Disneywar: The Battle for the Magic Kingdom

He followed Diller to Paramount, producing some hits, such as Flashdance, and earning a reputation for getting things done. He sauntered into the studio at Disney with brash self-confidence, firing a large number of people, hiring friends and acquaintances, and whipping up flames of creativity that led, in fairly short order, to a number of huge hits, such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Toy Story.

Review: DisneyWar by James B Stewart | Books | The Guardian

In a very real sense, he revived Disney as a major purveyor of animated films, and he acquired a range of valuable assets, including ABC, Miramax, and the ESPN cable sports franchise. These, with other bold moves, proved wonderfully lucrative for shareholders of Disney, and the famous old studio became, once again, a real player in the entertainment industry.

Stewart tells this story with an almost indecent gusto, and the result is a thoroughly readable and entertaining book. He often creates little scenes, complete with dialogue, that bring the wheeling and dealing of high-powered executives to life, as in when Eisner attended a conference at Sun Valley where, after making a witty presentation, he met billionaire Warren Buffett.

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Buffett congratulated him on the talk, and Eisner cleverly blurted out that he had just been talking to Larry Tisch, who owned CBS at the time, about acquiring that television network for Disney. He abruptly suggested that perhaps Buffett would sell him ABC instead, "for cash". With casual astuteness, Buffett replied: Eisner had himself a brand new toy: For me, the most riveting parts of the book concern the titanic battles between Eisner and his colleagues Michael Ovitz and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The Battle for the Magic Kingdom

So when Roy Disney, chairman of Disney animation, abruptly resigned in November and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves throughout the world. Drawing on unprecedented access to both Eisner and Roy Disney, current and former Disney executives and board members, as well as hundreds of pages of never-before-seen letters and memos, James B.

Stewart gets to the bottom of mysteries that have enveloped Disney for years. In riveting detail, Stewart also lays bare the creative process that lies at the heart of Disney.

Even as the executive suite has been engulfed in turmoil, Disney has worked - and sometimes clashed - with a glittering array of Hollywood players, many of who tell their stories here for the first time. Buy from another retailer. Join our mailing list. Get our latest book recommendations , author news and sweepstakes right to your inbox. Resources To download a file to your computer right-click on the link and choose 'save file as' High Resolution Images Book Cover Image jpg: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.

Interesting and eye opening read.

Disney War

Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth but Disney corporate seemed far from it. I found myself laughing at some of Michael Eisner's antics, although I am sure his former colleagues failed to see the humor. At pp, I wouldn't have minded 20 more pages covering these movies. Great book but it was so detailed that it was a very slow read.

I got about halfway through and decided to do the free 30 day audible trial to listen to the second half as an audio book.

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Editorial Reviews. devmediavizor.archidelivery.ru Review. James Stewart has done it again. The author of the mega-bestselling Den of Thieves, about the s insider-trading. devmediavizor.archidelivery.ru: Disneywar (): James B Stewart: Books. Dream It ! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms (Disney.

It was a great choice, I wish I had just listened to the entire book. A good read, and certainly one I couldn't put down my backlog of daily blog reading suffered over the 3 days to finish it. Lots of details, leading to quite a few changed impressions and, after only really knowing Ovitz's history as a bit of a jerk in negotiations as an agent, particularly from the Leno-Letterman era, found him to be a much more sympathetic character in this part of his life. About my only complaint is the moment it stopped, right in the middle of Spring, - I was hoping for a little more of an epilogue on Iger's successful transition and the subsequent recovery of Pixar and ultimate loss of Miramax , as well as a bit of a conclusion to the building story of ABC's turnaround and Iger's focus on the parks.

While the book talks about Iger's roles up to that point, it does little to connect the dots between his past support for Eisner in all things and his subsequent tremendous success as a leader once out of that shadow, since that hadn't happened at the time of publication. Stewart does a thorough job of covering the rise and fall of Michael Eisner. His telling of the progress of the Disney empire from to is interesting and thought provoking.


If you are a fan of the Disney brand and are interested in Eisner's abilities to revilize the company and build the empire, this is worth the time. I found Stewart to be an interesting storyteller and his ability to keep my interest in the business side was exceptional. The last ten years of Eisner's reign is reminiscent of Macbeth, maybe because I happen to be in the middle of teaching the play to my students; but, the parallels are similar and intriguing.

The book was written in , so you will be left wanting. I would be interested to see Stewart's take on the rise of Bob Iger and just how he was able to come into a fractured executive environment and be successful. I was surprised by this book.

That's entertainment?

My general assumption about Disney was that they were a flawless organization, just like their image and theme parks. One person found this helpful. This is a very thorough history. My only regret is that it didn't continue through the end of the Eisner era and tell the story of Eiger's ascension. This is a case for a 'live book' that the author could update at least a Kindle edition!

The amazing rise and tumultuous end of Eisner's career at Disney are well covered, and the insights and access that Stewart had during the year leading up to Eisner's departure was almost unprecedented. As some of the other reviewers note - the book is lengthy and tends to be a bit biased and slow going in spots. However, it is an entertaining read in the same vein as a Kurt Eichenwald or other investigative journalist. It provides a unique and easy to understand view on some very complex business topics, and also proves to be an easy to digest format for those who are new to or deeply familiar with board level politics in their business lives.

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A good, entertaining read on one of the more interesting personalities and companies in business history. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews.