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Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner

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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
On Monday, January 10, 2000, America Online announced that it was buying Time Warner for $163 billion. The news was crazy, incredible. The biggest merger ever, it was, according to the media, an "awesome megadeal" and "a fusion of guts and glory." It was "the deal of the century" and "a mega-marriage of earth and cyberspace." An Internet upstart, AOL was buying the world's ...more
Hardcover
Published January 6th 2004 by HarperBusiness
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Ben Sweezy
Nov 24, 2013 Ben Sweezy rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed learning a lot about AOL's impact on the DC/Northern Virginia area. Particularly of interest is the year (1999?) when all the AOL employees went from driving Toyota clunkers to being 1100 millionaires in Dulles, VA.

I realized only by reading this book that all the dot-com "funny money" ended up at AOL as real, booked money. Startups turned their IPO money into "exclusive" advertising deals to be the sole XXXX in AOL's walled garden. This was made easier by AOL's cavalier commitmen
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Earl
Apr 17, 2013 Earl rated it really liked it
This book illustrates essentially the play-by-play lesson of how NOT to conduct a merger. Zero due diligence, a complete absence of transparency to even senior executives, no collar on the deal...the list goes on. I read this for pleasure during my Mergers and Acquisitons class for my MBA and all the things we talked about in class were summarily skipped during this deal. Mergers orders of magnitude smaller than this take MONTHS to sort out. Steve Case (AOL) and Jerry Levin (Time Warner) ordered ...more
Nevrlost
Aug 21, 2009 Nevrlost rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you remember the advent of the internet and the internet stock bubble and enjoy business histories, this book should be of interest to you. I enjoyed learning about the histories of Time Warner and AOL and their business strategies as the internet became a dominant force. After the histories and culture of both companies are explored, the story behind the merger is recounted. You can almost predict what happens when a high flying new internet company is merged with a staid entertainment congl ...more
Michael Hannaford
This book brought an interesting perspective for me, having been an AOL employee during the AOL-Time Warner merger. At Netscape, and later at iPlanet, I was mostly insulated from all the politics of the merger. It was crazy for me reading this book and learning just how badly the company was falling apart during 2001, shortly before I was laid off. Reading about all the top level managers who sold hundreds of millions of dollars in AOL stock just before the company tanked was disheartening, to s ...more
Benjamin Wetmore
Jan 09, 2011 Benjamin Wetmore rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that goes through, systemically, the major players and the general forces at work that caused the collapse of the world's largest media company.

It gives a compelling version of events and several theories and factors that resulted in the disaster that became AOL Time Warner and its imploding stock price. Also, as a narrative encompassing the boom and bust of the technology bubble, as well as Wall Street culture and problems in the late 90s and early 2000's, the book not only su
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Andrew
Jul 24, 2009 Andrew rated it it was ok
The book is written by a journalist and the book has very much a journalistic feel to it. The book reads like a newspaper article that just happens to be 200 pages long.
Tiffany
Aug 16, 2007 Tiffany rated it liked it
Of particular interest to me because of my time at AOL and AT&T. Total corporate soap-opera, probably pretty boring for non-telecom people...
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 Lori Grant rated it really liked it
A should-read company profile for knowledge workers, managers, directors, C-levels, and entrepreneurs.
Sarah Hovis
Great book about the AOL/Time Warner merger.
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Nina Munk, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, is an American journalist and author. Her books include The Idealist Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty and Fools Rush In: Steve Case Jerry Levin and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner .
Formerly a senior writer at Fortune, and before that a senior editor at Forbes, her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yo
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