Magazine August 26, 2019, Issue

How Theodor Geisel Became Dr. Seuss

Theodore Seuss Geisel poses with some of his creations. (John Bryson/Contributor/Getty Images)
Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination, by Brian Jay Jones (Dutton, 496 pp., $32)

If current trends in popular culture are any indication, millions of Americans spend their days wishing to return to preschool. You read that right: I’m asserting that a not-insignificant portion of the public wishes to revive not their wild and woolly teenage years or their carefree college days but instead the years between, oh, three and five. 

Last year, Fred Rogers — the creator of, and chief friendly neighbor on, the public-television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood — was the subject of an acclaimed biography and also a much-talked-about feature-length documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Soon, Sesame Street will receive the

This article appears as “The Beginners’ Bard” in the August 26, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Peter Tonguette — Mr. Tonguette is the author of Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

Bill de Blasio has spent so much time in Iowa that when he gets back home, he’ll complain about the prices.


The Latest

Going Bust

Going Bust

The significant decline in American births should be a matter of intense public concern.