August 5, 2021
General News

‘Charlie Brown’s America’ Review: ‘Peanuts’ and Politics

Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts,” which ran from 1950 to 2000 and lives on in syndication, is one of the world’s most successful and marketable comic strips. Much of its universal appeal lies in a light-hearted humor that steers clear of controversy: Charlie Brown’s trials on the pitcher’s mound, Lucy’s one-sided crush on Schroeder, and Snoopy’s transporting delight in suppertime. Schulz’s bestselling gift books of the 1960s were perfect distillations of the strip’s essential sweetness: “Happiness Is a Warm Puppy,” “Security Is a Thumb and Blanket,” “Love Is Walking Hand in Hand.” Anyone have problems with that?

Yet “Peanuts” and its creator could also get political. Many of the most memorable strips featured subtly rendered commentary on hot-button issues including the Cold War, feminism, racial integration and religion. While these strips were in…

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