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DisneyWar | [James B. Stewart]

DisneyWar

Once upon a time, one man ruled America's greatest entertainment company. This is the untold story of his triumphs and failures, and of the revolt that cost him his kingdom.
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Publisher's Summary

Once upon a time, one man ruled America's greatest entertainment company. This is the untold story of his triumphs and failures, and of the revolt that cost him his kingdom.

"When You Wish Upon a Star", "Whistle While You Work", "The Happiest Place on Earth", these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world. So when Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, corporate boardrooms, theme parks, and living rooms around the world, everywhere that Disney does business and its products are cherished.

DisneyWar is the breathtaking, dramatic inside story of what drove America's best-known entertainment company to civil war, told by one of our most acclaimed writers and reporters.

Here, too, is the creative process that lies at the heart of Disney, from the making of The Lion King to Pirates of the Caribbean. Even as the executive suite has been engulfed in turmoil, Disney has worked, and sometimes clashed, with a glittering array of stars, directors, designers, artists, and producers, many of whom tell their stories here for the first time.

Stewart describes how Eisner lost his chairmanship and why he felt obliged to resign as CEO, effective 2006. No other book so thoroughly penetrates the secretive world of the corporate boardroom. DisneyWar is an enthralling tale of one of America's most powerful media and entertainment companies, the people who control it, and those trying to overthrow them.

DisneyWar is an epic achievement. In its sudden twists, its vivid, larger-than-life characters, and its thrilling climax, it tells a story that might itself have been the subject of a Disney animated classic, except that it's all true.

©2005 James B. Stewart; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Stewart has an astonishing story to tell. His notable accomplishment is that he tells it so well. The book is hypnotically absorbing." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (608 )
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4.1 (243 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard N BARRINGTON, IL, USA 11-22-05
    Richard N BARRINGTON, IL, USA 11-22-05 Member Since 2003
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    "A Great Primer on corporate governance gone wrong"

    By an incredible coincidence of timing, the author was given access to the inner workings of a corporate giant during a time when corporate leadership was unravelling. This is a great text for anyone interested in the evolution and tranformation of Disney, OR, the workings of leadership vs power between a CEO and a company's board, OR a great treatise on why governance rules and regulations have had to change in the last 5 years above and beyond the exploits of Enron. If ALL THREE interest you, this book is a grand slam. This book is almost a novelization of the corporate history of Disney and specifically Eisner, and reads more like a story than a business text. But the lessons are there for all to learn from, if nothing else as a shareholder to consider when making votes in an annual proxy. Good reading.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave FONTANA, CA, United States 07-25-14
    Dave FONTANA, CA, United States 07-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "This would make a great sleep aid"
    Would you try another book from James B. Stewart and/or Patrick Lawlor?

    no


    Has DisneyWar turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no....just this one


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Patrick Lawlor?

    perhaps


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from DisneyWar?

    about 3/4 of the book....dry dry dry.


    Any additional comments?

    Waste of time, so boring it's the first book I quit half way thru. Boring, dry and totally uninteresting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cullen Chadwick 07-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story!"
    If you could sum up DisneyWar in three words, what would they be?

    Absolutely Great Story


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I loved the book. Great story on Disney Co during the 80s and 90s. The editing is terrible on this book though. It stops and repeats at multiple times during the book. Very annoying but story is worth dealing with the issues.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Greenblatt Seattle, WA United States 04-03-14
    M. Greenblatt Seattle, WA United States 04-03-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Must-read for die-hard Walt Disney Company fans"
    If you could sum up DisneyWar in three words, what would they be?

    Drama, biography, gripping


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    James Stewart crafts a gripping narrative around Michael Eisner and his reign at Disney. At first the overwhelming back story and details seem unnecessary, but it serves to create the full picture of Mr. Eisner and Disney of the late 20th century.


    What does Patrick Lawlor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Distinct but not campy voices for each character.


    If you could give DisneyWar a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How one man saved then dismantled the happiest company on earth.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're not interested in what goes on behind the scenes at Disney, you probably won't enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Lindon, UT, United States 03-31-14
    Shawn Lindon, UT, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Incredible"

    I LOVE this book. Fascinating look behind the scenes of Eisner's reign at Disney. You really feel like an insider. Great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Mansfield, MA, United States 02-05-14
    Christopher Mansfield, MA, United States 02-05-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent Book for the Business World"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! I was switching between reading the printed version and the audiobook. The narrator is really good and keeps your attention throughout!


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book gives you an in-depth look at how Disney was throughout the Eisner Era. You see clearly how Eisner ran this business both good and bad.


    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    He seemed to be an enthusiastic reader!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Thornton, CO, United States 01-08-14
    Michelle Thornton, CO, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2008
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    "True Life Corporate Soap Opera"
    Would you consider the audio edition of DisneyWar to be better than the print version?

    I do think the audio edition is better than the book because I loved the narrator. Aside from the narrator this is a big book and not a light read. It's heavy and meaty and fascinating all that the same time. However I would like to go back through the print copy and see how many times the words "million" and "billion" were thrown around.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There really isn't a character. I found myself drawn to Katzenburg's story and did additional research and reads. But I liked all of the characters because it was like one giant corporate soap opera you were always changing who you rooted for even the villain.


    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    Everything! He's awesome! I actually picked up other books that he narrated. He has a recognizable voice, good pacing and inflection.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and no - it's big and I don't know if anyone could do it in one sitting. It took me several weeks to finish and I liked the opportunity to take a break and dig deeper into the topics such as their internet business, relationship with the directors and actors, the shows on network television.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lemonia Marousi, Greece 10-21-13
    Lemonia Marousi, Greece 10-21-13 Member Since 2007

    50 year old woman, financial executive, interested in science, human behaviour and history in laymen terms & always enjoy good fiction.

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    "I was positively suprised"
    What did you love best about DisneyWar?

    Although the only book of this type I have ever read/listened to, I found it very interesting and enjoyed the business war presentation. If you think you might be interested, I recommend you give it a try.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Earth, Milky Way Galaxy 09-12-13
    Don Earth, Milky Way Galaxy 09-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent look into the Eisner Era at Disney"

    This goes into great detail on the battles in the boardroom between the Disneys (and the creative folks in the company) and Eisner along with his battles with others. It is a great character study showing how he help the top spot for nearly 20 years by pitting people against each other and using a management style that can only be described as "megla-maniacal". Great detail into the split between Disney and Pixar showing how Eisner created it and never thought about the future farther than his next bonus package. Very detailed and might go on longer than some like but I thought this book just sped by.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. C. Orthoefer Boston, MA USA 08-13-13
    J. C. Orthoefer Boston, MA USA 08-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "The Eisner Years"

    This book is just awesome, the only reason it didn't get 5 stars is it didn't follow up on Eisner leaving Disney. As it ends he is still there, the book was released before Eisner departure. Still it's fascinating knowing the background of how he took Disney to being a major Media company.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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