What We Are Reading Today: Disney’s Land by Richard Snow

Updated 02 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Disney’s Land by Richard Snow

  • In Disney’s Land, Snow “brilliantly presents the entire spectacular story

Disney’s Land is an interesting and informative book.

It is a propulsive history “chronicling the conception and creation of Disneyland, the masterpiece California theme park, as told like never before by popular historian Richard Snow,” said a review in goodreads.com

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates. Eight hundred million visitors have flocked to the park since then. 

In Disney’s Land, Snow “brilliantly presents the entire spectacular story, a wild ride from vision to realization, and an epic of innovation and error that reflects the uniqueness of the man determined to build ‘the happiest place on earth’ with a watchmaker’s precision, an artist’s conviction, and the desperate, high-hearted recklessness of a riverboat gambler,” the review added.

Tom Zoellner said in a review for The New York Times: “This is primarily a construction saga, albeit a highly readable one set in an anxious nation that didn’t know it needed Disneyland until Walt provided it.”

“The clockwork of the park — and to some extent, the personality of the man who created it — receives an expert inspection in Disney’s Land,” said Zoellner.

What We Are Reading Today: The Rise of Coptic

Updated 25 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Rise of Coptic

Author: Jean-Luc Fournet

Coptic emerged as the written form of the Egyptian language in the third century, when Greek was still the official language in Egypt.
By the time of the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641, Coptic had almost achieved official status, but only after an unusually prolonged period of stagnation. Jean-Luc Fournet traces this complex history, showing how the rise of Coptic took place amid profound cultural, religious, and political changes in late antiquity, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
For some 300 years after its introduction into the written culture of Egypt, Coptic was limited to biblical translation and private and monastic correspondence, while Greek retained its monopoly on administrative, legal, and literary writing.  
This changed during the sixth century, when Coptic began to penetrate domains that were once closed to it, such as literature, liturgy, regulated transactions between individuals, and communications between the state and its subjects.