.

DisneyWar is the breathtaking, dramatic inside story of what drove America's best-known entertainment company to civil war, told by one of our most acclaimed writers and reporters.

Here, too, is the creative process that lies at the heart of Disney, from the making of The Lion King to Pirates of the Caribbean. Even as the executive suite has been engulfed in turmoil, Disney has worked, and sometimes clashed, with a glittering array of stars, directors, designers, artists, and producers, many of whom tell their stories here for the first time.

Stewart describes how Eisner lost his chairmanship and why he felt obliged to resign as CEO, effective 2006. No other book so thoroughly penetrates the secretive world of the corporate boardroom. DisneyWar is an enthralling tale of one of America's most powerful media and entertainment companies, the people who control it, and those trying to overthrow them.

DisneyWar is an epic achievement. In its sudden twists, its vivid, larger-than-life characters, and its thrilling climax, it tells a story that might itself have been the subject of a Disney animated classic, except that it's all true.

©2005 James B. Stewart; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is without doubt one of the best business books I have read in years. It is a gripping account of how Eisner solely controlled The Walt Disney Company without any regard for shareholders nor the competent executives serving under him. This is a must-read for anybody who is employed in any sense of the word. Eisner was a serial killer of corporate careers and this book may give you some insight into the antics that may go on in any company. At least, it may provide you with some strategies to predict and counteract a boss who is outright dishonest, vicious and intolerant of any criticism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful! 11 Aug 2005
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Pulitzer prize winner James B. Stewart paints a portrait of Michael Eisner that has more in common with a totalitarian dictator than with most CEOs. Stewart is careful, though, to trace the Walt Disney Company's growth and success under Eisner, even though he was really running Disney for the benefit of just a handful of people - including himself. And, just as carefully, Stewart traces the company's spiraling internal chaos. The pluses: the author tells an instructive, intricate corporate saga in intriguing detail. Minuses: He is no expert on the film industry and the narrative doesn't build much momentum. Frustratingly, although no doubt for sound reportorial reasons, he also mostly refuses to draw conclusions until the short final chapter. We recommend this troubling portrait of corporate excess and misbehavior to all managers and to students of entertainment and media as a lesson on the pitfalls of untamed corporate politics and unbridled CEO power.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and highly informative book 13 July 2005
Format:Hardcover
In 1984, the beloved Disney Corporation was in trouble, seen as a likely target for takeover and dismemberment. And then the Disney board of directors brought in Michael Eisner, a seasoned Hollywood creature, who had never even seen a Disney movie but knew how to successfully run a corporation. By 2004 Disney Corporation was one of the largest Hollywood corporations, but in decline, and Eisner was touted as the "Magic Kingdom's evil emperor." What happened to Disney and Eisner, and how did they get from one state of affairs to the other? Read this book and find out!
I must say, this is one of the most fascinating books that I have read in a long time. The author does an excellent job of showing the many personalities of the people at Disney, especially Michael Eisner himself. The back cover of the book touts it as a tragic tale that could have been written by William Shakespeare, and I must say that I am inclined to agree.
Overall I found this to be a fascinating and highly informative book. If you have watched the rise and decline of Disney, and want to know what really happened inside, then this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real page turner....................... 26 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a facinating and in-depth look into big busness. and they dont come any bigger. a spotlight into what it takes to be the best and how easy it is to fall.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTAYED HIS WELCOME 18 Feb 2013
By DOPPLEGANGER TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book by former Page-One editor of The Wall Street Journal and Pulitzer Prize winner, James B Stewart takes a detailed look at the reign of Michael Eisner at the top of the pile at The Walt Disney Co, from his joining in 1984 through to his being eased out in 2004.

Despite his arrogance and almost total insensitivity which intensified as the years passed, Michael Eisner for the first part of his stewardship must be given full credit for turning a faltering animation and amusement park company into one of the world's most sucessful suppliers of home entertainment. With the invaluable help of his number two and proverbial 'sweeper-up of the Eisner tsunami of hyper-activity, President Frank Wells, he transformed a sleeping 'seen-better-days' entertainment once-goliath into a vibrant, inovative, cutting edge, commercially sucessful outfit.

However, after the untimely death of Frank Wells in 1994, it all deteriorated with Eisner proceeding to turn himself into the 'villain' of the piece (worthy of one of his animated nasty characters) displaying an unedifying serving of megalomanic and insidious management style which alienated just about every talented senior executive, and important corporate partners. Among the many who experienced Eisner's arrogant and disengenuous modus operandi were Michael Ovitz, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Roy Disney (who he kicked off the board), Harvey Weinstein, and last but not least Steve Jobs, boss of Pixar, the massively sucessful animation company, that was making lots of money and market penetration for Disney from joint ventures. Jobs got to the stage with Eisner that he totally mistrusted him and refused to deal with him further.
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Format:Paperback
There's little fun to be found in this book. To start with it's pretty hefty, with my hardback version coming in at almost six hundred pages. It's also quite serious, being a business study of one of the darkest periods in Disney's corporate history.

If the above hasn't put you off and you can get hold of this volume at a reasonable price then you're in for a treat. It's a fascinating account of Roy E. Disney's attempts to oust Michael Eisner from the company's boardroom in the early years of the 21st century.

Pulitzer prize-winner Stewart had access to both camps and gives a glorious account of a company in danger of destroying itself from the inside out... and coming through the battle scarred but arguably stronger than ever. He paints a balanced picture of Eisner as micro-managing control freak who wanted to run the company as his personal empire and didn't mind who he upset on the way - but got some amazing results too. And Roy Disney comes across as a man living in giants' shadows, trying to clear up a mess that he knew he was largely responsible for creating.

It would be a great read if it were about any large company. The fact that so many of the major players - both real and fictional - are known to us makes it all the sweeter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars poor summary of condition
Item dispatched promptly however condition stated as good condition and no damage to spine. When book came the spine was badly damaged in the bottom quarter and pages on inside... Read more
Published 10 months ago by gilesr1
3.0 out of 5 stars apologies but ....
... I must didn't quite get this book. I thought the subject would be so gripping, and it is probably my fault, but I just couldn't get into it. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Chris Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read
Disneywar: The Battle for the Magic Kingdom is an interesting and engaging book describing the boardroom politic's of The Walt Disney Company during the eighties, nineties and... Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2012 by Brawny Withed
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it..
I won't repeat the other reviweres.. but all the more fascinating becuase the huge level of subpoena-ed documentation means that we get to see what really happened inside the... Read more
Published on 10 Nov 2011 by A. G. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad, and the ugly - and it's all Eisner
This is the story of a self-annointed entertainment industry mogul, in which Michael Eisner establishes himself as the absolute ruler of Disney (yes, like Louis XIV, to whom... Read more
Published on 13 May 2011 by rob crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reading...
I never thought I'd find a business book on the inner workings of corporate executives interesting, but then these corporate executives do work for Disney - and that makes it more... Read more
Published on 12 Jan 2011 by C. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent behind-the-scenes action
Disneywar is for fans of Disney and nonfans alike. . . it's also for fans of business books, and fans of spy novels. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2008 by Kendra
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