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Martha Inc.: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Byron, Christopher

346 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0471123005 / ISBN 13: 9780471123002
Published by John Wiley & Son, Inc, New York, 2002
Condition: very good, very good
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

24 cm, 405, illus. references, index, slight wear and soiling to DJ. Biography of Martha Stewart, the complex woman who created an empire on domesticity. Bookseller Inventory # 38548

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Martha Inc.: The Incredible Story of Martha ...

Publisher: John Wiley & Son, Inc, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

Martha Stewart has generated an enormous following by establishing herself as the leading authority for all things domestic and in the process created a multimillion-dollar enterprise and a personal net worth of nearly $2 billion. As one of the most successful self-made female business owners in American history, Martha Stewart is a topic of interest for fans, business professionals and would-be entrepreneurs alike.
Martha Inc. tells the compelling story of how this complex woman created an empire on domesticity and examines her business inside and out. Through an engaging narrative by popular columnist Christopher Byron, this book chronicles how the business was built, what it took to take it public, and the personal and professional transformation Martha has undergone to make it all work. To get a true portrait of the woman whose work ethic is her personal life, Byron delves into the underreported facets of Martha's past, such as the effects her challenging childhood and years on Wall Street have had on her uncompromising business acumen. From Martha Stewart Living magazine and marthastewart.com to a K-Mart line of houseware products, a line of house paints, and a television show, this book details how a former caterer from Connecticut has created a media and merchandising empire, pulling off what large media corporations with vast resources struggle to accomplish.
Martha Stewart has sold America on good taste and now readers can learn exactly how she did it and what drives her to keep conquering new vistas. A corporate biography as well as a success story worthy of Horatio Alger, Martha Inc. also delves into how a cult of personality is created and how Martha Stewart capitalized on the zeitgeist that characterized the last half of the twentieth century. This book is a must read for anyone who has been touched by Martha's marketing savvy or who dreams of making it big.

Review:

There's probably no woman in America who is as famous--or controversial--as Martha Stewart. In Martha Inc. Christopher Byron gets past the public persona to tell how "the quiet little girl from the house on Elm Place" became the "richest self-made businesswoman in America." While Byron acknowledges that Stewart has a good side, there's not much evidence of it here; much of the book focuses on the darker aspects of Stewart's private life that were first popularized in Jerry Oppenheimer's mean-spirited Just Desserts. Unlike Oppenheimer's account, however, Byron keeps the mudslinging in check by also chronicling her amazing business success as "one of the most potent and effective brands in the history of American marketing." He details her relationships with Kmart, Group W, and Time-Warner, noting that her maneuvering to buy her company back from Time-Warner was "easily the greatest financial coup in the history of American publishing." The result is an interesting and often scandalous story of a woman who proves to be far more complicated than the image her media empire projects. --Harry C. Edwards

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