May 28, 2008

Staff Picks: Book reviews in The Economist

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:08 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Economist regularly reviews history, business, and nonfiction books in its "Books and arts" section. This week, two reviews caught my eye. Here are brief excerpts from the reviews.
Tall tales
The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company
A number of interesting things about Disney emerge in this excellent, readable account of Pixar's early years. David Price claims, for instance, that Disney's chief executive, Michael Eisner, considered shutting down the company's animation unit after he took over as chief executive in 1984, an astonishing fact given the subsequent success of cartoon films such as "The Lion King". Mr Price also makes clear just how much Pixar owes to Disney: it was the larger company's marketing for "Toy Story", for instance, that gave Mr Jobs the confidence to launch an initial public offering of shares in Pixar in 2005.
Go to the review.

Marketing maestros
Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business
James Harding, who is now the editor of the London Times but used to report on American politics for the Financial Times, has written a punchy book about spin. Its title, "Alpha Dogs", refers to an American company, the Sawyer Miller Group, which for a while shaped and polished political campaigns all around the world.
Go to the review.