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Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everybody Else

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0066621098
ISBN-10: 0066621097
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Hit & Run coauthor Masters on Eisner's reign at Disney.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A chilling little horror tale about just how ugly greed and ambition can be . ... Big and juicy." -- Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"A chilling little horror tale about just how ugly greed and ambition can be . ... Big and juicy." -- --Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"A page turner ... juicy as all get-out and persuasive to boot." -- --Steven Bach, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A page turner ... juicy as all get-out and persuasive to boot." -- Steven Bach, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A sweeping, vivid and richly entertaining account, not just of Disney but of the entire movie industry." -- --Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2000

"Merge Indecent Exposure with Barbarians at the Gate, add sex and you have Hit & Run." -- Sherryl Connelly, Daily News

"The most entertaining business book to come along in years." -- Christopher Byron, Wall Street Journal

"What Masters does with exceptional skill is to dig up small, inside details of the day-to-day machinations of show business." -- --Entertainment Weekly, March 24, 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (July 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066621097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066621098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Those of us that "love" the Disney Company have been having our hearts torn out for years watching this show of shows in the Team Disney Building. Finally, a book that dares to tell the truth, Michael just plain does not care for the people that work for him. It seems Kim missed the recent quote in the trade papers by Michael saying: "Unless I am completly out of touch, we have the best morale of any major company in America". Dear Mr. out of touch.... Well researched and well written it's a page turner even if you are not employed by the mouse house. Buy this book and see the other side of the "Tragic Kingdom". There is honest information here, not only about the name players but about those that they brush aside without a thought. (And people wonder why every time there is an earth quake we say "Well, there's Walt turning over."
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Eisner is routinely credited (and has been handsomely rewarded) with the great Disney turnaround. Was it genius or luck? Kim Master's Key's to the Kingdom-How Michael Eisner Lost His Grip is a well researched and thoroughly entertaining look into the Hollywood scene and the Walt Disney Company in particular from 1984 to 1999. We are given a rare unfiltered peek over the burm and into the inner sanctum of the Magic Kingdom. In the end, one comes away with the intended impression that Bravado, Ego and Greed are the three horseman of Hollywood. We are left with an unflattering portrait of Michael Eisner as a parsimonious and deeply flawed leader clearly out of touch with the world around him.
So how did such a flawed leader turn a Two Billion Dollar company into a Sixty Billion Dollar juggernaut of American industry? Frank Well's summed up the situation best when shortly after the Eisner/Wells team ascended to the leadership of Disney, Well's noted "Every time I open a door at this company, there's money behind it."
What is glossed over and unappreciated in Kim Master's book is the fact that when Walt Disney died in 1966 he left the Disney organization without a well groomed leader. From 1966 to 1984 Walt literally ruled Disney from the grave and no one in the incestuous leadership of the company dared peek into the cupboard or look behind any door.
The two to sixty billion dollar story, weaved by Kim Masters leaves the reader with the clear impression that it was Michael Eisner's luck rather than his talent which was at the core of this success.
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By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A tremendously insightful juggernaut of accounts that takes you on a ride through one of the most fascinating journeys in recent Hollywood history. Kim Masters does a great job of establishing "who's who" and "who did what to who" by detailing key defining moments in the careers and lives of such Disney icons as Michael Eisner, Frank G. Wells, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Ovitz, Roy E. Disney, et al - not to mention former Paramount chair Barry Diller.
This is just one of those books I started to peruse on my weekly Sunday trip to the bookstore and simply COULD NOT PUT DOWN! Too bad it was published before Masters had a chance to tell us a bit about Bob Iger's rise to the Presidency of The Walt Disney Company.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be an interesting read. I have also read Michael Eisner's autobiography and was looking forward to reading more about his tenure at Disney.
I appreciated the way that Kim Masters brought a different perspective to the events leading up to Eisner's taking the helm at Disney as well as the time since Eisner took over. There certainly were many things that Masters discussed that Eisner did not cover very well or at all in his book. I think it is important to get more of the total picture on events such as these and not just one point of view. I felt that Masters presented a point of view that was much more broad than the view presented by Eisner.
Now for some of the things I did not like about this book. There is many times in this book that Masters' tone seemed almost gossipy which is something I do not like. Also, Masters seemed to dwell on the negative aspects of Eisner as well as other people that held or continue to hold power in the entertainment industry. She seemed very critical of anyone holding that power and said very little positive about them. There is (hopefully) good and bad in everyone, I would have liked to get a more balanced story from an author with Master's talent.
Overall, I recommend this book. It is a good source of information that I have not found elsewhere. However, I too felt this book left me unconvinced that Eisner has "Lost His Grip."
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By A Customer on October 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's interesting to review a book a year after having read it, and without studying parts of it again....kind of highlights the overall significance, or lack of it. The best part of this book was the first half...Eisner's climb to the top, and inside stories on other big names in the business. Like most of these tales, very little of the behavior seems to be rational or fair...just greedy and petty. In the end this bogs down the story, especially the endless detail on Eisner's fight with Katzenberg. Overall, I guess I'm glad I read it, as I think Kim Masters paints a fairly authentic picture of what its like inside Hollywood. But I would only recommend it to people who are fanatics on the entertainment industry.
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