THE BIG BOYS by William Taylor

THE BIG BOYS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Nine of America's most powerful (though virtually unknown) executives are scrutinized in this extraordinarily candid and thought-provoking probe into their business and personal lives. Consumer advocate Nader and Taylor seek to demystify the "Big Boys"--the often elusive wizards who guide their corporations through trying economic downturns, unforeseen crises, and, sometimes, periods of unparalleled success. Who are these enigmas? Does the power they wield emanate from the corporate entity alone, or from the man as well? Through a series of interviews with the myriad friends, relatives and associates of the chosen few, plus exhaustive background analysis and reference checks, Nader offers vital glimpses of this rare breed of businessman--in the boardroom, as well as on golf courses or fishing in remote locales. In exposing the motivations, aspirations and principles that the likes of David Roderick, Felix Rohatyn, and Paul Oreffice, among others, embody, Nader tends to focus on the individual's treatment of a significant crisis situation to set the stage for interpreting his background. The presentation varies from light, personal vignettes to complex documentary material acquired via the Freedom of Information Act. There is unfortunately a tendency towards digression, though the offshoots are usually valuable in their own right and integral to the whole. The Big Boys is a very big book. It offers, in wordy prose, a number of meaningful insights into the hows and whys of corporate executive decision-making, plus unhedged opinions on some of the less parochial issues of interest to a diversified public. The subjects are well chosen, though the depth of detail more often than not buries the authors' initial point. Of interest to corporate people-watchers and others who wonder what kinds of people make it to the top.
Pub Date: May 19th, 1986
ISBN: 039472111X
Page count: 612pp
Publisher: Pantheon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1986




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