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Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
Walt Disney by Neal Gabler was seven years in the making, and Gabler was the first writer to be given full access to the Disney archives. The result is a complete biography of a complex man. Walt Disney left an impoverished life in the Midwest to come to Hollywood. His vision of animation was revolutionary, although not particularly profitable. Many of his most famous movies originally lost money, but Disney was driven by a lust for perfection. While his brother, Roy, handled the finances and tried to keep him in check, Walt Disney used whatever profits he had to plow them back into creating his fantasy world, including the theme parks. While perhaps not a savvy businessman, his dogged pursuit of his dream, sometimes at the cost of his personal relationships, made him a icon of his generation. Yet he was a lonely man, more willing to invest his time with his fantasies than deal with reality. Neal Gabler's biography has received mostly positive reviews with USA Today saying, "This exhaustive, serious biography does not gloss over Disney's faults. Yet it is clear Gabler ended up with a wistful affection for his subject and his dreams of a perfect childhood."
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