Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz
The Atlantic Monthly
"For better and for worse, Walt Disney (1901-1966) implanted his creations more profoundly and pervasively in the national psyche than has any other figure in the history of American popular culture. When the young cartoonist — a product of the worn-down midwestern petite bourgeoisie and of wearisome childhood toil — had his first popular character, Oswald the Rabbit, stolen from him by his film distributor, in 1928, he quickly, in desperation, created a new protagonist: Mickey Mouse. By the early 1930s, a million audiences were watching Mickey Mouse cartoons each year. In 1934, in the depths of the Depression, The Mouse's image adorned more than forty items, from diamond bracelets to blackboards, bringing in $35 million in domestic sales alone...." Read the entire Atlantic Monthly review.