The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars

Joel Glenn Brenner, Author Random House (NY) $25.95 (366p) ISBN 978-0-679-42190-0
Forrest Mars and Milton Hershey effortlessly hold center stage in this superb study of their competing candy companies. Although both men got rich on chocolate, Mars and Hershey are such markedly different characters that Brenner's book is a riot of dramatic contrasts. Mars is irascible, empire obsessed and insanely tightfisted (his three children never tasted a single M&M during their childhoods because he told them he couldn't spare any). Hershey was generous to a fault, a utopian dreamer who planned and built Hershey, Pa., as a home for his company and its workers. He founded an orphanage for disadvantaged children and, in 1918, almost 30 years before his death, donated his entire estate to the Hershey Trust for the benefit of the orphanage. To her credit, former Washington Post hand Brenner goes beyond these two titans and portrays the entire candy industry. Her prodigious research reveals how the personal style of each candy patriarch continues to influence the current structure and strategy of the company he led. By fully exploiting the many differences between the two companies (Mars is privately held and family-run; Hershey is a publicly held company administered by a management team responsible to the Hershey Trust), Brenner has produced a stellar work of corporate history. Photos. Agent, Flip Wrophy at Sterling Lord; author tour. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-17997-3
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-0-613-36331-0
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