Walt Disney The Triumph of the American Imagination 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 Ga

  • Title: Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
  • Author: Neal Gabler
  • ISBN: 9780679438229
  • Page: 441
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 whoseFrom 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.

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      441 Neal Gabler
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      Published :2019-03-21T02:41:05+00:00

    One thought on “Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination”

    1. Whether you believe that Walt Disney was a lovable storyteller, a great filmmaker and a bringer of joy or that he was a relentless purveyor of sentimental pap who was responsible for an empire that drained the U.S. of it's culture is really just a naive view of who was, and still is long after his death, a great man. Most of this audience would be of the generations who experience Disney after his death in 1966, but even I remember watching repeats of "The Wonderful World of Walt Disney" on Sund [...]

    2. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this book. One of the problems with writing a biography about Walt Disney is that people either see him as the lovable "Uncle Walt", or a driven and obsessive tyrant. This book does a fine job of objectively showing you all the sides of this complex man. (It also didn't hurt that the writing and research were exceptionally well done).On one hand, I loved all the details about Walt Disney, his life, family, and career. However, all that detail became weighed dow [...]

    3. In my childhood, I was a Walt Disney nut. I loved the cartoons, I loved the movies, and I loved reading about the man himself, ever since I checked out one of those American Pioneers mini-novels from my elementary school's library. The problem with most Walt Disney bios is that there's a hard and fast line that's drawn between them. Either they paint an absolutely rosy picture of the man (fully and completely sanctioned by The Disney Corporation) or they go in the absolute opposite direction, hi [...]

    4. this is undoubtedly a 5 star book, but it took me two months to get through it and there were parts of it that seemed endless, so i'm knocking it down one just for my own reading experience. that said, this is an exceptionally well done biography. it is so thorough and so well researched, which is almost universally a strength, but got pretty sloggy in the middle, while world war II was the catalyst for a miserable period in walt's life (and by extension, the reader) as he was bogged down with s [...]

    5. This is how a biography should be written. Gabler's treatment of Disney is thoroughly fair, engaging, engrossing, and professional. In short, a wonderful read. He leaves no relevant details out of Disney's life, yet I seldom if ever felt inundated with minutiae. The closest Gabler comes to delving too deeply into a particular area is during the (long) discussion about the making of Snow White. However, it was such a seminal event in Disney's life that I fully understand why Gabler lingered over [...]

    6. This was a really good book. As anyone who knows me and my family, we love all things Disney. So when this book was published I thought I would give it a try. At over 800 pages (over 200 of which are bibliography information) I wasn’t sure I’d get through it. But it kept me intrigued. It was written really well with a good narrative.The book delves into Walt Disney’s upbringing, and all of the milestones along his life path until his death. It was interesting to read about how he was conti [...]

    7. Whatever your feelings about the man, his legacy, his company, or his movies, you can't deny Walt Disney was an icon. It's an overused word, but it fits him. So does legend. This was a remarkably (sometimes overly) detailed book about the man behind the myth, and I learned a lot I didn't know about him, his movies, and his empire. This book covers Walt's life from birth to death. One thing that I liked was Gabler dealt with the cryrogenic rumors up front. No, Walt Disney isn't frozen somewhere, [...]

    8. The book has a powerful introduction. It gives the reader the expectation of an epic biography with an analysis of Disney and his place in our culture and legacy. The book has many good points but does not deliver on this promise. Some of the promised insight is present, but is overwhelmed by facts and chronology.Gabler does a good job on the biographical outline of both Disney and his company. He describes the different pictures, projects, technologies. He relates Walt's enthusiasm, level of in [...]

    9. Walt Disney is one of those figures that everyone knows without really knowing at all. One of the primary themes of this biography is that even the people in his life who had daily contact with him, who lived with him, worked with him, even grew up with him, would have said the same thing. He was an intensely private person, and one wonders how much of the carefully cultivated image of himself that was created and wrapped up with his films was a deliberate attempt to hide that private self.Disne [...]

    10. Good biography about one of the great and most influential minds of the 20th century. Very informative, but maybe not the most captivating writing. Luckily, the life of Walt and especially his Mickey Mouse empire provides much amazement.Walt Disney changed the game and we are all sharing the benefits through our childhood memories. It's amazing to think that Snow White was the first ever animated full-length feature film and was first introduced to the cinema screen 80 years ago. True success fo [...]

    11. Really inspiring reading, even if you're sympathetic or not for Disney's projects (animation, movies, theme parks, advertising, music, politics, engineering) this book provides a deep journey into Walt Disney's career, his hunger for a new challenge, preferable if it comes as apparently impossible and and the ways he always found to run over the financial obstacles. Actually his brother Roy was responsible for that part, but, anyway, What Walt did and how He did it is covered in all the negative [...]

    12. Neal Gabler, who penned a well-received biography of journalist Walter Winchell and An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, among other books, is the first writer to have complete access to the Walt Disney archives. Much of that wealth of information makes its way into this hefty tome. At nearly 900 pages (including 200 pages of notes), the author risks losing all but the most devoted Disney fans. Gabler uses engaging prose, numerous anecdotes, and firsthand accounts of the even [...]

    13. I have a list of 10 people (living or dead) that I would like to meet and Walt Disney is on my list. How different America would be without Walt Disney! "Wish fulfillment" is a good term for this amazing man. (That term taken from the book). Lots of things in this book you didn't know about this man.dropped out of High School as a Freshman and never went back.had his camera repossessed at 16ed about his age to serve with the Red Cross during WWI.1st person to ever film "wildlife documentaries" a [...]

    14. Walt Disney was an incredible man - and after reading this book, I feel like I have a real idea of who he was, the good and the bad. The book goes beyond "The Happiest Place On Earth" to see the wonderful and not so wonderful parts of Disney's life and character.Next time I watch one of his movies, I'll be thinking about what he was trying to accomplish and how he felt about the film in its conception and release.

    15. I'll be honest, I didn't actually finish the book. I couldn't make myself. I was disgusted by Walt Disney. I wanted to read about a creative man who was responsible for creating some of the best loved memories from my childhood. Instead, I read about a man who was a tyrant, who terrorized his employees, who took credit for art that he was incapable of creating. Yes, he came up with ideas and okayed everything, but he was not the end-all be-all. I guess I couldn't handle the disillusionment.

    16. If you're a Disney fan, this is a must-read. His impact on culture is explained in a very tangible, powerful way. I must say I was surprised to learn how Disney treated his employees. I always thought it was a happy place to work. His passion for excellence drove him. The story of the development of Snow White and Disneyland are both fascinating. In the end, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Walt Disney.

    17. My favorite part of this book was learning that Walt Disney wasn't an anti-Semite and how that rumor got going (tl;dr haters gonna hate when you make all that $$$). Overall, this book was goodbut it kinda got bogged down in the middle. There's a lot of information on business and trades and numbers because that was the driving force in Disney's life's just not always fun to read about.

    18. One might complain that there is an overabundance of information, but for the not-so-casual reader, nothing more could be wished. The book outlines Disney's cultural influence of social issues as diverse as patriotism, politics, economics and technology, in a manner at once entertaining and authoritative

    19. One of the better biographies I've read. This is what the Steve Jobs biography should have been. It took me three months. But still--very good.

    20. Interesting insight in the life of a man i knew hardly anything about except his creations. The book is long and detailed but still i think they good go even deeper into his work. Still a good one.

    21. I usually hate biographies, but this one was all about Walt Disney. I haven't had such a great respect for him until now. He's amazing, and so is his biography.

    22. Dang. Had to return this to the library before I could finish it. And just as I was getting to the portion on my favorite Disney flick, Fantasia. That, as Donald Duck would say, totally blows.

    23. Wow. Not a lot can be said otherwise after reading such a sprawling biography. You'd think Gabler could tell you what Walt ate for breakfast on any given day if you asked him. The depth of research and information is mind-blowing. Keeping in mind also that many of the players in this book are long dead. While I was reading through this, I felt that there was no way that anyone could compile such records and tell such a tale but Gabler nails it. At times dry and filled with characters that may co [...]

    24. "I'm not Walt Disney anymore. Walt Disney is a thing. It's grown to become a whole different meaning then just one man"Walt said this of himself when the rights to his name had been branded. Today the name Walt Disney is forever immortalized. Its hard for any fan of his work to believe that at several points of his life his name as just as mortal as any other. Even at the height of his success Walt experienced unimaginable lows. Having the creation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit snatched out from un [...]

    25. Gabler's biography is a fascinating, pretty thorough look at Disney's life and times, especially in the changing context of popular entertainment in general and animation in particular. Over the past couple of years, I've developed an understandable interest in the latter, and it was nice to get a crash course, not only in how important shorts like “Steamboat Willie” and “The Skeleton Dance” were to the development of the medium, but also how important the medium was to Walt, and how its [...]

    26. First the bad news: Uncle Walt is not in deep freeze somewhere in Tomorrowland. Neal Gabler, the spoilsport biographer, delivers the news in "Walt Disney" that he was, in fact, cremated and his ashes interred "in a remote corner of the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, not far from his studio."Well, at least his spirit hovers near the epicenter of the American imagination. It was Disney's genius to create and stabilize, as it were, the geography of the American imagination. Whereas H [...]

    27. Neal Gabler has written, rightfully, the definitive portrait of a very beloved and controversial character in history - Walt Disney - with such splendor, that it's certainly a must-read for anyone interested in the man. What Gabler does best is his balanced depiction of a life filled with ups and downs, successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses; this is truly a nuanced portrait of an internationally well-known figure, who on the surface seems to be the ultimate success story of hard work [...]

    28. A moving look into the life of an American icon, Walt Disney. Gabler creates a stunning portrait of a man so obsessed with perfection in his works and the portraying of classic America that he manages to give the reader a deeper understanding of a man whose mind was so consumed with endless bursting visions. From intolerance of produced artwork to firing of animators we see a Disney whose temper would flare at random moments yet we also see a Disney with the heart of a child. Gabler captured thi [...]

    29. Disney may have created happiness for the rest of us but it seems he couldn't truly find it for himself, or at least that's how the book portrays it. Maybe true, but a little too sober of an account of a guy that built such a cool company. There were some great stories within his story though: the early years of the company, bringing color and sound and real stories to cartoons, the rise of Mickey Mouse, the ambitious and hugely successful Snow White, and the creation of Disneyland.

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