The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney and the American Way of Life

Book - 1997
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Houghton
The Magic Kingdom is a full-length investigation of the life of Walt Disney, arguably the principal architect of mass culture in our time. By mid-century, "Uncle Walt" had become an American icon and was universally acknowledged as the spokesman for the American way of life; yet, paradoxically, he was instrumental in changing our social assumptions. Probing Disney's public life as a creative entrepreneur, Steven Watts argues that Disney reflected a central irony of modern American culture: while proclaiming a genuine allegiance to the values of an earlier age (self-reliance, the work ethic, the culture of domesticity, sexual inhibition), he also took the lead in creating the modern world of consumer self-fulfillment. His great creations - from Mickey Mouse to Disneyland - embody the transformation of American popular culture, moving from the satirical edge of what Watts calls the "sentimental populism" of the Depression era to the uncritical, celebratory "sentimental libertarianism" of the Cold War. Watts also digs deeply into Disney's private life, investigating his roles as husband, father, and brother and providing fresh insight into his peculiar psyche - his genuine folksiness and warmth, his domineering treatment of colleagues and friends, his deepest prejudices and passions. Full of colorful sketches of daily life at the Disney Studio and tales about the creation of Disneyland and Disney World, The Magic Kingdom offers a definitive view of one of the most influential Americans in the twentieth century.

Baker & Taylor
Examines Walt Disney's private life as husband, father, brother, and friend, and explores the irony between his claim of allegiance to traditional values and his eager participation in the development of modern consumerism

Book News
Part biography and part cultural analysis. Watts (history, U. of Missouri) argues that Disney reflected a central irony of modern American society: while proclaiming a genuine allegiance to the values of an earlier age (self-reliance, the work ethic, the culture of domesticity, sexual inhibition), he took the lead in creating the modern world of consumer self-fulfillment. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Baker
& Taylor

While exploring the irony between Walt Disney's claim of allegiance to traditional values and his eager participation in the development of modern consumerism, the author of The Republic Reborn digs deeply into the icon's private life as husband, father, brother, and friend.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
ISBN: 9780395835876
0395835879
Branch Call Number: 920 DISNEY, W.
Characteristics: xvii, 526 p., [8] l. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.

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