As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Have you visited the Theme Park Press website lately? They are churning out new books right and left! I can hardly keep up! Today I’m share another one of my recent favorites . . .
About the Book
Walt Before Disney
There was a time when Disney wasn’t a brand. Before Mickey. Before Snow White. Before Disneyland. Back then, it was just Walt. Young Walt Disney.
Everything that Walt Disney became he credited to where he came from. Historian William Silvester’s sheds scholarly pretense and gives a fresh, readable account of Walt Disney growing up on the family farm in Marceline, driving for the Red Cross in France, and creating his first animations in Kansas City.
Silvester takes you back to the early 1800s, when Walt’s grandfather emigrated to New York from Ireland, and follows the Disney tale through Walt’s escape from his failures in Kansas City to fairy-tale California, and fame.
In The Adventures of Young Walt Disney, you’ll read about:
- Walt’s formative years in Marceline, his Huck Finn-ish exploits, and the small-town values that he brought with him to Main Street, U.S.A.
- Walt’s adolescence in Kansas City and Chicago, toiling for his father on a brutal paper route and struggling to keep his dreams alive (not to mention himself alive, from an anarchist’s bomb)
- Walt’s coming of age in France at the end of World War I, where he drove for the Red Cross, narrowly avoided court martial, and first used his artistic talents for profit
- Walt’s many attempts to jump-start his animation career back in Kansas City, including his now-famous Laugh-O-gram studio, and how he never gave up, even amid debt and bankruptcy
- Walt’s decision to leave Kansas City, with $40 in his pocket, for a fresh start in Hollywood, where this story ends and a bigger one begins
The Adventures of Young Walt Disney is the official companion to Logan Sekulow’s feature film, As Dreamers Do, available on demand through Amazon, Blockbuster, DirecTV, and elsewhere, and for purchase and Netflix, and for purchase at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and other retail outlets.
Put aside those Mickey ears. They haven’t been invented yet. Come back to a simpler time, a time when America was changing so fast you had to dream just to keep up with it, a time when the biggest dreamer of them all was imagining the magical future he would soon create.
About the Author
William Silvester is a prolific author, with hundreds of articles, mostly historical in nature, to his name.
As a philatelist, he began writing about Disney postage stamps, a previously unfilled niche in Disneyana. This resulted in numerous articles in philatelic publications and a bi-monthly newsletter. In the 1990s, his Handbook of Disney Philately was published, followed byHarry Potter Collector’s Handbook in 2010 and A Solo Wargamer’s Guide in 2013. In 2012, the American Topical Association published his Handbook of Disney on Stamps with full-color illustrations of all the Disney stamps issued from 1968 to date and the stories behind them.
Having long been fascinated by tales of Walt’s early life, Silvester next began to research and gather information for this book, The Adventures of Young Walt Disney, which chronicles the beginning of a rag-to-riches story that is often ignored by writers interested only in Mickey Mouse, Snow White, or Disneyland.
Silvester’s second book for Theme Park Press, Saving Disney: The Roy E. Disney Story, will be released in early 2015.
Heidi Says . . .
I’ve read (and started) several biographies on Walt Disney over the years. Most of the quickly skim over his early years and focus on the work that we’re all familiar with. If you’re interested in learning more about Walt’s life BEFORE his LUCRATIVE Disney career took off, then this is the book that you need to read.
This book starts way back before Walt was even born and goes through 1923, when Walt moved to California (and “the rest of the story” – that many of us are familiar with – begins). I like this book because it is very detailed and shares the FAILURES. Walt is an inspiration to so many people and it’s nice to have a realistic look into the times when things weren’t so easy for him. He struggled – his ideas weren’t always accepted, he had times of being homeless and/or starving, and his business wasn’t always successful.
But, somehow he managed to muddle through and “keep dreaming and doing.” This is such an encouraging book and great reminder that anyway can accomplish great things is they are determined and persistent!
I was really impressed with the sheer detail in this book. No stone was left unturned in the research for this one!
Now, I want to see “As Dreamers Do.”
Read an excerpt from this book and learn more about other books by William Silvester over at Theme Park Press.
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press.***