Book Review: DisneyWar by James B. Stewart
DisneyWar is a book that I had procrastinated reading for quite a while.
I think I was daunted by both the book’s length and its “business profile” subject matter.
But I’m really glad I gave it a chance, because I ended up LOVING it!
After having read many Disney-related books (such as Bob Thomas’s incredible Walt Disney biography, Imagineer Marty Sklar’s wonderful Dream It Do It, the leadership-heavy The Wisdom of Walt by Jeff Barnes and several Jim Korkis books), I was looking to learn more about the company AFTER Walt. I felt like I needed to bridge my Disney knowledge between Walt’s death and the present day.
Mostly, DisneyWar is the story of Michael Eisner’s tumultuous time as Disney President & CEO. Like many Disney Parks fans, I have a lot of affection for Eisner’s era, which included tons of investment in the parks and resorts, as well as the rejuvenation of the feature animation department.
It was so interesting to learn about this era, and why Eisner was so respected at first, then disliked towards the end of his tenure.
I loved learning about Walt’s nephew Roy E. Disney and his son-in-law Ron Miller.
I gained a better understanding of Disney’s current CEO Bob Iger’s history with the company.
And I now tell you tons of interesting stuff about Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Ovitz.
These names were all very familiar to me before reading DisneyWar, and I now understand their roles and history within the company.
Although DisneyWar is non-fiction, it reads with the pace of a modern, well-written novel. I never felt like it lagged or got bogged down by dates, statistics or details.
Because of its length, I found it easier to enjoy DisneyWar while reading a novel at the same time. I would alternate books between chapters, as I often do while enjoying a longer non-fiction read.
If you’re a fan of Disney Parks or the Walt Disney Company, or just the animation/film industry in general, I highly recommend DisneyWar.
Have you read DisneyWar by James B. Stewart? If so, please share your opinion in the Comments. Also, if you have any book recommendations you think I’d enjoy, please share those as well!