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Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography Paperback – August, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this authorized biography, California journalists Judith and Neil Morgan present a dutifully researched and intimate portrait of the late children's-book author and artist beloved by millions. Fans of The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and other classics may be surprised to learn that Dr. Seuss was terrified of children and had none of his own, and that writing verse was a supreme effort for him. While children's literature is Ted Geisel's principal claim to fame, his creative life was multifarious, including an apprenticeship with film director and army major Frank Capra during WWII and stints in advertising. The authors deftly evoke the settings where Geisel lived and worked, such as his hometown of Springfield, Mass.; Oxford, England, where he studied; and coastal La Jolla, Calif., where he spent roughly half his life. Friends of their subject, the Morgans also vividly depict a quiet but exuberant man with a keen wit and biting?though never mean-spirited?sense of humor. A pleasing combination of fact and anecdote, this volume is a fitting tribute.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This witty and charming biography of the highly original genius, Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel), maintains suspense as the authors unfold the facts of his life and art. It is full of wry Seussian limericks and interesting anecdotes, among which are his failed invention of an Infantograph and the mad pranks played by Seuss on rival artists. The legions of Seuss admirers are treated to accounts of the inspiration for and the history behind each of his famous books. The authors, seasoned journalists and writers themselves, who are neighbors of Geisel, have given us the only authorized biography of this famous American. As such, it is of interest to the three generations of men and women who grew and continue to grow up reciting Dr. Seuss's rhymes.
Marie L. Lally, Alabama Sch. of Mathematics & Science, Mobile
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (August 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030680736X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306807367
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's often better to know certain people only through their works, and to avoid altogether what passes for a biography written by "long-time friends." This is the overview he was afraid of reading, what had to wait to be written until his passing? There is no semblance of objective distance in this book. Even the most awful, and possibly revealing, aspects of this man's life--chief among them the suicide of his sixty-nine year old wife of more than four decades--are glossed over and swept aside, the authors preferring to concentrate on his happiness in taking up with the wife of one of his friends soon after. And there are countless mentions of his "brilliant color sense"--a subjective talent, at best--to the extent that by the end of the book you might believe that this was on par with the cure for polio. Dr. Seuss was a wonderfully talented author of children's books, and a worthy subject for an honest and well-rounded biography. Unfortunately, this is not it. Go back and read "Green Eggs and Ham" again. Go read "The Cat in the Hat." Leave this alone.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Seuss has become such a fixture in our world that its hard to fully appreciate the impact he had on children's literature and our culture. This book explores both the origins of his whimsical books and the impact he had on the publishing industry. As portrayed here, Dr. Seuss is possessed of a slightly skewed view of life, but is devoted to promoting the causes he believed in, including children's literacy. As a man who truly believed that reading should be fun, he wrote books that he felt were fun to read, and knew that others would enjoy them too. Its a shame that his fear of public speaking kept the world from knowing him better during his lifetime, but he lives on in his impressive body of wacky and delightful books and art. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of the man behind the cat.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Seuss is an American icon by anyone's standards. He taught millions of children how to read and enchanted young and old alike with his clever, unsentimental stories and rhymes, as well as his fanciful, detailed drawings.

While this biography doesn't get to the core of the man, it is nevertheless entertaining and good at portraying Dr. Seuss' perpetual, impish, childlike vision of the world. We see that he was a prankster and ever-young at heart, even into his 80s. At the same time, we also see a man who was passionate about his work and perfectionistic in his sense of color, meter and story development. And he didn't shy away from heady topics such as the environment, nuclear war and aging. Indeed, because of his skill and keen, honest, funny insights into the world, both children and adults reveled in his surreal, magical worlds. With books like The Lorax and The Butter Battle Book, we see a subversive, brilliant man who was thirty years ahead of his time, simultaneously writing about important issues, while entertaining everyone and also teaching children how to respect their world and the people around them.

Dr. Seuss seemingly had infinite energy for writing, drawing, painting, collaborating, imagining and building a canon of classic literature. It started early, from his days at Dartmouth, to his early attempts to break into the publishing market during the 1920s. His biographers, the Morgans, do well to emphasize his boundless spirit and curiosity---he managed to travel to exotic corners of the world, write over fifty books, and still never missed a parade or retrospective in his honor.

This biography is not a "tell-all" and doesn't probe into the depths of the man or his wonderful, mysterious, inexplicable creative process. It's a light, charming biography of a man that all of us seem to know and love, despite having never met him. Of course, after reading this book, you'll wish that you HAD known him.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very much what I expected of a biography: well written ,readable, enjoyable and gives a good view of the person behind all the famous books and characters!Writers kept their respect for a good friend and that's something you can read between the lines. I couldn't turn it down and spend most of the night reading!
Too bad we can't expect anything more from this wonderfull person!
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This is a great book that anyone who has read Dr. Seuss books can read. It is hard to find this book in libraries that I have access to. So glad that it is now mine and I don't have a "deadline" on returning it.
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Format: Paperback
I have read almost all of the books written by Dr. Seuss, but knew little about the wonderful man. This book is full of humour and delightful insights into the workings of children's books (non-existent before Dr. Seuss) and the many other projects under his guise. Recommended reading for everyone over 20-- to recapture the magic behind the Cat, Horton and the Grinch!
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Format: Paperback
I read a lot of Dr. Seuss books in my time, but never knew anything about this mysterious person who wrote those wild stories with the crazy illustrations. I had no idea. I was quite surprised. I won't spoil it but if you want to know about the life of the man behind the Dr. Seuss pseudonym, read this book! You will be happy that you did. It puts the stories in a whole new light.
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Format: Paperback
This biography gently broke my illusions about the man Dr. Suess...in the best way. I don't believe facts were ignored, but were treated kindly where they could have caused censure. I didn't want to plumb the raw and putrid depths of the human soul, so I was pleased by the sweetness in the tale. If you want to be inspired again by the creative life and work of Dr. Suess, this is an excellent source.
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