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Walt Disney 1st Edition

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Walt Disney 1st Edition Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Gabler...has written an exceptionally intelligent, carefully researched, and absorbing doorstop (it's more than 800 pages). Although reviewers will call it 'definitive,' it tells a story that for the most part Schickel and Steven Watts...have already related." Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Neal Gabler, the definitive portrait of one of the most important figures in twentieth-century American entertainment and cultural history.

Seven years in the making and meticulously researched — Gabler is the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives — this is the full story of a man whose work left an ineradicable brand on our culture but whose life has largely been enshrouded in myth.

Gabler shows us the young Walt Disney breaking free of a heartland childhood of discipline and deprivation and making his way to Hollywood. We see the visionary, whose desire for escape honed an innate sense of what people wanted to see on the screen and, when combined with iron determination and obsessive perfectionism, led him to the reinvention of animation. It was Disney, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films — most notably Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi — who transformed animation from a novelty based on movement to an art form that presented an illusion of life.

We see him reimagine the amusement park with Disneyland, prompting critics to coin the word Disneyfication to describe the process by which reality can be modified to fit one's personal desires. At the same time, he provided a new way to connect with American history through his live-action films and purveyed a view of the country so coherent that even today one can speak meaningfully of "Walt Disney's America." We see how the "True-Life Adventure" nature documentaries he produced helped create the environmental movement by sensitizing the general public to issues of conservation. And we see how he reshaped the entertainment industry by building a synergistic empire that combined film, television, theme parks, music, book publishing, and merchandise in a way that was unprecedented and was later widely imitated.

Gabler also reveals a wounded, lonely, and often disappointed man, who, despite worldwide success, was plagued with financial problems much of his life, suffered a nervous breakdown, and at times retreated into pitiable seclusion in his workshop making model trains. Gabler explores accusations that Disney was a red-baiter, an anti-Semite, an embittered alcoholic. But whatever the characterizations of Disney's personal life, he appealed to the nation by demonstrating the power of wish fulfillment and the triumph of the American imagination. Walt Disney showed how one could impose one's will on the world.

This is a masterly biography, a revelation of both the work and the man — of both the remarkable accomplishment and the hidden life.

Review:

"Few men could be said to have as pervasive an influence on American culture as Walt Disney, and Gabler (Winchell) scours the historical record for as thorough an explanation of that influence as any biographer could muster. Every period of Disney's life is depicted in exacting detail, from the suffering endured on a childhood paper route to the making of Mary Poppins. The core of Gabler's story, though, is clearly in the early years of Disney's studio, from the creation of Mickey Mouse to the hands-on management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. 'Even though Walt could neither animate, nor write, nor direct,' Gabler notes, 'he was the undisputed power at the studio.' Yet there was significant disgruntlement within the ranks of Disney's employees, and Gabler traces the day-to-day resentments that eventually led to a bitter strike against the studio in 1941. That dispute helped harden Disney's anticommunism, which led to rumors of anti-Semitism, which are effectively debunked here. At times, Gabler lays on a bit thick the psychological interpretation of Disney as control freak, but his portrait is so engrossing that it's hard to picture the entertainment mogul playing with his toy trains and not imagine him building Disneyland in his head." Publisher sWeekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Few men could be said to have as pervasive an influence on American culture as Walt Disney, and Gabler (Winchell) scours the historical record for as thorough an explanation of that influence as any biographer could muster. Every period of Disney's life is depicted in exacting detail, from the suffering endured on a childhood paper route to the making of Mary Poppins. The core of Gabler's story, though, is clearly in the early years of Disney's studio, from the creation of Mickey Mouse to the hands-on management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. 'Even though Walt could neither animate, nor write, nor direct,' Gabler notes, 'he was the undisputed power at the studio.' Yet there was significant disgruntlement within the ranks of Disney's employees, and Gabler traces the day-to-day resentments that eventually led to a bitter strike against the studio in 1941. That dispute helped harden Disney's anticommunism, which led to rumors of anti-Semitism, which are effectively debunked here. At times, Gabler lays on a bit thick the psychological interpretation of Disney as control freak, but his portrait is so engrossing that it's hard to picture the entertainment mogul playing with his toy trains and not imagine him building Disneyland in his head. 32 pages of photos. 100,000 first printing. (Nov. 6) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"We've all been waiting for the perfect book on Walt Disney; it has finally arrived and Neal Gabler's done it. Wonderful!" Ray Bradbury

Review:

"Gabler is the first writer to have complete access to the Disney archives, and it shows in this revealing and fascinating portrait." Library Journal

Review:

"Gabler's remarkable biography lends Mickey's creator new dimensions and sets the standard for future biographies." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Gabler does a deft job of describing Disney's troubled reality, including the brothers' treatment by their withholding, repeatedly unlucky father, Elias." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"This exhaustive, serious biography does not gloss over Disney's faults. Yet it is clear Gabler ended up with a wistful affection for his subject and his dreams of a perfect childhood." USA Today

Synopsis:

The author whose biography of Walter Winchell was named best nonfiction book of 1994 by Time now presents the definitive biography of one of the most important figures in 20th-century American entertainment and culture.

About the Author

Neal Gabler is the author of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for history. His biography Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity was named best nonfiction book of the year by Time. He appears regularly on the media review program Fox News Watch, and writes often for The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He is currently a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center for the Study of Entertainment and Society in the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California. He lives with his wife in Amagansett, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780679438229
Author:
Gabler, Neal
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Movie Directors
Subject:
Animators
Subject:
Disney, Walt
Subject:
Animators - United States
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 PAGES/PHOTOS; 11 PHOTOS/TXT
Pages:
880
Dimensions:
9.62x6.52x1.98 in. 2.90 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Animation » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Animation » Production Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Biographies
Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » Historical

Walt Disney 1st Edition Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$40.00 In Stock
Product details 880 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780679438229 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Few men could be said to have as pervasive an influence on American culture as Walt Disney, and Gabler (Winchell) scours the historical record for as thorough an explanation of that influence as any biographer could muster. Every period of Disney's life is depicted in exacting detail, from the suffering endured on a childhood paper route to the making of Mary Poppins. The core of Gabler's story, though, is clearly in the early years of Disney's studio, from the creation of Mickey Mouse to the hands-on management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. 'Even though Walt could neither animate, nor write, nor direct,' Gabler notes, 'he was the undisputed power at the studio.' Yet there was significant disgruntlement within the ranks of Disney's employees, and Gabler traces the day-to-day resentments that eventually led to a bitter strike against the studio in 1941. That dispute helped harden Disney's anticommunism, which led to rumors of anti-Semitism, which are effectively debunked here. At times, Gabler lays on a bit thick the psychological interpretation of Disney as control freak, but his portrait is so engrossing that it's hard to picture the entertainment mogul playing with his toy trains and not imagine him building Disneyland in his head." Publisher sWeekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Few men could be said to have as pervasive an influence on American culture as Walt Disney, and Gabler (Winchell) scours the historical record for as thorough an explanation of that influence as any biographer could muster. Every period of Disney's life is depicted in exacting detail, from the suffering endured on a childhood paper route to the making of Mary Poppins. The core of Gabler's story, though, is clearly in the early years of Disney's studio, from the creation of Mickey Mouse to the hands-on management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. 'Even though Walt could neither animate, nor write, nor direct,' Gabler notes, 'he was the undisputed power at the studio.' Yet there was significant disgruntlement within the ranks of Disney's employees, and Gabler traces the day-to-day resentments that eventually led to a bitter strike against the studio in 1941. That dispute helped harden Disney's anticommunism, which led to rumors of anti-Semitism, which are effectively debunked here. At times, Gabler lays on a bit thick the psychological interpretation of Disney as control freak, but his portrait is so engrossing that it's hard to picture the entertainment mogul playing with his toy trains and not imagine him building Disneyland in his head. 32 pages of photos. 100,000 first printing. (Nov. 6) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Gabler...has written an exceptionally intelligent, carefully researched, and absorbing doorstop (it's more than 800 pages). Although reviewers will call it 'definitive,' it tells a story that for the most part Schickel and Steven Watts...have already related." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "We've all been waiting for the perfect book on Walt Disney; it has finally arrived and Neal Gabler's done it. Wonderful!"
"Review" by , "Gabler is the first writer to have complete access to the Disney archives, and it shows in this revealing and fascinating portrait."
"Review" by , "Gabler's remarkable biography lends Mickey's creator new dimensions and sets the standard for future biographies." Kirkus Reviews
"Review" by , "Gabler does a deft job of describing Disney's troubled reality, including the brothers' treatment by their withholding, repeatedly unlucky father, Elias."
"Review" by , "This exhaustive, serious biography does not gloss over Disney's faults. Yet it is clear Gabler ended up with a wistful affection for his subject and his dreams of a perfect childhood."
"Synopsis" by , The author whose biography of Walter Winchell was named best nonfiction book of 1994 by Time now presents the definitive biography of one of the most important figures in 20th-century American entertainment and culture.
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