Department of History PhD alumnus Blake Scott Ball has crafted an exceptional narrative of Cold War-era America through an unlikely subject: Charlie Brown.
In Charlie Brown’s America: The Popular Politics of Peanuts, Dr. Ball looks into the emotional journey taken by the Peanuts comic from the Cold War to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.
Ball finds that Peanuts was very political. Whether it was the battles over the Vietnam War, racial integration, feminism, or the future of a nuclear world, Peanuts was a daily conversation about the hopes, fears, and political realities of the Cold War world. Ball uses fan letters, interviews, and behind-the-scenes documents to show how Schulz used his comic strip to project his ideas and comment on the rapidly changing politics of America.
Charlie Brown’s America was published by Oxford University Press in June. Dr. Ball is an Assistant Professor of History at Huntingdon College.