Picture of author.

James B. Stewart

Autor(a) de Den of Thieves

15+ Works 3,520 Membros 47 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

James B. Stewart lives in New York.
Image credit: Penguin Books

Obras de James B. Stewart

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum



Rich people are awful, and should be taxed more.
siriaeve | 1 outra resenha | Jul 24, 2023 |
Fun, quick, trashy read. The book moves quickly because it focuses on the characters and their interactions, but we lose sight of the larger business and cultural forces at work.

Also, the authors are far too credulous in their approach to Shari Redstone. In my opinion, based on the evidence they provide, she's just as bad as all the other malicious actors trying to exploit Sumner Redstone in his last days. It's just that she ultimately wins out.

The biggest sticking point is that Sumner Redstone -- as long as he was cogent -- repeated over and over again that he did not want Shari Redstone to succeed him. But after Shari seizes control in a household coup, she claims (without any public evidence) that her incapacitated father now supports her.

But that's pretty hard to swallow. For example, Frederic Salerno, a member of the Viacom board, was willing to support Shari if he could meet with Sumner and confirm a change of heart. Shari claims that a meeting was offered but refused (p. 170); Salerno claims that he repeatedly requested a meeting but was not permitted one (p. 174). So which is true? Our authors side with Shari, but it's not clear to me at all on what evidence they make that judgment.

Repeatedly our authors paint Shari in a very positive light when any critical thought suggests alternative motivations and judgments:
* p. 167: our authors do not drill down into rumors that Shari potentially promised to pay off the household staff when she staged her coup. ("[an email] from Octaviano asking for financial help for him and his wife to open a laundromat")
* p. 266: "Shari had no intention of trying to force through a merger," when all Shari had done (and would do in the future) was aimed at creating a merger of CBS & Viacom.
* p. 305: "Afterward Shari worried that she'd been too hard on Moonves. Should she send him a text?" -- but she never actually sent the text, so how do the authors know that she thought about it? Shari must have told them in an effort to soften her image.
* p. 340-1: "By most objective measures, Shari was proven right about the merger and her choice of Basksh as chief executive," but on just the next page "[according to] the stock price, the merger had failed to stem the company's decline." So maybe Shari was wrong about her choice, if by the "most important measure" it was a failure?
* p. 343: why wasn't Shari there at her father's death? Listening to him die on speakerphone is not really the touching scene the authors portray it as.

Anyway the book is full of these moments where the emails and text messages quoted seem to directly contract the positive image of Shari that the authors try to spin. Nevertheless an overall fun read.
… (mais)
theoldlove | 1 outra resenha | Apr 12, 2023 |
Rated: B
A masterful and meticulous account of the inside-trading scandal that rocked Wall Street in the late 1980's. While the lead players were brought to justice, almost all remained super rich. Their actions cost investors both large and small catastrophic losses. It is a story of the grip of greed out of control.
jmcdbooks | outras 8 resenhas | Oct 23, 2022 |
Certainly a page-turner despite its length and (ostensibly) dry subject-matter, but I did feel it start to drag almost at the start of the second part. The book is divided into three parts, like acts of a movie, in which we follow the rise and fall of Michael Eisner as CEO of Disney. It was made apparent, painfully at times with the amount of repetitive sequences in which Eisner finds moments of inspiration or worries over “competition,” that Eisner was both talented as a creative CEO and unfit to lead. He was constantly undermining those he feared would try to overthrow his position and he developed a culture from the top down of two-faced miscommunication. Without anyone to rein him in properly he promoted a culture of fear and dysfunction. The first part/act exhibits his rise along with other important figures like Katzenberg and Wells, and once his relationship with the former sours, I felt the point for the whole book was succinctly illustrated. Then, the second part outlines a number of other successes and failures after the fallout of that separation, including several similar fallouts with other executives, and a general downturn in production. Hearing the same tale over and over formed a clear pattern of behavior for the reader, and it was still page-turning intrigue, but I had tired of it. I felt that the book could’ve skipped over a lot of middle chunks for the sake of narrative momentum—but I appreciated the breaks from the repetitive backstabbing where Stewart highlights some actual movie developments like Toy Story or Pirates of the Caribbean. This is a pretty exciting book, especially if you have the Succession theme song playing in your head like me. I just would’ve appreciated it more if it were slightly shorter.… (mais)
bobbybslax | outras 14 resenhas | Aug 28, 2022 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos