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Amazon and Facebook: Family members speak out

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's wife MacKenzie defends Bezos and Amazon, while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberg's sister Randi expresses ambivalence about social media.

By Husna Haq / November 5, 2013

Jeff (r.) and MacKenzie (l.) Bezos arrive at the 2012 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit.

Evan Agostini/AP

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It’s not that often that we hear about MacKenzie Bezos and Randi Zuckerberg

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But both relatives of online entrepreneurs – MacKenzie is wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Randi is sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – have recently inserted themselves into the national spotlight, and national controversy, via books.

The result is an intriguing perspective on two of the most influential businesses in the world.

Mrs. Bezos, a novelist whose marriage to Jeff Bezos preceded the birth of Amazon, yesterday posted a one-star review of Brad Stone’s “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” a much-publicized biography of the Amazon founder.

In a 922-word review, she describes “The Everything Store” as “a lopsided and misleading portrait of the people and culture at Amazon.”

“I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events,” she writes. “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,” she adds.

 She knocks author Stone, a reporter with Bloomberg Businessweek and former reporter with the New York Times, for using words like “Bezos believed” and “Bezos felt” without ever having interviewed the Amazon CEO. She also says the book uses techniques that “stretch the boundaries of non-fiction.”

The review got so much press that both Amazon and the book’s publisher, Little, Brown, released statements. Reagan Arthur of Little, Brown, told the New York Times the book was “scrupulously sourced and reported,” and had been “reviewed widely and praised for its evenhandedness.” An Amazon spokesperson responded that Stone "had every opportunity to thoroughly fact check and bring a more balanced viewpoint to his narrative, but he was very secretive about the book and simply chose not to."

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