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War at the Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A tale about big business, an imploding dynasty, a mogul at war, and a deal that epitomized an era of change

While working at the Wall Street Journal, Sarah Ellison won praise for covering the $5 billion acquisition that transformed the pride of Dow Jones and the estimable but eccentric Bancroft family into the jewel of Rupert Murdoch’s kingdom. Here she expands that story,
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 98)
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As a former WSJ reporter I was fascinated by this book. From everything I know, it is true, and it had a lot of stuff I didn't know. As you'd expect from Ellison, a WSJ reporter who covered the story, it's detailed, clearly sourced and highly accurate.
It's also very readable. Even though I knew how the story would come out -- the family would take the multi-billion dollar offer, and Murdoch would exert control and change editors and the nature of the paper -- I kept turning the pages to find o
A decently-told story by an author that had a personal stake in the situation and the outcome. It's not too difficult to see where Ellison's heart lies when she refers to Rupert Murdoch and his friends as "robber barons" or when she makes passing reference to the "bellowing" Bill O'Reilly.

My main criticism is that Ellison doesn't start the story early enough. She laments the Bancroft family's decision to sell to Murdoch, but fails to cover the much-earlier family decision to take Dow Jones publi
A personal opinion on the book would be mainly positive as I found it really interesting and it gives food for thought in terms of positioning yourself in favour or not of media moguls. Regarding this, it can be argued that how the book presents the events and descriptions forced you on a negative approach. As an example of what kind of aspects she looks at when explaining how the Journal change we can have the following quote: “The paper has not won a Pulitzer since Murdoch took over, in ten ye ...more
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War at the Wall Street Journal takes the reader inside one of the more unusual takeovers in corporate finance. Any story involving Rupert Murdoch is usually a good one whether you consider him the greatest villain the world has ever known or the shining beacon of journalistic truth there is little doubt that when he is involved you are in for an interesting story. On the other side you have the Bancroft family who are the long term owners of the Dow Jones Company whose crown jewel was the Wall S ...more
The remarkable attribute of this thought-provoking account was weighing in, and trying to grasp, the passably supposed factors that not only tell how this family-owned media titan changed ownership, and thus the direction of the journal’s reporting structure, but WHY?

This was the key for me; comparing what was, and the benefits to the niches it served, versus the direction where the new owner was looking to take the paper. Ellison does a fine job here, just by providing the spectrum to cogitate.
Ken Dowell
It's about Murdoch but it's also about a clash between the old world and the new in New York's financial center. The fourth generation of a family owning a prestigious media property comes face to tace with Wall Street's M&A machine. A mismatch. Dow Jones' owners get swept away in the transaction and its management team gets swept out after it. This is a solid piece of journalism and an interesting read.
i wouldn't have thought i'd be interested in this topic and just started it because it was written by a friend of mine. But i found it to be quite a page turner. very engaging, well written and interesting. and amazingly brave of her to write given that hardly anyone comes out well in it.
May 11, 2010 Bob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: media mongers
Rupert Murdoch isn't an evil genius, he just knows what people want. A fascinating fly-on-the-wall report from a journalist working for the Wall Street Journal reporting on the process of acquisition.
Kathleen Gilroy
I preferred Michael Wolf's bio of Rupert Murdoch on this topic. But this does give the backstory on what went on with the Bancroft family.
Ed Arnold
Interesting, if not entirely compelling. If you care about Business journalism though, its a worthy read.
Lori Grant
A should-read company profile for knowledge workers, managers, directors, C-levels, and entrepreneurs.
Fair. Interesting about the "behind the scenes" buying the WSJ from the Bancroft family. I like Murdoch.
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