Schulz and Peanuts

Schulz and Peanuts

A Biography

Book - 2007
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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.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780066213934
Characteristics: xiii, 655 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 03, 2017

A good biography about the creator of the Peanuts Gang.

Sep 06, 2016

You bet Charles M. Schulz choked in last televised interview. He got rich & famous from the cartoon franchise, yet his cartoon alter-ego never got to win a baseball game, never kick a football from Lucy, never receive candy in Halloween, never ask a girl on a date, never get accolade as his dog getting more limelight or never get a break in unrealized life forever.
Too late for cartoonist to fix it.

Jul 18, 2013

Traces the life of Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz, creator of Peanuts. Engaging—Schulz was an enigmatic and fascinating character, and Michaelis tells his story in a way that is as engrossing as fiction. Pertinent Peanuts strips litter the text, adding to the enjoyment of the read. Brutally honest; this isn’t a whitewashed version of Schulz. I’m left feeling sorry for him for his (probably clinical) depression and yet I completely sympathize with those people who found him hard to deal with, because he quite obviously was. I found haunting his repeated mantra: he would not go to a psychiatrist because he thought it would destroy his talent. And I think his perception was correct; the sheer brutal genius of his strip was based in his pain. What a choice to make!

Dec 30, 2011


zavirani Dec 03, 2011

An extremely well researched biography of someone who probably had one of the largest impacts on American culture we will ever know. Wonderful stories about Shultz's human side, his flaws, his good and bad times, and how all of that went into forming the Peanuts universe.

Aug 14, 2010

This considerably researched book on the life of Charles M Schulz will give you an understanding of the man who had such an impact on cartooning and popular culture that you would not have expected. The link between his childhood and adult experiences is tight and intertwined, and anyone interested in the creation of Peanuts will find this to be a happy, sad, and ultimately an eye-opening experience.

Aug 08, 2010

Fascinating biography of the creator of Peanuts. Who knew that much of what went into this classic comics strip was derived from events in the creator's life.

Mar 01, 2008

I agree with Bill Es comments above; Schulz was a very intriguing and complicated man. As an artist, I found his life story to be quite fascinating. Though the book is massive in length, the author tried to drill down deep to understand Schulz's guarded and often, unexplored psyche. I found the use of the cartoon strips interspersed with the text, useful and enjoyable. My only negative comment of the book would be, it could have used a little more editing; there were places of repetition that at times, I found annoying and distracting to the storytelling. Otherwise, a great read, especially for fellow Minnesotans.


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