Prince of the Magic Kingdom: Michael Eisner and the Re-Making of Disney

Joe Flower, Author
Joe Flower, Author John Wiley & Sons $22.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-471-52465-6
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-471-58065-2
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Walter Elias Disney, perceived as a ``talented hick'' when he first arrived in Hollywood in 1923, ran the studio he founded as a ``usually benevolent dictator.'' After his death in 1956, the company took on a more consciously corporate style, and by 1984, writes Flower, had lost its direction and was being stalked by raiders. In an unexpected move, the corporation appointed as CEO Michael Eisner, a ``story man'' who had risen through the creative ranks, not the business side, to become a top exec at Paramount. Eisner brought the desired ``kiss of craziness '' to the helm of Disney, turning the dormant giant around and leading it into seven years of phenomenal growth. Flower, coauthor of Age Wave , unwinds a riveting narrrative about a company that rususcitated itself by courting creativity and risk. He also probes the tension between Disney's legacy of ``wholesomeness'' and the strong-arm management techniques that abetted its expansion. Photos. (Nov.)
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