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In this update of his 1982 study of the aviation industry, The Sporty Game, Newhouse takes us inside the seesaw battle between the world's two remaining manufacturers of big airliners. "Mighty Boeing and the arriviste Airbus," both massive corporations and emblems of national pride, are worth exploring at length. Yet while the former New Yorkerwriter has invested a tremendous amount of effort in interviews and research, he fails to assemble his facts, quotes and informed judgments into a coherent story. Newhouse introduces a fleet of issues: international sensitivities, cost overruns, governance structure, missed deadlines, the U.S. airline crisis, purchase negotiations, engine mechanics, government subsidies, the economics of plane size, the composition of airplane wings. But his touch is too light. Strong personalities—most prominently, Boeing's controversial CEOs—flit in and out, never quite coming to life; the planes themselves fare no better despite pages of description. The thousands who work in the airplane and airline industries may enjoy the details; the rest of us—even frequent fliers—might not be as interested. (Jan. 16)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.