Come learn about the man behind it all - Walt Disney. The books here range from critical to laudatory, showing how differently people have come to view Walt. Some concentrate on his public life as an entertainer, while others look more deeply at his private life.

This list was last updated 03/06/2002.

Discovering Walt: The Magical Life of Walt Disney
by Jean-Pierre Isbouts

Jean-Pierre was the director of the recent documentary "Walt: The Man Behind the Myth". He continues his look at Walt's life with this hardcover edition for children. It's a pleasant easy read with some interesting anecdotes and pictures.

Disney: The First 100 Years
by Dave Smith, Steven Clark

Written by the two leading authorities on Disney trivia, this volume looks at both Walt Disney and his legacy. Organized by year with plenty of pictures.

disney_version.gif (10129 bytes) Disney Version, The
by Richard Schickel. 1997 version

When Schickel came out with the first version of this book, about 20 years ago, he outraged Disney fans for daring to admit that Walt was less than perfect. In fact, certain portions of the book were downright critical. Now, with the wisdom that time brings, he has admitted he was perhaps just a bit too harsh. The original text is still here, but he has updated the book with a new chapter that grudgingly admits Walt wasn't all that bad.

Disney's World: A Biography
by Leonard Mosley. Paperback, 1990 version

I first bought this book while in London, and read the whole thing before making it back home. Mosley has done a good job of bringing Walt to life, neither bashing nor fawning over the man. A good one for Walt's fans.

Fascinating Walt Disney
by Stephen Schochet

This biography of Walt takes an unusual approach, for it's a collection of audio stories rather than printed chapters. Click on the title or picture to order it on two cassettes, or click here to order the CD version.

man_behind_magic.gif (14241 bytes) Man Behind the Magic, The: The Story of Walt Disney
by Katherine Greene, Richard Greene, Katherine Barrett. 1998 version

I had the pleasure of working with the Greenes on the 1998 CD-ROM biography "Walt Disney: An Intimate Portrait". They sure do know their Walt Disney! Their work on the first version of the book was so well received by Diane Disney Miller that it helped lead to the CD-ROM project. If you're looking for a good bio of Walt, you'll need both this and the Bob Thomas book listed below.

Quotable Walt Disney, The
compiled by Dave Smith

Lots of great sayings from Walt on a wide variety of subjects, compiled by Disney archivist Dave Smith. Like many other famous men, Walt used a variety of speech writers. How many of these thoughts are his and how many are theirs is unknown. To quote a famous line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, "When the legend becomes the fact print the legend."

Remembering Walt: Favorite Memories of Walt Disney
by Amy Boothe Green, Howard E. Green

The Greens turned to those who knew Walt best over the years and collected an outstanding set of memories and anecdotes. Accompanied by rare pictures from the Disney family and the Walt Disney Archives, this is a must have.

story_of_walt.gif (6821 bytes) Story of Walt Disney, The: Maker of Magical Worlds
by Bernice Selden

A short but still entertaining look at Walt, one intended for a younger audience.

american_original.gif (13847 bytes) Walt Disney: An American Original
by Bob Thomas. Paperback, 1994 version

Bob Thomas is such a good writer that he has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You'll understand why when you read this biography. Written with assistance from the Disney family and many of Walt's associates, it is one of two definitive works on Walt you'll want to have. The other? Go up a few books!

Walt Disney: Creator of Magical Worlds
by Charnan Simon

Part of the "Community Builders" series of biographies for younger audiences.

walt_by_cole.gif (11650 bytes) Walt Disney: Creator of Mickey Mouse
by Michael D. Cole. Library edition, 1996 version.

Another biography intended for a younger audience.

walt_by_schroeder.gif (12713 bytes) Walt Disney: His Life in Pictures
by Russell Schroeder, Diane Disney Miller. Library edition, 1996 version.

I've had the pleasure of knowing Russell for years, and can heartily attest to his knowledge and enthusiasm for the history behind the Disney company we know today. Many of you will have seen his work and never known it, for he's one of the company's primary artists for merchandising and publications. This time out, he turned his talent into documenting Walt's life through historical photos, many of which have not been published before. Additional commentary from Diane Disney Miller makes this a "must have".

young_movie_maker.gif (5877 bytes)  

Walt Disney: Young Movie Maker
by Marie Hammontree. Paperback, 1997 version.

Intended for the younger audience (teens), this is a quick read on Walt. Nothing new, but a competent job.


railroad.gif (13453 bytes) Walt Disney's Railroad Story
by Michael Broggie.

This is an outstanding behind-the-scenes look at how Walt's interest in railroads led, in part, to the creation of Disneyland. Michael's father was one of Walt's earliest Disneyland designers, and together they built Walt's miniature steam train, the Lilly Belle. Full of rare photos from the Disney and Broggie family collections, this book could only have been written by someone on the inside.

You can click here to go back to the main book list, or pick one of the other categories:

You can also click here to go back to the main page for "The Wonderful World of Disney Television" website or here for the "Walt Disney's Zorro" pages.