Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner

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Simon & Schuster, Jan 1, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 395 pages
From the best-selling author of The Predators' Ball comes the story of the most flamboyant businessman and dealmaker of his generation, Steve Ross. When Steven Spielberg first heard Steve Ross tell his life story, it was such a dramatic rags-to-riches narrative that he thought it was a movie. In a career that started in Brooklyn and spanned Wall Street, Hollywood, and the Mafia, Steve Ross took his father-in-law's funeral business and a parking lot company and grew them into the largest media and entertainment company in the world, Time Warner. In the upper strata of American business that Ross reached before his death, he was an anomaly. Outrageous, glamorous, charismatic, he presided over an enterprise that was more medieval fiefdom than corporate bureaucracy. He negotiated his enormous and complicated deals, from movies and records to cable and publishing, with shrewdness and brilliance. He rewarded his favorite aides and sidekicks extravagantly; he courted Hollywood stars like Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg with luxurious gifts; he charmed and outsmarted his rivals. Ross used whateveror whomever - it took to romance someone into making a deal. He saved himself and let his best friend, Jay Emmett, take the fall in the government's Westchester Premier Theatre investigation. While Atari was hemorrhaging money in the early '80s, Ross announced a stock buy-in to boost the price, and then sold off his own stock for a gross of more than $20 million before announcing the company's failure. The principles upon which Ross built his domain would not be taught in any business school, and many of his peers were convinced that Ross's ways would lead to his, and his company's undoing. Butit was those very attributes - combined with mathematical wizardry and vision (or what one friend called "the ability to see around corners") - that enabled Ross to best most adversaries, outnegotiate every dealmaker, confound his critics, and ultimately create the Time Warner empire.

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MASTER OF THE GAME: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner

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This much ballyhooed book starts out slowly and seems derivative. Much of the information throughout the text is derived from the newspaper and magazine reportage of other journalists; and another ... Read full review

Master of the game: Steve Ross and the creation of Time Warner

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

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 ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Connie Bruck has been a staff writer at "The New Yorker since 1989; she frequently writes about business and politics. In 1996, her profile of Newt Gingrich won the National Magazine Award for reporting, her second. Bruck is the author of "Master of the Game and "The Predators' Ball. She lives in Los Angeles.

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