I was so honored by this review. I have worked really hard write a book that maintains high scholarly standards but was also accessible, readable, and enjoyable! In a way, I was attempting to democratize the history of Cold War America. At least for this reviewer, it seems that mission was a success! I hope that this book will be read and enjoyed by many and that it will spark new conversations and inspire curiosities that might previously have been hidden in your subconscious!
Here’s the review: https://www.comicbookyeti.com/post/charlie-brown-s-america
Earlier this spring, TIME magazine’s Olivia Waxman did an extensive interview with me to discuss my new book, Charlie Brown’s America. One of the elements that really grabbed her and her editor was a previously unpublished letter to Charles Schulz from Ronald Reagan. You can read all about it here:
Here’s a really fun interview I did a few weeks ago. This one is especially useful for grad students or those thinking about grad school. I go into my background and how I developed the ideas for a doctoral study on Peanuts and then what it took to turn that into a book. Enjoy!
Here is my recent interview with New Books Network. The interviewer did a marvelous job and teased out some really important points from my new book, Charlie Brown’s America. This interview was a real delight and I hope you enjoy listening to!
There’s many places you might expect to find Peanuts today: Hallmark cards, Happy Meals, Apple TV, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. But how about on the cover of a national magazine discussing sex education in America?
On November 24, 1986, Charles Schulz lent his talents and his characters to TIME magazine as part of a national push to expand sex education in schools during the AIDS epidemic. In many ways this seemed an odd fit for Schulz. Countless features over the years had highlighted the fact that Schulz had long been a Sunday school teacher (though he was no longer a…
This weekend while I was working on some painting around the house, my daughter raced in with the excitement of a fresh discovery.
My mother-in-law lives with us and likes to have McDonald’s Happy Meals for lunch many days. She’ll always buy extra toys for all the grandkids and she keeps them in a bin in her room as a reward. So in her most recent trip to this treasure box, she had come across something she thought her dad would like: Snoopy books!
Spring is in the air, the Easter Beagle is on his way, and Charlie Brown’s America is coming soon!!
In fact, the lastest news is that the book hits the printing press TODAY!!! So that means your pre-ordered copy (get yours HERE or HERE or HERE) of Charlie Brown’s America is coming into the world TODAY!!!
You are absolutely going to love this book, I just know it. In addition to all the different topics (the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, feminism, environmentalism, Christian evangelicalism, and more) and characters covered, you’ll also find 40 large images…
One of the last chapters I wrote for my upcoming book, Charlie Brown’s America (releasing May 4th), dealt with Peanuts in the 1950s. It was one of the last chapters I wrote because it was one of the most difficult chapters to write.
It’s not that I didn’t try. In grad school I wrote four different full versions of that chapter (each about 50 manuscript pages), but none of them were right. I just could not get my head around how to understand the meteoric rise of Peanuts in the 1950s.
For anyone that has read the 1950s strips, you…
When I originally decided to write about Peanuts back in 2010, the first thing I had to do was read them all. That’s no small task with Schulz’s magnum opus. In all, Schulz wrote and drew 17,897 strips (15,391 dailies and 2,506 Sunday strips)! Spanning right at fifty years, it is one of the longest consistent stories ever told by an individual in human history.
And over those thousands of strips, there were many surprises I never expected to find.
This week’s strip reminded me some of the elements of Schulz’s career that surprised me to discover when I first voyaged out to his home in Santa Rosa, California in 2011.
Being from Minnesota, Schulz grew up on ice skating and hockey. But in the years after he moved his family to northern California, the only ice rink in their area closed. This is why Schulz invested his own money to construct Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which opened in 1969. His first wife, Joyce, a creative in her own right, helped with the design and aesthetics for the arena.
Blake Scott Ball is Assistant Professor of History at Huntingdon College. He is the author of Charlie Brown’s America (Oxford University Press, 2021).