Crisis in Candyland

Possibly the worst book I’ve ever read cover to cover. Usually I drop these kinds of ridiculously awful books after a few pages, but I quickly skimmed this one as part of a research effort on Mars Inc.
Beyond basic editing flaws (a couple grammatical errors), the awfulness extends to the writing itself. Here’s a taste from the Preface:

As I began research on the Mars company and the Mars family, I knew my task of uncovering the story behind the country’s largest candy company would be challenging. Ambitious tasks don’t frighten me, however: I have a Ph.D. from Columbia University that was invaluable in teaching me social analysis and research methods. These skills helped me uncover the true story of the worlds most popular advice columnists for an earlier book. My unauthorized biography of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, published in 1987, was Dear Ann, Dear Abby.

more barely readable words:

On September 24, 1883, Franklin C. Mars was born into a setting as linked to America’s traditional image of itself as any Frank Capra movie set: the small town of Newport near the Wisconsin border outside St. Paul, Minnesota.

The story itself is fairly straightforward. Forrest Mars Senior was the true entrepreneur, creating the pet food extension in Europe and coming back to the US to merge with his father’s Mars company when he was 60 years old. Forrest’s two sons were afraid to take risks, preferring not to incur debt and merely focus on line extensions instead of new products, and global expansion of current products. Throw in a couple of messy divorces, a phobia of publicity, and you’ve got the extent of Pottker’s story.
Bland, awful, un-documented with notes of any kind. Avoid at all costs.


auth=Pottker, Jan
pub=1995
sub=Melting the Chocolate Shell of the Mars Family Empire
isbn=1434305309