'Work in Progress' documents Michael Eisner's time at Disney
“Work in Progress” is an autobiographical account of Michael Eisner’s rise to the top of the Disney Corporation written while he was still employed by Disney. The book seems to be present a fair view of all the players involved, assessing strengths and weaknesses in a manner that suggests deep thought.
Starting with the twin tragedies of Frank Wells’ death in a Helicopter accident and Eisner’s bypass surgery, “Work in Progress” provides a brief overview of the forces that shaped Eisner as a man. He details his time at camp and growing up in an economically advantaged family.
The most fascinating part of his story comes with Eisner’s description of a letter from Author Larry McMurtry, in which McMurtry describes his emotional state after bypass surgery, and Eisner’s response to McMurtry. Both have similar responses that diverge at the final outlook. The power in this passage comes through self-disclosure.
“Work in Progress” documents the Disney Corporation’s moves from 1984 through 1998 with projections about the possible future of the company. Eisner is handy with the praise, the writing is accessible (Eisner collaborated with Journalist Tony Schwartz) and the book is a treasure trove of information as diverse as the Disney Company itself – from the evolution of the company’s idea behind movie production to the political and semantic reasons for the failure of Disney’s America. It is well worth a read for any Disney or business enthusiast.
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