Summary of Martha Inc.

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Martha Inc. book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Author Christopher Byron pulls no punches - even when he ought to - in his play-by-play profile of Martha Stewart’s rise from a Nutley, N.J., nobody to a billionaire media maven. The saga is peppered heavily with anecdotes that dish up juicy moments. Byron gleefully cites Stewart’s private quarrels, rudeness and etiquette lapses while admiring her professional achievements and image. Somewhat sympathetically, and way too often, he advances his theory that her bullying, emotionally abusive father shaped her controlling personality. Byron offers a detailed account of Stewart’s business rise, capturing the human drama behind the success of a complicated, abrasive but brilliant entrepreneur. He goes into Stewart’s deft deals that gave her the upper hand over Kmart, Group W and Time Warner. Although he discusses her personal life with a fairly nasty tinge, Byron fawns over Stewart’s genius for capitalizing on women’s domestic fantasies, and calls her 1990s maneuvering to buy her company back from Time Warner, "easily the greatest financial coup in the history of American publishing." Although such hyperbole rules, and much of the reporting seems to hinge on storytelling, suggests this unauthorized profile for its insight into one of America’s most talented, controversial businesswomen - and all that from a book written before her legal troubles.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Martha Stewart succeeded;
  • How her childhood and her domineering father shaped her career;
  • How her genius for business and marketing helped her outsmart corporate nay-sayers; and
  • How her personality threatened her success.

About the Author

Christopher Byron is a Connecticut-based freelance business and finance writer, whose work has appeared in Esquire, Playboy, Worth and New York magazines. Byron is also the author of Testosterone, Inc. He writes a weekly business column for the New York Post and hosts a syndicated daily radio show, Wall Street Wakeup with Chris Byron.



Daddy Dearest
Martha Stewart was born Martha Kostyra in Nutley, N.J., in 1959, the second of six children. Her parents were a lower middle class, mismatched Catholic couple in a miserable marriage launched by an unwanted pregnancy. Martha chafed under the dominance of her tyrannical father...

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