This book ranks with Barbarians at the Gate as one of my favorite business books that provides an inside account of the events and people surrounding turmoil within a company. Since most of the people covered are CEOs, Directors and Senior Executives, it's instructive how fallible, vain and gullible they can be.
Beard's book starts off a bit slowly as she provides a brief history of Morgan Stanley before she gets into the main story. Subtitled The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley, Beard entertainingly describes the tenure and turmoil behind the management of CEO Phillip Purcell. As someone whose company is involved in a merger, I identified a few similarities of experience with those described in the book.
This book describes a merger gone bad. You'll read about dirty corporate politics, duplicity, greed, very bad business decisions and poor leadership.
Beard does a great job of capturing the personalities and mindsets of the major characters. This book flows like an excellent business novel.