Feeds

None of your Bezos: Jeff's wife gives one star to journo's Amazon tome

I am less biased than his wife, tech hack snaps back

Application security programs and practises

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' wife has stuck up for him on the site, claiming in a review that a book about the business and Jeff is a "lopsided and misleading portrait".

Mackenzie Bezos gave The Everything Store one star in a review that blasted its author, technology journalist Brad Stone.

She wrote: "Everywhere I can fact check from personal knowledge, I find way too many inaccuracies, and unfortunately that casts doubt over every episode in the book."

Stone has disagreed with her assessment, telling New York Magazine that even though Jeff wouldn't be interviewed for the book, he did check his facts with as many people as he could.

"I've been a tech reporter for fifteen years, and I talked to 300 people for this account of an incredibly secretive company," he said.

"To the extent that I've made any factual errors, I'll happily correct them. But narrative nonfiction demands that we get as close to our characters as possible. While Jeff didn't give me interviews specifically for the book, I drew on my discussions with him for the past decade."

Apart from the alleged inaccuracies, Mackenzie said that the style of the book and the anecdotes that were chosen showed that Stone was biased:

An author writing about any large organisation will encounter people who recall moments of tension out of tens of thousands of hours of meetings and characterise them in their own way, and including those is legitimate," she said. "But I would caution readers to take note of the weak rhetorical devices used to make it sound like these quotes reflect daily life at Amazon or the majority viewpoint about working there.

For example, when the author does include people whose accounts of a supportive and inspiring culture contradict his thesis, he refers to them dismissively throughout the book as robots.

She also claimed that Stone had presented speculation about what Jeff was thinking as fact.

'Bezos was frustrated…', 'Bezos was consumed…', 'In the circuitry of Bezos’s brain, something flipped…' - When reading phrases like these, which are used in the book routinely, readers should remember that Jeff was never interviewed for this book, and should also take note of how seldom these guesses about his feelings and motives are marked with a footnote indicating there is any other source to substantiate them.

Mackenzie said that she had firsthand knowledge of the events surrounding the setup of Amazon, having met Jeff in 1992 when she worked at hedge fund DE Shaw and having been married to him to the last 20 years - although Stone suggested that might have influenced her review somewhat.

"I am less biased than Jeff's own wife," he said. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.