DisneyWar Summary

The SQUEEZE: Bad business decisions can transform a once-revered, most-admired institution into an environment of chaos and a withering portrait of disappointment and failure. James B. Stewart offers an investigative approach to understanding one of America’s most-loved company and focuses his study on Michael Eisner, a self-destructive CEO that runs the company like a well-oiled machine but also through creative dishonesty, disastrous ego, and erratic attitude. Eisner, as Stewart contends, is credited with the early successes of Disney, rejuvenating and turning around the company’s live-action movie franchise and the theme parks as well as grandfathering the modern animation era. However, Stewart also credits Eisner with the company’s subsequent failures, validating his (Stewart’s) work with Eisner’s own writings and conversations, and former employee detailed interviews. In the end, Stewart paints a picture of a character who is devious, Machiavellian, and overly stubborn.

Notable Endorsement: “Stewart has produced a masterly group portrait of the insanities and delusions peculiar to our time” -Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times


Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • How can bad business decisions affect the outcome of a major negotiation?
  • What is an example of a CEO creating an environment that is not conducive to success, but in fact hinders it?
  • How might a company develop succession planning objectives that ensure a new executive preserves the existing corporate culture that is based on success, but with integrity?

About the Author: James B. Stewart is an American lawyer, journalist, and author. Stewart’s research interests include the stock market crash and insider trading. Stewart is a regular contributor to SmartMoney and The New Yorker. Stewart is also a former Page-One editor for The Wall Street Journal. Throughout his career, Stewart won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting; the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime; and the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism. Stewart is the bestselling author of Blind Eye (1999); and Blood Sport (1997). Recent titles of his work include: Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff (2011). Stewart completed studies at DePauw University.

Book Vitals:

Publisher: Simon and Shuster (March 2006)

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