Read A Ghost's Memoir: The Making of Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors by JohnMcDonald Dan Seligman Online

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The story of the ghostwriting of Alfred P. Sloan's best-selling memoir, General Motor's attempts to block the book's publication, and the author's eventual triumph over the corporation.Published in 1964, My Years with General Motors was an immediate best-seller and today is considered one of the few classic books on management. The book is the ghostwritten memoir of AlfreThe story of the ghostwriting of Alfred P. Sloan's best-selling memoir, General Motor's attempts to block the book's publication, and the author's eventual triumph over the corporation.Published in 1964, My Years with General Motors was an immediate best-seller and today is considered one of the few classic books on management. The book is the ghostwritten memoir of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. (1875-1966), whose business and management strategies enabled General Motors to overtake Ford as the dominant American automobile manufacturer in the 1920s and 1930s.What has been largely unknown until now is that My Years with General Motors was almost not published. Although it was written with the permission of General Motors -- and slated for publication in October 1959 -- at the last minute General Motors tried to suppress the book out of fears that some of the material in it could become evidence in an antitrust action against the company.This book, by John McDonald, Sloan's ghostwriter, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the book's writing, its attempted suppression, and the lawsuit that eventually led to its publication. McDonald's narrative is partly the David-and-Goliath story of a lone journalist taking on the world's then-largest corporation and partly a study of strategy in its own right. McDonald's struggle to publish the book led him to navigate a complicated course among the competing interests of General Motors, Fortune magazine (his employer), and Time, Inc. (Fortune's owner). In many ways this "book about the book" parallels the Sloan book as a tale of successful, brilliantly planned strategy....

Title : A Ghost's Memoir: The Making of Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors
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ISBN : 9780262134101
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Ghost's Memoir: The Making of Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors Reviews

  • Lobstergirl
    2018-12-03 10:53

    I would recommend this for readers of My Years with General Motors, as a brief companion work. John McDonald, Alfred P. Sloan's ghostwriter, wrote it in response to Peter Drucker's 1990 introduction to that book. Drucker's introduction (the original book was published in 1964 and Alfred P. Sloan died in 1966) contained three very odd, large, and frankly inexplicable errors: First, that Sloan had written My Years with General Motors in order to "rebut" a work he had found "pernicious," Peter Drucker's book on General Motors titled Concept of the Corporation. As McDonald lays out, this is not true. Sloan's book started out as a magazine article and morphed, over multiple years, into something much longer and more in-depth, a corporate history of GM's early years and an explanation of the organizational and management principles Sloan created and espoused which helped GM to prosper. Second, Drucker quoted Sloan saying that the death of his younger brother Raymond was "the greatest personal tragedy in my life." In fact, Alfred predeceased Raymond by 17 years. Third, Drucker asserted that Sloan's book was delayed because Sloan wanted to wait until the other GM executives referenced in the book had died, in order not to offend them. Actually, publication of the book was delayed because GM suppressed publication, concerned that certain details in it would negatively affect a Justice Department antitrust probe into GM. McDonald filed suit and GM eventually dropped their objections.There are bits here and there in McDonald's account that are interesting. For example, Sloan's "long-time secretary, Miss Kucher, had been with him from the nineteenth century and remained with him at General Motors for her lifetime. She typed with two fingers and spelled according to her likes and was that kind of person. She referred to him as "that man."" Unfortunately, the narrative is not sprinkled with many more such fascinating characters, but is filled with the minutiae of the lawsuit, the lawyers, the law firms, and the associated legal memoranda. If anything, it's even drier a read than My Years with General Motors, which at least had discussions of refrigerator technology.