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A Ghost's Memoir The Making of Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors

by John McDonald, Dan Seligman

Part of the The MIT Press Series

A Ghost's Memoir The Making of Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors Synopsis

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 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.

A Ghost's Memoir The Making of Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors Press Reviews

McDonald has given us what may be the best book about business, and about book publishing, to appear this year. -Marketplace (American Public Radio) More than a book about a book, it describes how a gutsy gadfly thwarted a giant corporation... -Boston Globe

Book Information

ISBN: 9780262632850
Publication date: 29th August 2003
Author: John McDonald, Dan Seligman
Publisher: MIT Press an imprint of MIT Press Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 220 pages
Categories: Biography: business & industry, Road vehicle manufacturing industry, Business & management, History: specific events & topics,

About John McDonald, Dan Seligman

John McDonald (1906-1998) was an editor and writer for Fortune magazine for three decades and the ghostwriter for Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors. He was also the author of books on business, game theory, and fly fishing.

More About John McDonald, Dan Seligman

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