Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
Walt Disney is arguably one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth-century. (The Atlantic listed him at number 26 in their recent listing of influential Americans.) He died 40 years ago today at age 65 in Los Angeles.
Steven Watts writes in The Magic Kingdom, "Walt Disney operated not only as an entertainer but as a historical mediator. His creations helped Americans come to terms with the unsettling transformations of the twentieth century. This role was unintentional but decisive. Disney entertainment projects were consistently nourished by connections to mainstream American culture — its aesthetics, political ideology, social structures, economic framework, moral principles — as it took shape from the late 1920s through the late 1960s.”
new biography of Disney by Neal Gabler is the best portrait of Disney to date. With unprecedented access to Disney family achieves, Gabler tells a story of a man that would not be deterred from his many disappointments and failures to fulfill his dreams and in the end, decidedly alter the American consciousness. Unfortunately for Disney, his dreams didn’t always bring him personal happiness.
Disney once remarked, "All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
Gabler concludes that of all Disney’s contributions, his greatest is that “he demonstrated how one could assert one’s will on the world at the very time when everything seemed to be growing beyond control and beyond comprehension. In sum, Walt Disney had been not so much a master of fun or irreverence or innocence or even wholesomeness. He had been a master of order.”
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Copyright ©1998-2012 LeadershipNow / M2 Communications All Rights Reserved
All materials contained in http://www.LeadershipNow.com are protected by copyright and trademark laws and may not be used for any purpose whatsoever other than private, noncommercial viewing purposes. Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited. LeadershipNow is a trademark of M2 Communications.