Disney biography a literary triumph
Take the little town of Marceline, Mo., a place so idyllic, so orderly, so utterly all-American that it seemed impossible to improve on.
Marceline declined once the automobile came and the crowds started to roll in, but it is forever enshrined in the memories of several generations of Americans.
The person who put it there, who remembered it as the best of all possible places, was Walter Elias Disney, who lived in Marceline for only a few years as a child at the turn of the last century. It did not matter that his father failed in business there so that the family had to leave it for the city. Disney took paradise and, characteristically, improved upon it, turning his vision into Main Street, USA, a perfect place in the perfect world of Disneyland.
Disney has been dead for 40 years. In the years since, historians and pop culture students alike have debated Disney endlessly, some convinced that he was as dark a character as his witches and sorcerers.
Enter Neal Gabler, author of the indispensable"An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood," and other books of film and cultural history, who was granted unrestricted access to the vast Disney archive on the sole condition that he write a"serious" book. That he has certainly done. He has much to say that might have made Disney uncomfortable, but he also exonerates him of long-standing charges, the most serious that he was an anti-Semite. Disney was not, Gabler argues, explaining how such charges came to be leveled.
comments powered by Disqus
- Could another English king be buried under a parking lot?
- Huckabee says archaeology supports the Bible
- George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public
- Unfinished film about the Holocaust made in 1945 to finally be seen by audiences
- Two-Thirds of European Men Descend From Three People
- Daniel Pipes calls the rulers of Iran "madmen" on official Iranian TV
- A Professor Tries to Beat Back a News Spoof That Won’t Go Away
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Sean Wilentz is being called “Hillary’s Historian"
- Hundreds of British historians challenge assumptions of “Historians for Britain” campaign