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Publisher's Summary

"Welcome to Rockwell Land," writes Deborah Solomon in the introduction to this spirited and authoritative biography of the painter who provided 20th-century America with a defining image of itself. As the star illustrator of The Saturday Evening Post for nearly half a century, Norman Rockwell mingled fact and fiction in paintings that reflected the we-the-people, communitarian ideals of American democracy. Freckled Boy Scouts and their mutts, sprightly grandmothers, a young man standing up to speak at a town hall meeting, a little black girl named Ruby Bridges walking into an all-white school - here was an America whose citizens seemed to believe in equality and gladness for all.
Who was this man who served as our unofficial "artist in chief" and bolstered our country's national identity? Behind the folksy, pipe-smoking facade lay a surprisingly complex figure - a lonely painter who suffered from depression and was consumed by a sense of inadequacy. He wound up in treatment with the celebrated psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. In fact, Rockwell moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so that he and his wife could be near Austen Riggs, a leading psychiatric hospital.
"What's interesting is how Rockwell's personal desire for inclusion and normalcy spoke to the national desire for inclusion and normalcy," writes Solomon. "His work mirrors his own temperament - his sense of humor, his fear of depths - and struck Americans as a truer version of themselves than the sallow, solemn, hard-bitten Puritans they knew from 18th-century portraits."
©2013 Deborah Solomon (P)2013 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Daniel on 01-10-15

this book is based on opinion not facts!!!

What would have made American Mirror better?

more research on the subject.

What could Deborah Solomon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

reported the facts not her opinions!!!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

the narrator was fine.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

i would like a refund if i could ...very Dissapointed.

Any additional comments?

The part that sealed it for me was when she commented on other artist models being left out and neglected by other Artist and how the models felt about it. She then brings up Picasso and Dora Mar! Big mistake because I am a big Picasso fan and have read everything i could get my hands on about Picasso. Every Picasso fan knows that they had a turbulent love affair and she tries to compare this to Norman Rockwell and his boy models. Outrages!!! i didn't even listen to the complete book she i found this inaccuracy...

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By scott gatejen on 03-04-18

Gender Studies shoehorned in constantly.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It's not terrible but the entire book keeps mentioning, with a consistency that makes it seem like the central subject, about Rockwell's supposed infatuation with men before ultimately citing modern gender studies to declare Rockwell homosexual. I don't care that he may or may not have been, but you can't go ten minutes in this biography without the subject coming up.

I don't care what modern gender studies majors have to say about the sexuality of an illustrator, I care about his life as an illustrator.

What was most disappointing about Deborah Solomon’s story?

The constant mentioning of gender studies and sexuality.

What three words best describe Andrea Gallo’s performance?

Entirely adequete

What else would you have wanted to know about Deborah Solomon’s life?

This is not an autobiography. For Rockwell, I would like more information on the development of his artwork.

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