Who are those tycoons who peer out of the slick pages of annual corporate reports? Behind their most-likely-to-succeed lineaments, what are they thinking? Barmash's book takes the men of the one-time corporate giant, McCrory, and places them in a non-fiction novel of sorts. A roman a clef in reverse, it reads like fiction with actual names inserted, perhaps as an afterthought. Pudgy Sam Neaman, boss of McCrory's, fences with Meshulam Riklis, head of the parent holding company. He whips his corporate hierarchy into making McCrory an organization of average workers with a collective overactive thyroid. The intricate business transactions aren't fully explained, but we are given extensive reviews of the personal attributes and motivations of representative executives. They share several characteristics: ethnicity (except for a token go), or two), military training, and hard-driving devotion to the company. As the firm goes from triumph to triumph, the executives discuss the company, the boss, and themselves with the author. (His recorder catches an occasional jewel: did you know that an audit is an enema for a store?) It all collapses, of course; the apparently ever-increasing earnings seem to have been produced by the manipulation of mirrors. The position of McCrory's public accountants, who certified the financial statements, isn't discussed. The antics of the central character and the assorted individual honchos, before and after the fall, are more entertaining anyway.