Patricia's Reviews > Disney War

Disney War by James B. Stewart
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Jun 20, 2010

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Read in July, 2010

Upon deciding to write a book about the business behind the Disney corporation, journalist James Stewart managed to convince Disney to give him full access to the company's corporate culture for several years. Unfortunately for them, they granted that access soon before the shit hit the fan at Disney and Walt Disney's nephew Roy led a shareholders' revolt to oust Michael Eisner as chairman and CEO. Stewart then produced this fabulously trashy, gossipy book, which effectively paints Eisner as a paranoid control freak who made enemies of nearly everyone he worked with and slowly choked the creativity out of the company... even as he stacked the board with friends and refused to share power or name a successor, seemingly with the intention of staying CEO of Disney forever.

The trashiness level was exactly what I was looking for when I picked up Disney War, so no complaints there. However, Stewart seems unable to pick and choose among the extensive amount information he gathered about the 22 years of Eisner's tenure at Disney (1984-2005). The first half of the book, which describes events of the '80s and '90s that Stewart did not witness personally, moved briskly, but the accounts of his actual observations of Eisner's ouster seem over-burdened with every bit of dialogue he witnessed. As a result, the book is excessively long (over 500 pages!) and grows more than a little tedious toward the end.
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06/21/2010 page 79
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Jeff Just finished this--incredibly interesting, with little tidbits I didn't know before (like Meg Whitman being in the running to replace Eisner?), but I agree, it's definitely a bloated book. His comparing the stockholders' withholding of votes to the French Revolution was a little much.


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