Monday, February 7, 2011

Theodor SEUSS Geisel (Lives and Legacies)

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

From the English Department, Dartmouth University, website : “Donald Pease, professor of English, Avalon Foundation Chair of the Humanities, Chair of the Dartmouth Liberal Studies Program and winner of the 1981 Distinguished Teaching Award at Dartmouth, is an authority on nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and literary theory. In the summer of 1986 he brought the School of Criticism and Theory to Dartmouth.  In 1996 he founded the Dartmouth Institute in American Studies and in 1997 he has also served as Academic Director of the Alumni College program.”

Despite his outstanding credentials, this is not an academic book.  It is a readable, factual, well-documented, thorough, and highly interesting book.

These are the first two paragraphs of his biography, published at the website, “Dr. Suess National Memorial : “Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904 on Howard Street in Springfield, Massachusetts. Ted's father, Theodor Robert, and grandfather were brewmasters in the city. His mother, Henrietta Seuss Geisel, often soothed her children to sleep by "chanting" rhymes remembered from her youth. Ted credited his mother with both his ability and desire to create the rhymes for which he became so well known.

Although the Geisels enjoyed great financial success for many years, the onset of World War I and Prohibition presented both financial and social challenges for the German immigrants. Nonetheless, the family persevered and again prospered, providing Ted and his sister, Marnie, with happy childhoods.”

The only review of the book posted on when I wrote my review, is this 5-star one by  A. Nazaryan, who nicely sums up all that I have to say about the book: “Highly readable, deeply informative, this is a lively take on the life of our most famous children's author. Much less academic - or heavy - than previous works on Seuss, it covers both his life and work while unraveling aspects of his life readers probably don't know much about: his relationship with his mother (who gave him the name Seuss), his rowdy days at Dartmouth, his work for the New Yorker, his first wife's suicide and, of course, how he came up with some of the most memorable characters in all of literature.”

The book is fantastic, the additional illustrations are a terrific addition, and I highly recommend this book.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Have you read the latest book review? Have you read the book? What do you think? Thank you for your comment.