on 13 September 1999
The book attempts to cover off two perspectives. First it is an interesting biography of the Guinness family and business, charting its move from entrepreneurial family business to public organisation and showing how the Guiness family involvement and shareholding has been steadily eroded with the passage of time.
Secondly it gives a detailed account of shady dealings of the Distillers takeover culminating in the convictions of Saunders & Co and the collapse of subsequent trials. Particularly interesting is the ability to compare the facts as told by someone on the inside with the more hysterical views appearing in the press at the time.
It can be argued that the two parts of the book may have been better told separately, but a captivating read nonetheless.
on 31 July 2000
This is fascinating in the sense that the author was a non exec director on the board of Guinness PLC thanks to the shareholding of his family. Accordingly, his view was very much that of an "niave observer" at the time of the Distillers scandel (this is meant with the greatest respect to the author). It's an interesting tale and whilst I do not agree with some of the authors opinions I found his observations interesting. However, the rest of the book, which outlines the history of the company, is pretty dull and readers looking for info on the Guinness scandel would be better off reading Saunders book "Nightmare".