This would be a fascinating enough story if it was limited to the history of the William Morris Agency, the theatrical agency that has dominated the entertainment industry since the days of vaudeville. But you can't tell the William Morris story without immersing yourself in the history of show business in the twentieth century--how it evolved, who the movers and shakers were, where the business might be heading as the century draws to a close. Rose's exhaustive research is evident throughout. More than 200 sources were used, and while these personal remembrances are what gives the book its depth, the numerous anecdotes also occasionally weigh it down. Not that there's anything very dishy here. One would expect that a story featuring a cast of characters like Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, and Bill Cosby, to name a few, would have a few tales to tell, but Rose sticks pretty much to the business side of their lives. The real stars here are the agents themselves. For once, the backstage boys get to step center stage, and it's power and influence that give them their glow.