Sunday, September 21, 2003

Boston.com / Business / Sifting rubble of AOL Time Warner for breaths of life

Boston.com / Business / Sifting rubble of AOL Time Warner for breaths of life "Following Washington Post reporter Alec Klein's "Stealing Time," Wall Street Journal "Boomtown" columnist Kara Swisher and contributor Lisa Dickey have put together the summer's second book on this $115 billion "deal of the new century" turned fiasco. Swisher and Klein recount many of the same themes and suggest that AOL's Steve Case must rank as one of history's shrewdest deal-makers, trading in bubble-inflated AOL stock for an iconic, cash-cow media giant just before the bubble burst.
Swisher's book, however, has far more empathy for the key people involved, making it ultimately more readable and insightful, if perhaps too kind. Klein cobbles together episode after episode of AOL venality and perfidy in the manner of a prosecutor's multicount indictment. Swisher narrates human foible and brilliance, a train-wreck tale brightened by plenty of personality -- including her own, sparkling through in laugh-out-loud observations on almost every page."

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