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Who Is Michael Ovitz?

Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (345 ratings)
Regular price: $31.50
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Publisher's Summary

If you're going to listen to one book about Hollywood, this is the one. 

As the cofounder of Creative Artists Agency, Michael Ovitz earned a reputation for ruthless negotiation, brilliant strategy, and fierce loyalty to his clients. He reinvented the role of the agent and helped shape the careers of hundreds of A-list entertainers, directors, and writers, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, and David Letterman.  

But this personal history is much more than a fascinating account of celebrity friendships and bare-knuckled deal making. It's also an underdog's story: How did a middle-class kid from Encino work his way into the William Morris mailroom and eventually become the most powerful person in Hollywood? How did an agent (even a superagent) also become a power in producing, advertising, mergers & acquisitions, and modern art? And what were the personal consequences of all those deals?  

After decades of near-silence in the face of controversy, Ovitz is finally telling his whole story, with remarkable candor and insight.

©2018 Michael Ovitz (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"When the history of Hollywood is written, few people will have played a larger role than Michael Ovitz.... It is impossible to read such a chronicle and not see Mr. Ovitz as the Steve Jobs of agenting, possessing a version of Jobs’s fanatical drive and a similar desire to remake an industry." (The Wall Street Journal)

"A revealing retelling of his Hollywood career.... A study in the unusual personality traits required to pull this off, Who Is Michael Ovitz? represents a master class of sorts." (The New York Times)

"Michael is a legend and I don't use that term lightly. Learning from his journey is something that every entrepreneur and executive should do." (Gary Vaynerchuk) 

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Yep, that's the guy

Ovitz seemed muted in the CAA oral history, and I wanted to hear his side of things. Boy, did I get them. He rarely attempts to couch himself and lets you inside his most historic schemings. He pulled off what he probably wanted in the first place: Cementing his place in history on his terms, coming off as both The Best and Terribly Flawed. No surprise, he even agented his own book. There are only a few revelations (if you've followed him over the years) but they are definitely ear candy when they pop out. The surprise of the book is the reader Dennis Bouthsikaris, who nails a tone that allows him to be anything that he needs to be: vicious, abhorrent, kind, surprised, embarrassed, curious, learned, scornful, remote and aggressive. I read this while driving around LA for work mostly, and it gave me a new sense of the landmarks I was passing along the way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Self congratulations on ambitious achievements

If you are interested in reading about how business in Hollywood is done, then this is the novel for you. Otherwise, it is a self promotional book about a narcissistic showbusiness agent who shares boring details about how he successfully made deals. There is no real insight into the people with whom he represented and how they shaped his career. By the time I finished with the book, I felt as if I just took a course in mergers and acquisitions. #ModernWorkplace #Cynical #Celebrity #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Been waiting for this book for years.

I've listened to this book as soon as I bought it. I've long admired Ovitz for his discipline. Couldn't stop listening. I highly recommend.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating!

A completely candid view into the mind of a mogul. Essential for anyone working in business or entertainment(or the business of entertainment)

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Excellent

A honest portal of one tough and vicious businessman. The guy built a successful business from nothing.

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Not bad, Solid attempt at being Candid

Ovitz gives you his side of CAA, AMG, Disney debacle and other relationships he built and/or sculpted.
Yet I feel her soft played the details of many intense moments of his tenure and didnt really give a tell all here.

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great book

this is a great book for anyone in business or show business . it is also a cautionary tale of what not to do. I loved it.

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Certainly interesting but weak on introspection

This is an interesting book and worth a read/listen. That said, throughout I kept hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” in my head. Michael is clearly successful, but he doesn’t address the drivers for success; other than not sleeping, to achieve this. Additionally, his future endeavors can be boiled down to being rich and willing to take risk. That isnt something to scoff at but not really impressive.

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A fascinating mind

Setting aside how true or not the stories and accounts may be, the way Michael thinks and built and schemed is fascinating to hear. I bought the hardcover too so I can make notes in a second read. I really enjoyed the telling and the learning. Good on ya, Mike.

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A Brilliant Account of the Hero Behind the Mask

This work is very well written and performed to near perfection! It was refreshing to hear detailed thoughts behind so many deals and people we've all read about and seen on-screen for decades! It was also heartwarming to "meet" the real Mr. Ovitz; his family; his true friends; those he served and mentored; those who screwed him and even those who felt screwed by him.