"Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age." (Dr. Seuss)
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
In the United States, March 2 has been designated "Read Across America Day", and the date of that commemoration is due to the fact that Ted Geisel was born on that day in 1904. Few Americans are familiar with that name, but as kids, everyone comes across the books he wrote under the famous pseudonym Dr. Seuss.
Believing that fantasy "is a necessary ingredient for living", Geisel was attracted to writing humorous stories from a young age, even as a contributor to Dartmouth's humor magazine. During the first 30 years of his life, he wrote humorous short stories, articles, and even comic strips for a variety of publications. Occasionally he used his middle name, Seuss, to publish. But it was not until the late 1930s and early 1940s that "Dr. Seuss" truly found his niche as a writer of children's books.
Initially, readers knew Dr. Seuss as a World War II political cartoonist (if at all), and his first attempt at a children's book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street", was rejected over two dozen times by publishers. It was not until the 1950s that Dr. Seuss began publishing some of his most famous and revered titles, including "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." In 1954, Houghton Mifflin asked Dr. Seuss to make a book only out of words that first graders could read. The result was his seminal "The Cat in the Hat", a popular illustrated rhyme book for kids that has remained a best seller for over 50 years, along with the equally famous "Green Eggs and Ham" (1960). Dr. Seuss had hit it big, and he continued to write children's books even as he and his wife steadfastly refused to have children of his own.
American Legends: The Life of Dr. Seuss examines the popular works that everyone remembers, but it also profiles the life, controversies, and legacy of one of America's iconic authors. You will learn about Dr. Seuss like you never have before, in no time at all.