Schulz and Peanuts
A BiographyBook - 2007
A heavily researched portrait of the late creator of the "Peanuts" strip evaluates how his career was shaped by his midwestern working-class origins, family losses, and wartime experiences, offering insight into how familiar storylines closely reflected Schulz's private life. 125,000 first printing.
Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis gives us the first full-length biography of Schulz: at once a creation story, a portrait of a hidden American genius, and a chronicle contrasting the private man with the central role he played in shaping the national imagination. The son of a barber, Schulz was born in Minnesota to modest, working class roots. In 1943, just three days after his mother′s tragic death from cancer, Schulz, a private in the army, shipped out for boot camp and the war in Europe. The sense of shock and separation never left him. And these early experiences would shape his entire life.
With Peanuts, Schulz embedded adult ideas in a world of small children to remind the reader that character flaws and childhood wounds are with us always. It was the central truth of his own life, that as the adults we′ve become and as the children we always will be, we can free ourselves, if only we can see the humour in the predicaments of funny-looking kids. Schulz′s Peanuts profoundly influenced the country in the second half of the 20th century. But the strip was anchored in the collective experience and hardships of Schulz′s generation-the generation that survived the Great Depression and liberated Europe and the Pacific and came home to build the post-war world.
Michaelis, a noted biographer and journalist, offers this comprehensive and detailed account of Charles M. Schulz, creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip, and perhaps one of the most misunderstood of 20th century American artists. The author emphasizes how the strip evolved through Schulz's experiences growing up in the Great Depression and during World War II. The themes of struggle, survival and hardship permeate the strip in a subtle way, and this biography, which is aimed at a general audience, underlines the collective experiences of the country during challenging times. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A portrait of the late creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip evaluates how his career was shaped by his midwestern working-class origins, family losses, and wartime experiences, offering insight into how familiar storylines closely reflected Schulz's private life.