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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 (719 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard 11-22-05
    Richard 11-22-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Lee Atchison 07-01-05 Member Since 2012
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    "Great book, bad audible book (poor editing)"

    I love the book, but the editing was horrendous. Repeated phrases, mispoken words, "corrected" words from the speaker without removing the "incorrect" words. In many spots, it was like a rough cut directly from the recording studio, without final editing. Absolutely no attention was paid to the editing of this product. Very disappointing.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kmm316 08-12-15
    Kmm316 08-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Go behind the curtain and into the boardroom!!"

    This is my absolute favorite Disney book. I love the back room stories and hearing the inside conversations. If you're a Disney fan who appreciates the business side of the company, this is definitely the book for you. Once you start you won't want to stop. I can't recommend this book enough. It has everything you want and more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron Hinkle Portland, OR 08-11-15
    Cameron Hinkle Portland, OR 08-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Needs an ending"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    As a Disney nerd, I lapped up all the info. It's hard to find information about Disney in the post-Walt era, and this had it in droves. Disney history fans will find a lot to like here.


    Would you be willing to try another book from James B. Stewart? Why or why not?

    While I loved all the inside information and details about the Disney company, I wasn't particularly impressed with Stewart's writing. He often tells brief anecdotes that aren't even interesting for a Disney nerd and don't have any future impact on the plot. I won't seek out more books by Stewart but if he wrote about another topic I was very interested in, I would read it.


    What didn’t you like about Patrick Lawlor’s performance?

    I like Lawlor's voice and for the most part it isn't distracting. But it seemed to change at strange points, often going abruptly from a normal tone down to a hush, like he was trying to not to disturb someone next door. And he misspoke a few times, mistaking "ABC" for "CBS" in one place and "billion" for "million" in another. There were also several parts where he repeated part or all of a sentence with a different emphasis, which should have been cut out during editing.


    Could you see DisneyWar being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    The Eisner years would make an amazing made-for-TV drama but unfortunately the audience would be very small.


    Any additional comments?

    The big problem with this book is that it was written two years too early. The Eisner era is over now but it was only nearing an end when the book was finished, leaving it almost entirely without an ending. It needs a new chapter at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Bryant Tompkinsville, KY 06-02-15
    Melissa Bryant Tompkinsville, KY 06-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "a great read for the true disney fan"

    This is a great read for anyone who loves all aspects of disney including the business side of things. a beautiful characterization of the Michael Eisner era. nice to read in hindsight know what we know now with Frozen and Star Wars and Pixar back in the mix.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dia M. 04-16-15
    Dia M. 04-16-15
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    "Wow... Even at Disneyland..."

    The happiest place on earth is political, had a bully, a big bad wolf and would have disappointed Walt with some of the antics that have happened since his passing. May all the Disney family generations have a hand in the business some how, some way, always- to keep the integrity of what Walt stood for & keep Mickey Mouse our hero!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maurício 04-03-15
    Maurício 04-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Must read for any creator/professional"

    Amazing book and a lesson about egos and deal making
    Must read
    Well written book and the storytelling is great

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvette 01-28-15
    Yvette 01-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating Read"

    I was hooked on every moment of this book. I know my friends and family are sick of me relaying the in's and out's of Disney's politics in the 90's. The narrator was awesome. I usually don't like readers to try impersonations, but there are so many names in the book that keeping voices separate that way went a long way. A must-read for Disney fans and people who like to hear how sausage is made, so to speak. You won't regret reading this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 09-13-14
    Steven 09-13-14 Member Since 2014

    24 year old Flight Attendant from Chicago. Always looking for something to listen to at the airport!

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    "Very Good"
    Would you consider the audio edition of DisneyWar to be better than the print version?

    Really tells the story of the Eisner days. A lot of filler but it was really interesting look into one of the biggest companies in the world.


    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    You can tell he is very involved and passionate about Disney.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How one man saved, then destroyed one of the worlds leading companies.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Gilbert, AZ, United States 08-07-14
    Suzanne Gilbert, AZ, United States 08-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    "LONG, but interesting"
    Any additional comments?

    Interesting book about behind the board room doors at Disney. The book is very long and sometimes I had a hard time keeping all of the players straight. I have a long commute, so I definitely got my money's/commute's worth for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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