In a new Simon & Schuster book titled DISNEY WAR, Pulitzer-Prize winning author and journalist James B. Stewart provides an explosive and vividly detailed account of turmoil within the Walt Disney Co. and of the controversial two-decade tenure of ceo Michael Eisner ($29.95).
Stewart draws on hundreds of interviews with Eisner, high-ranking Disney executives and board members and Disney family members, as well as thousands of pages of internal documents and confidential communications. Stewarts original plan had been to present a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the nations best-known media and entertainment company as it dealt with various creative, technological and economic challenges. The book chronicles the boardroom revolt led by Walts nephew, Roy Disney, and his ally Stanley Gold; Roys and Golds sudden resignations from the board; the end of Disneys highly productive and profitable relationships with Miramax and Pixar Animation Studios; a hostile takeover bid from Comcast; and an unprecedented shareholder rebellion that publicly humiliated Eisner and forced him to step down as board chairman.
Stewart writes, Eisner has earned his place among Hollywoods creative and business legends Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Cecil B. DeMille.
But Stewart goes on to say, Like so many others emboldened by power, Stewart writes, Eisner ultimately sealed his fate by overreaching Perhaps most of all, Eisner underestimated the power of the Disney name. Eisner may have taken the place of Walt Disney before a weekly national television audience, but in the public imagination, there was only one Disney. Roy emerged as the guardian of Walt Disneys creative flame, the champion of the Disney faithful.
James B. Stewart is the author of HEART OF A SOLDIER, the bestselling BLIND EYE and BLOOD SPORT, and the blockbuster DEN OF THIEVES. A former Page-One editor at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Stewart won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his reporting on the stock market crash and insider trading. He is a regular contributor to SMARTMONEY and THE NEW YORKER. He lives in New York.