Several folks recommended this non-fiction tome for people like me who love the hit HBO series Succession. Since the third season just ended (and who knows when we’ll get a fourth?), I finally decided to try it.
And yeah, fans of Succession will love it. Fans of corporate thrillers/backstabbing will love it too, whether fiction or non-fiction is your poison.
James B. Stewart documents in great detail the rise and fall arc of Michael Eisner. These kinds of books aren’t my thing but I can’t imagine there’s a better way to give a full picture of how the sausage is made in a major corporation. Every political maneuver, butt-covering lie, backstabbing action gets airtime as the reader learns how brutal the entertainment business really is, and how success can impact people in really negative ways.
Stewart is highly critical of Eisner without being preachy. He lets the story tell itself rather than turn this into a polemic on Eisner’s management style at Disney. Thus, I really had a great understanding of how Disney rebounded from fading product ripe for takeover to the glittering standard of Hollywood thanks to the cash cow animated films and finally how it became a prisoner of its own success and seemingly overextended itself with the purchase of ABC.
It’s definitely dry in spots and hard to track. A lot of people come and go and Stewart gets a wee bit too fascinated with some of the corporate details. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent piece of journalism that will satisfy what audiences are looking for.