An Amazon Best Book of August 2016: When Powerhouse first crossed my desk I was mildly intrigued with the idea of getting an inside look at the Creative Arts Agency, which has come to represent some of the biggest names in Hollywood and beyond. Then I read fifty pages and was totally hooked. I’m not even familiar with all the players—though of course names like Tom Cruise and Michael Ovitz jumped right out—but it didn’t matter because their anecdotes about the people and personalities who re-wrote the rule book on how agents work with their celebrity clients are completely addicting. There are stories of overblown egos and overindulgence, brilliant strategy and crushing betrayal—this is a no-holds-barred account of five decades of Hollywood’s movers and shakers told by the people who lived it. Whether you’re an avid movie goer or only watched the Academy Awards when Tina Fey was hosting, Powerhouse is a front row seat to the building of an entertainment industry icon in all its garish glory. And it’s nearly impossible to look away.
The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend—behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.
Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, greed, and personal betrayal. It is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business.
Here are the real Star Wars—complete with a Death Star—told through the voices of those who were there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports, as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, private equity partners, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.
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