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Service with Character: The Disney Studios and World War II Paperback – May 31, 2014
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Altho well written in a clear manner- it is not a "page turner" or "easy read".
On the other hand it is a must read for those interested in Disney history or Hollywood in WWII.
It has links to copious illustrations on the authors website. A version with glossy illustrations would be nice, but I fear very expensive.
Unfortunately, for a variety of very understandable reasons, there are no illustrations in the printed edition but they do exist in the Kindle edition and on the author's website which is easily accessible. That absence in the printed edition does not distract from the value of the well documented text.
The interior of the book is very well designed so that it is easy to read and easy to locate material. Publisher Bob McLain is well known for his outstanding interior design of all the Theme Park Press books as well as eye-catching covers and he once again works his magic on this volume.
I am an avid fan of David's website devoted to the topic and of his previous book TOONS AT WAR. Having all this incredible information in one location for easy reference is a dream come true. I am always amazed at the material that David has been able to locate and recover over the last two decades. Thankfully, he has been very generous in sharing it all with the rest of us.
While other reviews have mentioned David's outstanding examination of military insignias produced during the war years, a buyer should realize that it is just one chapter in a book filled with many treasures including the Mickey Mouse gas mask for children, the unmade Disney animated feature THE GREMLINS and a discussion of propaganda and training films. This book is a one stop reference to everything involving Disney and World War II. More importantly, you can trust the accuracy of the material.
I thought I was reasonably well-versed in the subject after decades of research on Disney history and interviewing many of the people who worked at the Disney Studio during World War II but I humbly confess that David's book has at least one new revelation on each page and has given me a wider perspective of what was going on at the time.
I was so eager to have a copy that I purchased one. I did not wait to get one as a gift or as a potential reviewer. I spent my own money so that I could have a copy on my reference shelf as soon as possible. I highly recommend that you consider doing the same.