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Charlie Brown's America

Nonfiction: Politics
Unabridged   7.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 08/31/2021

Charlie Brown's America

The Popular Politics of Peanuts

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696605410


Despite—or because of—its huge popular culture status, Peanuts enabled cartoonist Charles Schulz to offer political commentary on the most controversial topics of postwar American culture through the voices of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang.

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Product Description

In postwar America, there was no newspaper comic strip more recognizable than Charles Schulz's Peanuts. It was everywhere, not just in thousands of daily newspapers. For nearly fifty years, Peanuts was a mainstay of American popular culture in television, movies, and merchandising, from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to the White House to the breakfast table.

Most people have come to associate Peanuts with the innocence of childhood, not the social and political turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. Some have even argued that Peanuts was so beloved because it was apolitical. The truth, as Blake Scott Ball shows, is that Peanuts was very political. Whether it was the battles over the Vietnam War, racial integration, feminism, or the future of a nuclear world, Peanuts was a daily conversation about very real hopes and fears and the political realities of the Cold War world. As thousands of fan letters, interviews, and behind-the-scenes documents reveal, Charles Schulz used his comic strip to project his ideas to a mass audience and comment on the rapidly changing politics of America.

Charlie Brown's America covers all of these debates and much more in a historical journey through the tumultuous decades of the Cold War as seen through the eyes of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang.


"Blake Scott Ball, in Charlie Brown's America, does not make the mistake of trying to find secret political intentions in Schulz's comics. What he does show is a deeply decent man who was moved by the moral drama of the world around him. That emotion came through in the comics, which resonated with the political realities confronting his millions of readers." -Robert Armstrong, Financial Times

"Charlie Brown's America is a fascinating look at the wider impact of Peanuts, one of the most enduring, popular comic strips of all time." -Peter Dabbene, Foreword Reviews

Author Bio

Blake Scott Ball is an assistant professor of history at Huntingdon College. He has previously taught as an assistant professor at Miles College, as an adjunct professor at the University of North Alabama, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama.