Book Review: Disney War

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Brief: "DisneyWar," a book about Michael Eisner's 20-year micromanaging reign at the Mouse House, written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist James B. Stewart and published by Simon & Schuster.

Position on `The New York Times' Bestseller List: (hardcover nonfiction, week of March 6): 5

Position on `The Los Angeles Times' Bestseller List: 2 (Just below Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" and just above "French Women Don't Get Fat.")

Sales since its Feb. 22 launch: Just over 32,500, according to Nielsen BookScan, which doesn't cover Wal-Mart.

What the critics say: "It is so comprehensive that I suspect no one will ever have to-or even try to-write this story again," said Bob Woodward of The Washington Post. "The ultimate story of life and death at the top of entertainment," said Liz Smith at Newsday.

What Disney says: "We remain focused on excellent results, performance and a bright future, not on a one-sided depiction of past events largely told through the eyes of those with a clear bias and personal agendas"

What Hollywood's saying: Disney's CEO now has the "Dan Rather complex," meaning he'll likely be remembered for his missteps and management quirks rather than for savvy business decisions he made during his tenure.

What Hollywood's not saying: Few will go on the record with their impressions of the book. "There's no upside in being quoted on this book," said one senior-level entertainment executive.

Who's reading it? Sun worshipers: It's beach reading, also known as we'll get around to it eventually. Excerpts are a beautiful thing. In script-obsessed Hollywood, many say they've bought the book but haven't cracked it yet. "The Eisner saga has been covered in so many different places," said Peter Sealey, a marketing professor at UC Berkeley and former marketing president at Columbia Pictures. "And the Eisner-Ovitz situation has been beaten to death. I know I'm not going to find anything new in there."

Who will option it? There's no chatter around town about optioning. While it might not be so visual, some say it could make for juicy audio. "Each chapter could be read by the person who gets the most trashed in it," suggested Tom Sherak, a partner at Revolution Studios, headed by former Disney studio chairman Joe Roth.

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