A thoroughly entertaining exploration, this book travels back in time to shed light on the snowman's enigmatic past -- from the present day, in which the snowman reigns as the King of Kitsch, to the Dark Ages, with the creation of the very first snowman. Eckstein's curiosity began playfully enough, but soon snowballed into a (mostly) earnest quest of chasing Frosty around the world, into museums and libraries, and seeking out the advice of leading historians and scholars. The result is a riveting history that reaches back through centuries and across cultures -- sweeping from fifteenth-century Italian snowballs to eighteenth-century Russian ice sculptures to the regrettable "white-trash years" (1975-2000). The snowman is not just part of our childhood memories, but is an integral part of our world culture, appearing -- much like a frozen Forrest Gump -- alongside dignitaries and celebrities during momentous events. Again and again, the snowman pops up in rare prints, paintings, early movies, advertising and, over the past century, in every art form imaginable. And the jolly snowman -- ostensibly as pure as the driven snow -- also harbors a dark past full of political intrigue, sex, and violence.
With over two hundred illustrations, The Illustrated History of the Snowman is a truly original winter classic -- smart, surprisingly enlightening, and quite simply the coolest book ever.
Bob Eckstein is an award-winning illustrator, writer, New Yorker cartoonist, snowman expert, and author of the New York Times bestselling Footnotes from the Greatest Bookstores (Clarkson Potter) and The History of the Snowman (Simon & Schuster). His cartoons, OpEds, and short stories appear regularly in the New York Times, New York Daily News, MAD magazine, Barron’s, Readers Digest, The Spectator, Prospect, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, among many others. He was a columnist for the Village Voice, New York Newsday, and Time Out New York. He has been interviewed in over 100 TV, radio and magazine spots including Good Morning America and People magazine.