Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit is an upcoming non-fiction book serving as a biography for Mickey Mouse. It was originally due to be released in February 2014 then was pushed back to September 2, 2014. It was again delayed to February 17, 2015 then lastly pushed back to July 14 of the same year.


The first illustrated biography of the cultural life of an enduring global icon, Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit is the compelling story of how the singular artistic vision of a unique individual took on a life of its own and became an instantly recognizable character known the world over. Spectacularly illustrated with rarely seen archive images, art historian Garry Apgar, weaves a fascinating narrative about the nature of creation, changing generations, and how a fictional character came to embody the personality of a nation.

Since his modest debut in 1928, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse has evolved into arguably the world’s most recognized — and beloved — fictional figure. Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit is the illustrated biography of a unique cartoon character, his life and times, and his impact and influence around the world in art and literature. Part art history and part cultural study, Apgar’s Mickey Mouse narrates how the character was initially developed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, how his irrepressible spirit grew to huge popularity during the Depression, and how he became a politically charged cultural icon of international reach. Spectacularly illustrated with more than 400 images, Mickey Mouse is a worthy successor to Abrams’ The Art of Walt Disney, “one of the most successful and influential illustrated art books on American popular culture ever published.”

The narrative covers:

  • the story of how Mickey Mouse was created and how he became immensely successful and a symbol of optimism during the Depression
  • the many ways in which he was a reflection of Walt Disney’s personality, life, and times
  • Mickey’s successful cartoon, literary and movie career
  • his influence on artists and animators over the generations, and how he has been represented and transformed in their work
  • Mickey Mouse’s impact as a symbol — both positive and negative — of America’s contribution to global culture