CHARLIE BROWN’S AMERICA


Author: Blake Scott Ball

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication Year: 2021

Pages: 239

Topics: War, Religion, Race, Gender and Environmentalism


WHAT IS IT?

Charlie Brown’s America is one of those rare books that delivers both great history and a satisfying read. Blake Scott Ball tells the story of Charles Schulz and his legendary Peanuts comic strip, which became an American institution over the course of its fifty-year run from 1950-2000. He shows how Peanuts reflected the cultural and political concerns of everyday Americans across these decades and gives us an entertaining and accessible book that is chock-full of cartoons, history, and insights into what made Peanuts so popular and long-lived.


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Ball himself describes his book as “a biography of Peanuts’ cultural life” and that sounds right to me. Charlie Brown’s America tells the story of how Peanuts first came to prominence during the Cold War, remained relevant through the military and social upheavals of the 1960s, and gradually began to lose its hold on American imaginations in the 1980s and 1990s.