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  • Published: 21 February 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529912852
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Press
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $35.00
Categories:

Unscripted

The Epic Battle for a Hollywood Media Empire

  • James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams



'Addicted to Succession? Well, here's the real thing.' Hollywood Reporter

The shocking inside story of how dysfunction, misconduct and scandal almost brought down one of Hollywood's greatest companies.

Unscripted is the inside story of the struggle to control one of the world's great entertainment empires.

It is the story of the last great Hollywood mogul, Sumner Redstone: the ninety-something founder of Paramount Global who, well into his dotage and facing a scandalous lawsuit, proves increasingly unable to run the sprawling company he has built.

It is the story of his daughter, Shari Redstone: Sumner's heir apparent who, despite being groomed for power for six decades, struggles to assert her authority over the company and her family's legacy.

And it is the story of her challenger, Leslie Moonves: the well-liked CEO of CBS who plots a coup to take control of the business - until news leaks that he is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct (allegations he has spent years trying to hush up).

The result is damning portrait of how money and power works in Hollywood now. It illuminates an industry struggling to adapt to the revolution brought by streaming, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. And it reveals the lengths people will go to in pursuit of power - and the carnage that ensues when they do.

  • Published: 21 February 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529912852
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Press
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $35.00
Categories:

Praise for Unscripted

A racy tale of big money, bigger egos and #MeToo disgrace . . . Like a real-life blueprint for the TV show Succession

The Times

Jaw-dropping . . . an epic tale of toxic wealth and greed populated by connivers and manipulators.

Editor's Choice, New York Times

A real-life Succession . . . A deeply reported account of one of the trashiest episodes in recent business history . . . Masterful.

Financial Times

Has a business book ever made you blush? . . . With soap-operatic twists and turns, Unscripted makes the amped-up historical fiction of Babylon feel downright chaste by comparison

Washington Post

The sordid family saga that makes Succession look tame

Esquire

Addicted to Succession? Well, here's the real thing.

Hollywood Reporter

The riveting, Succession-esque tale of the fight for control of Paramount Global

Vanity Fair

Imagine a mash-up of King Lear and Weekend at Bernie's the 1989 movie comedy about two scamps who prop up a cadaver so they can enjoy a weekend at his beach house, with Redstone starring in both title roles.

Wall Street Journal

An explosive new page-turner . . . The sordid family saga that makes Succession look tame.

Esquire

A succession battle more lurid than the one on HBO's fictional Succession.

Bloomberg Businessweek

A delicious treat . . . So weird and compelling - I lost some sleep unable to put this book down - that the reader may be the only witness to this spectacle who never feels manipulated.

New York Times

A page-turner - an over-the-top tale of money, power, sex, and relentless scheming to wrest billions away from an old man who in his final years seems to have lost the capacity for just about anything except sex.

Fortune

A must-read . . . A bombshell new book from two Pulitzer winners reveals some truly shocking storylines within the real-life Succession drama that is the Paramount media empire . . . A jaw-dropping yarn.

Daily Beast

Ranks with Den of Thieves and Disney War as one of Stewart's finest books . . . To say that this story is rife with feuding, outrageous behavior, and litigation would be a gross understatement.

Barron's

While we're waiting for Succession to come back to the small screen, this new biography of the Redstone family should scratch any lingering itch to learn more about the inner workings of a rich, powerful, and very complicated family.

Town & Country

Lays bare just how knotty and Succession-y the Redstone tale became towards the bitter end . . . the parallels are everywhere

Daily Telegraph

A guilty-pleasure exposé on boardroom and bedroom maneuvering . . . A gripping and illuminating account of C-suite shenanigans and intrafamily strife. Entertaining on a gut level, it is populated by those we love to hate - horrible rich people, sleazy, greedy and driven by lust.

Los Angeles Times

A tale of sex, lies, family drama and boardroom backstabbing . . . Part salacious soap opera, part business book/legal chronicle, it charts the downward spiral of Sumner as well as the downfall of Les Moonves, the media titan whose allies and enablers propped him up until the last minute..

Deadline

'The media mogul Sumner Redstone was a womaniser, a bully, a terrible father - and exceptionally good copy. Unscripted, written by two New York Times journalists, is a pacy account of his final years . . . This is Succession, but with a much trashier cast.'

Books of the Year, The Times

A deeply reported account of Redstone's final years, delving in sometimes excruciating detail into his extraordinary antics in both the boardroom and the bedroom . . . Like a lot of reality TV, Unscripted is riveting because its cast is so awful.

Economist

Sex and power were the abiding obsessions of the colourful media mogul Sumner Redstone, whose life and career only became more bizarre as he aged . . . The saga helped inspire the HBO series Succession; this deeply reported account shows the truth was, if anything, stranger.

Books of the Year, Financial Times

Sex and power were the abiding obsessions of the colourful media mogul Sumner Redstone, whose life and career only became more bizarre as he aged and family and friends sought to get their hands on his empire. The saga helped inspire the HBO series Succession; this deeply reported account shows the truth was, if anything, stranger.

Financial Times, Best Books of 2023

Deeply reported and unsparing . . . A juicy read that delves into (sometimes excruciating) detail about Redstone’s flawed character and extraordinary antics.

Books of the Year, Economist