Master of the Game

Master of the Game

by Connie Bruck
     
 

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Award-winning journalist Connie Bruck’s biography of media mogul Steve Ross captures the highs and lows of Ross’s career in a narrative “as fast-paced as the life it depicts” (Publishers Weekly).

Born to Jewish immigrant parents in 1920s Brooklyn, Steven Jay Rechnitz would become an unstoppable force in the world of business, aSee more details below

Overview

Award-winning journalist Connie Bruck’s biography of media mogul Steve Ross captures the highs and lows of Ross’s career in a narrative “as fast-paced as the life it depicts” (Publishers Weekly).

Born to Jewish immigrant parents in 1920s Brooklyn, Steven Jay Rechnitz would become an unstoppable force in the world of business, a figure both revered and reviled by those who knew him. His early ventures—a limousine rental service operated under the auspices of his father-in-law’s Manhattan funeral home and a parking lot company whose co-owners harbored dubious connections to the criminal underworld—inspired a taste for substantial risk that was outpaced only by Ross’s success in turning that risk into profit. In a career that spanned both Wall Street and Hollywood, Ross’s mastery of obfuscation, deflection, denial, and his imaginative approach to the law finally culminated in the empire he had long craved: Time Warner, the largest media and entertainment company in the world. Extraordinary in its depth of coverage, startling in its frankness, Master of the Game is a riveting journey through the mind and career of a man who was by turns flamboyant, charismatic, and completely outrageous—an unstoppable force in the pursuit of an outsized dream.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This account of the man who began his career as a funeral director and rose to become the chairman of the largest media company in the world is as fast-paced as the life it depicts. Through interviews with some 250 people, including Ross himself, Bruck ( The Predators' Ball ) chronicles Ross's rapid transformation from an unknown, if ambitious, businessman to a media tycoon that began with his purchase of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts in 1969, a company that would eventually become Warner Communications. Bruck does not shy away from describing Ross's character flaws and business mistakes, and she notes that allegations of questionable business practices dogged him much of his business life. Indeed, one of the longest sections of the book deals with the Westchester Premiere Theatre kickback scandal of the late '70s and early '80s in which several of Ross's top aides were convicted of fraud and perjury, although he himself avoided prosecution. Another lengthy chapter examines the Atari disaster, in which the rapid rise and fall of the video game company--a Warner subsidiary--nearly bankrupted Warner. For all his shortcomings, Ross, who died in 1992 at the age of 65, is depicted here as a charming, shrewd and visionary man who loved entertainers and the entertainment business. He emerges as better qualified to lead Time Warner than Gerald Levin who succeeded him, and who is portrayed by Bruck as a brilliant but uninspiring man who, the author suggests, will find it difficult to fully integrate Time Warner for the multimedia age. Although Bruck's book is riveting, one nevertheless wonders if there isn't more to Ross's story waiting to be told. Photos not seen by PW . (Apr.)
Library Journal
Bruck, famous for her muckraking book about Michael Milken (Predator's Ball, LJ 3/15/89), unveils another power person's reckless spending habits and questionable management actions. Bruck uncovers details about Ross and the Time-Warner merger that are not in Richard Clurman's To the End of Time (LJ 2/1/92). Unfortunately, the abundant detail loses the reader at times, and Bruck is so focused on the wrongdoings of Ross and those at Time, Inc., that she offers little insight about the future of the company. Nonetheless, academics and business people will probably demand this book. Weakly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.]-Rebecca A. Smith, Harvard Business Sch. Lib.
Booknews
The biography of American businessman Steve Ross, who declares to have learned his greatest business lessons while working in a funeral home. Ross later engineered the merger of Warner Communications and Time Inc. into the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
David Rouse
Bruck wrote the best-selling, hard-hitting, and controversial "Predators' Ball" (1988), which exposed the excesses of Drexel Burnham Lambert and Michael Milken. Now she profiles the charismatic, manipulative Steve Ross, who successfully engineered the last big buy-out of the 1980s in the bitter takeover battle between Time, Inc. and Warner Communications, which Ross headed. While Richard Clurman has already written "To the End of Time: Seduction Conquest of the Media Empire (1992), a well-regarded account of the takeover battle from Time's point of view, Bruck offers an engrossing biographical and psychological portrait of Ross himself. Based on extensive interviews with more than 250 sources, including Ross himself before his death, she deftly chronicles Ross' rise to power and fortune. This likely best-seller grew out of two pieces Bruck originally did in 1990 and 1992 for the "New Yorker".

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476737706
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
File size:
17 MB
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