Buy Used
$3.79
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Work in Progress Hardcover – September 16, 1998

51 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.17 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1964, NBC clerk Michael Eisner made $65 a week. Though he only took one business course in his life--accounting--he did have a head for business: as CEO of Disney, he earned over half a billion bucks in 1997. Though he had no foundation in finance, he averted the bloody dismemberment of Disney by takeover sharks when he took over in 1984, and by May 1998 he earned over $80 billion for Disney stockholders. Not bad for a guy who, on his first day in Walt's old office, met a manager of the film division BVD (Buena Vista Distribution) and innocently asked whether "Disney made underwear."

In his memoir, Eisner doesn't air quite as much dirty laundry as we could hope he'd be dopey enough to do. Still, it is revealing, and since it's unheard-of for Hollywood potentates to spill any beans at all, this book is required reading for anyone interested in America's major export, popular culture.

We learn a fair bit of personal stuff: the crucial impact of Eisner's sternly withholding father, who drove Michael to succeed and made him less than effusive himself in praising underlings; his favorite book in youth (The Catcher in the Rye); his encounters with more madcap Hollywood types; his brush with death from heart disease; the day he got the idea for Beverly Hills Cop by getting physically roughed up by a Beverly Hills cop; his plan to add the naughtier cartoon character Mortimer Mouse to Mickey's family.

Eisner gives us his negotiating secret (be willing to walk), his view of prerelease audience testing of shows ("it's almost worthless"), his management strategy (incite raucous debate within strict institutional checks and balances, then make gut decisions), the key to success in movies and TV (strong two-man partnerships: Lew Wasserman and Sid Sheinberg at Universal, Bob Daly and Terry Semel at Warner Bros., and preeminently Eisner and Frank Wells at Disney). Eisner gives a provocative analysis of why Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Ovitz proved disastrous partners for him at Disney, and even confesses to a few screwups of his own (losing his temper and helping to blow the Disney America historical park development). --Tim Appelo

From Library Journal

Recently scheduled for fall?so recently that the book is not yet titled?this memoir covers Eisner's rise from ABC to Paramount to Disney, where he is now chair.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (September 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375500715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375500718
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For four decades, Michael D. Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry. He began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from number three to number one in prime-time, daytime, and children's television. In 1976 he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out hit films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Saturday Night Fever. In 1984 Esiner was appointed chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing twenty-one years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $80 billion. In 2005 Esiner founded The Tornante Company, a privately held corporation that makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. Visit his website at www.michaeleisner.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Towsley on July 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
From about 1985 I was the senior executive assistant to Disney's Vice President of Strategic Planning, Lawrence P. Murphy. I therefore read this book with a special eagerness, and I was not disappointed. It teems with the wonderful people who make up the cast of top management at The Walt Disney Company headquarters in Burbank, California.

Mentioned herein are many, but not all, of the bright and driven executives who comprise Michael's well known "Dream Team", those brilliant businessmen and women who increased the company's market value from $2 billion to $75 billion in a scant 15 years. While many attempts have been made recently to explain the magic of Disney management (wouldn't everyone like to succeed this well), Eisner's book reveals a great chunk of the truth: As strategic planner Peter Murphy phrases it at one point, "We are a compulsive culture".

As important as smiling employees and customer satisfaction are, Disney management tests its own mettle on a daily basis, working incredibly long and hard upon every operations detail, research task, acquisition project and growth enterprise that captures its attention. No one can expect to duplicate Disney's success without emulating this crucial aspect of its management work ethic -- its people work tirelessly, passionately and often single-mindedly, and find immense joy and personal satisfaction in achieving the desired results.

This is a fine book and highly recommended for any executive who wishes deeper practical insights into how a brilliant but prudent Disney management team transformed the company's future.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RememberOct1971@aol.com on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is truly one of the best books I have read in a while. I bought copies for all of my friends and realatives. I learned much about management and people in general. You may not like Eisner personally (I do) but you cannot argue with the success of the company. This book is a MUST read for anyone who even casually likes the Disney corporation. I came to understand many things about Disney that I did not know.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Seano on March 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Turning around the Disney organization was no small task for Mike Eisner...and a task he was prepared to accomplish. What this book succeeds in illustrating was the organizational culture of Disney pre-Eisner, the changes necessary to make things move forward, and a somewhat objective assessment of major initiatives since that time.
Certainly Eisner has a point of view. His heart attack changed his life. So there is a thematic construct here...change, change and more change. Change in management, how the organization does business, change in how Disney is viewed by others and itself.
Expecting that the book would be more critical of the organization is unrealistic. I found Eisner to be relatively self-critical and when I finished the book, having learned of his education and values, with a better opinion of this guy.
Readable, informative, balanced, this is a good book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Having read most books about Michael Eisner and Disney, I was most anxious to see what his perspective was of the events and people that have made Eisner one of Americas icons. True to his personality, he does discuss the warts (Disney's America etc) and the personality conflicts with some of his closest associates, as well as the glowing successes that have taken place since he moved to Disney in 1984. The most interesting thing to me is his modesty and his constant reference to his wife and family. It is obvious that he has his priorities in order when he discusses a $19 billion acquisition of ABC in much the same tone as his son's hockey talents. No study of Disney would be complete without reading this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is 464 pages of boring self-glorification. It also neglects to mention anything negative in Mr. Eisner's life. You get the impression that he views himself as a perfect specimen of mankind and incapable of doing anything wrong. Reading through these 400+ pages of self gratification is also extremely BORING! He doesn't mention anything about the other people at Disney or the contributions they made to build his empire.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gdb@gdbinc.com on September 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Here's a man who has influenced the lives of people all over the world for decades - through films, television shows, theme parks, stores, TV networks, sports teams... And here's a great, accessible, enjoyable book about the inside workings of world media. The stories and insights are candid and authentic (and several are downright amazing). There's a reason some people have the kind of impact they do, and Eisner's style -in writing and, apparently, in running Disney, must be it. I read this book nearly straight through in a few sittings, because it held me and because I was learning. Very few people have the experience of running a firm with a 160,000 employees and worldwide impact; and very, very few could have written about it as interestingly. Gavin de Becker, author The Gift of Fear.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book is very well written and a pleasure to read. If you have any interest in the entertainment industry, the book does not disappoint with vignettes of Eisner's experiences at ABC, Paramount, and finally Disney.
Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's will find it fascinating to read about Eisner's early career at ABC and Paramount, and his influence in some of the television programs and movies that shaped our generation. And for the fan of Disney, the book is a must read. You won't be able to put it down.
The only criticism I have of the book is that some of Eisner's stories were too short -- more details about his experiences would have been fascinating to read.
From a business point of view, I found the whole story about Eisner's reshaping of Disney -- his very human experience of seeking the job with the Disney board is well told by he and Tony Schwartz. He doesn't try to compare himself to Walt Disney, but instead relates on how he is trying to continue Disney's dream of what the company could be.
If you are thinking about ordering a copy, do it today! You won't be disappointed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews