Book Review: The Agency by Frank Rose

The Agency

Probably the best book on the subject out there in a historical, informative, and entertaining sense, Frank Rose’s The Agency is top of the list on my bookshelf.

This book brings you back to the beginning of William Morris days, prior to the 1900’s.  It speaks to how the company has stood the test of time, through ups-and-downs, up until more recent time (much prior to the Endeavor takeover though!)

One of the most interesting things I noticed from this book is that this business has been around for such a long time, yet so little information is available about how it has evolved over the years.  From the Vaudeville days, to Radio shows, to the emergence and development of TV and Film, talent agents have been on the trip the whole way.

The book does a great job at focusing on the history of the company and the agents that have built it up over time.  It is not a book about throwing big names around and talking about how the stars made it — it’s about the talent agency as a whole.

“The Agency” takes on a huge endeavor when it looks at the entire career of the William Morris company.  Nevertheless, it is a perfect piece of understanding the foundation of the business.  If I could go back, I would have made this a first read before getting into books that deal with specific agents (Michael Ovitz, Lew Wasserman, etc).

In summary, the book is a great foundation for those who want to know all there is to know about the business.  I found the book through a Job Posting for an agent assistant.  The agency “highly suggested” candidates to read “The Agency” as well as a few other books on the industry.  I am not quite sure if this agency wants you to know the business’ history, or just see if you’ll go out and do your due diligence in reading what they recommend you to, but it worked for me, and I was happy!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

About David Bradley

David Bradley is an MBA student currently on the East Coast, but will be venturing to Los Angeles in 2015. Visit him on Twitter @DBradleyRI
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