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Walt Disney: The Biography Paperback – 1 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (1 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845136748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845136741
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 5.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The best book yet about Disney smart, compendious and uncynical Sunday Times Astonishingly thorough, numbly narrated Observer Wonderful, exhaustive book is as good an account of this man as we re ever likely to get Scotsman --na

About the Author

Neal Gabler writes often for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He is currently a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Centre for the Study of Entertainment and Society at the University of Southern California. His books include Walt Disney: The Biography, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollwood, Life, the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality and a biography of the journalist Walter Winchell. He lives in Amagansett, New York.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John Joyce on 27 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As an amateur cartoonist who loves biographies, I went online and bought Neal Gabler's biography of Walt Disney as soon as I say it reviewed in the Sunday Times. I was not disappointed.

This is a massive piece of work, spanning not only the entire period of Disney's life but also the history of animated cartoon development and, in the background, the evolution of Hollywood itself.

What was so fascinating about this book for me however, was the minute detail that Gabler goes into about Disney's early life in small-town America (which he tried to recreate in the design of Disneyland) and the long and difficult process that turned Disney from a struggling cartoonist into an American icon who, as Gabler suggests, might be considered the most successful artist of the twentieth century.

This is not to say that Gabler holds Disney up on any pedestal to be a saint - far from it. Disney's obsessive drive for perfection, his addiction to detail and his passion for micro-management are all on view. But, in many ways, this makes him a more human and accessible character than the "Uncle Walt" image he so carefully cultivated in public life.

For anyone who wants "a thumping good read" to have on their bedside table (the sheer number of pages makes this book far too heavy to carry off on holiday with you!) I would heartily recommend this as a long-running nightime story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Whiteside TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read a few books about the life of Walt Disney,I can say that Walt Disney:The Biography by Neal Gabler is the most detailed and thorough study of the great man I have read. It isn't a book that can be read quickly as it is well over 600 pages but it is always interesting and extremely well researched.

As you would expect,all aspects of Disney's extraordinary life are covered from his very humble beginnings to him becoming possibly the most famous person on earth. We discover how his father was very strict and this is perhaps why Disney was a loner despite being married for over 40 years and having two daughters,one of them adopted. This book describes in vivid detail the constant struggles that he had trying to get money to finance his projects and it should be mentioned just how important his brother Roy was as he worked incredibly hard behind the scenes. Even at the height of Disney's fame he still wanted more money,not for himself but purely to follow his ambitions and dreams.

The darker side of the man is covered. He could be a tryrant,a bully and cruel to his staff. He would fire someone only to re-instate them a couple of weeks later. He did this to "keep them on their toes" and he was also a control freak and a man that had to have the final word even if he was wrong. But it must never be forgotten that he was also a genius with an incredible sense of what the public wanted and his drive and vision were astonishing. He was accused of being a Communist hater which he certainly was and also being anti-Semitic which he definitely wasn't. It was his sheer determination to achieve perfection that kept him at the studio more than at his home. Hobbies came and went and it was obvious that he would never be able to switch off from the world he had created.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By flower pot on 21 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
'Walt Disney' has become such a brand name, it's hard to properly grasp that there was a man from an ordinary background with that name, who created all that we associate with the name 'Disney' or 'Disney animation' today. It's also easy to fail to realise that animation - cartoons - did not have to look the way they do or be the way they are... aspects of character animation, copied and adapted by others, were in many ways pioneered by Walt Disney and the employees he inspired. The main pleasure of this book for me was in realising how much one person can achieve in shaping popular culture and in bringing the fruit of many imaginations to life.
It is a very long book, and one that I took breaks from and returned to. The author perhaps indulges in a little too much retrospective armchair psychology in making claims as to Walt Disney's intentions and motivations, but every biographer comes at their subject from a standpoint at at least Gabler makes his views clear enough that you can agree with or reject them.
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