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The Making Of Harcourt General: A History Of Growth Through Diversification, 1922-1992

The Making Of Harcourt General: A History Of Growth Through Diversification, 1922-1992

Hard Bound
by Bettye H. Pruitt   Eric Van Heck   George David Smith  
Language: English
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The Making Of Harcourt General: A History Of Growth Through Diversification, 1922-1992
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Book Summary of The Making Of Harcourt General: A Histor...

Hard Bound

The Making of Harcourt General describes the transformation of a small movie-theater proprietorship, formed in the early days of the industry, into a major diversified firm with businesses in publishing (Harcourt Brace), retailing (Neiman Marcus), and insurance as well as theaters (General Cinema). As Mid-West Drive-In Theatres, Inc., the company was a pioneer in its industry, first with family-oriented drive-ins and later with shopping-center theaters. From early on, however, driven by the cash-generating power of the theater business, it pursued a strategy of diversification, navigating the conglomerate era, the junk-bond-fueled "merger mania" of the 1980s, and the more painful period of restructuring in the early 1990s. This book offers a unique inside view of the evolution of Harcourt General, but also places that evolution in a broader context, illuminating the dramatic changes that have occurred in the business environment in those years. Harcourt General's diversification strategy has taken the company through an exciting series of acquisitions. In the late 1960s, as General Cinema, it entered soft drink bottling, gaining an early lead in the consolidation of that industry. From a "white-knight" rescue of Carter Hawley Hale in 1984, it emerged in 1988 with a new specialty retail chain, the Neiman Marcus Group. In 1992, General Cinema extricated the publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich from a heavy burden of junk-bond debt that threatened to drive it into bankruptcy - the deal that led to the renaming of the company Harcourt General. Throughout, the founding family has retained a controlling stake in the company and an active role in management. In The Making of Harcourt General, Bettye H. Pruitt examines important issues confronting all diversified firms - the relationship between business and financial strategy, the assimilation of acquired businesses, and the tension between company divisions and the corporate office - as well as issues important to own

Editorial Reviews

The Winthrop Group was commissioned by General Cinema to write its history in 1988. Pruitt, who is vice president of the Winthrop Group, worked on the project for six years. Her book traces the development of General Cinema from its beginnings in the theater and drive-in arena to its emergence as a major firm in the early 1990s with the acquisition of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Although Pruitt describes the leadership roles played by senior managers, she never loses sight of her primary subject-the company itself. She successfully describes and analyzes the larger trends that affected the company during the 70-year period of study. The end result is a well-organized, uncompromising corporate history. Highly recommended for academic libraries with large business collections.-Mark McCullough, Heterick Lib., Ohio Northern Univ., Ada


Details Of Book : The Making Of Harcourt General: A Histor...

Book: The Making Of Harcourt General: A History Of Growth Through Diversification, 1922-1992
ISBN: 0875845096
ISBN-13: 9780875845098
Binding: Hard Bound
Publishing Date: 1994-06
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Number of Pages: 336
Language: English
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