Fools Rush In : Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner

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9780060540340: Fools Rush In : Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner

Hardcover: 368 pages Publisher: HarperBusiness (January 1, 2004) ISBN: 0060540346 Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches Fools Rush In is the definitive account of one of the greatest fiascos in the history of corporate America. In a narrative fraught with drama, Nina Munk reveals the overweening ambition and moral posturing that brought down the Deal of the Century. With painstaking reporting and the remarkable eye for detail she's known for, Munk lays out, step by step, the anatomy of a debacle. Irreverent, witty, and iconoclastic, she sees through it all brilliantly. "As in all great Greek tragedies, you knew the plot before it played out," one perceptive insider told Munk on the subject of the AOL Time Warner deal; "you knew who'd be sacrificed at the altar." Here's what we discover in Fools Rush In: In their single-minded quest for power, Steve Case and Jerry Levin were at each other's throats even before the deal was announced. Bob Pittman was regarded! as a "windup CEO" by Case, and viewed as a hustler by just about everyone at Time Warner. Ted Turner underestimated Jerry Levin's ruthlessness badly. And Levin himself, convinced he was creating a great legacy comparable to that of Time Inc.'s founder, Henry Luce, refused to acknowledge the obvious: that, with a remarkable sense of timing, Steve Case had used grossly inflated Internet paper to buy Time Warner.

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About the Author:

Nina Munk is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. A former senior writer for Fortune, her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Forbes. Born in Canada, she lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Munk's entry to the growing list of books about the AOL Time Warner merger provides a thorough recap of the debacle, with the author coming to her own conclusion on the causes behind the merger's failure. After more than 100 pages of the obligatory background on AOL and its chairman, Steve Case, and Time Warner and chairman Jerry Levin, Munk begins to make her argument that Case and Levin, who ran their companies with few checks and balances, bear the greatest responsibility for orchestrating a deal that had little chance to succeed. She presses her case by hitting hard on the fact that few Time Warner executives knew about the pending deal until hours before it was announced, and that even fewer executives supported the proposal. That due diligence for the $165-billion merger only took three days and that many of the merged company's top managers sold large chunks of stock (including Case who sold shares worth $100 million) shortly after the deal closed is further proof to Munk that the combination was not well thought out and that many managers had doubts about its success from the very beginning. For readers looking for a quick review of events surrounding the AOL Time Warner merger, Munk's book fits the bill, but for those who are already well versed on the subject, Munk (a contributing editor at Vanity Fair) adds little new information.
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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