Santa Claus by Gerry Bowler
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Santa Claus
By Gerry Bowler

Santa Claus

A Biography

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Format: Paperback / softback

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Santa Claus by Gerry Bowler

Book Description

An entertaining, often surprising look at the life of the world's most influential fictional character. He is the embodiment of charity and generosity, a creation of mythology, a tool of clever capitalists. The very idea of him is enduring and powerful. Santa Claus was born in early-nineteenth-century America, but his family tree goes back seven hundred years to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. Intervening generations were shaggy and strange -- whip-wielding menaces to naughty boys and girls. Yet as the raucous, outdoor, alcohol-fuelled holiday gave way to a more domestic, sentimental model, a new kind of gift-bringer was called for -- a loveable elf, still judgmental but far less threatening. In this engaging social and cultural history, Gerry Bowler examines the place of Santa Claus in history, literature, advertising, and art. He traces his metamorphosis from a beardless youth into a red-suited peddler. He reveals the lesser-known aspects of the gift-bringer's life -- Santa's involvement with social and political causes of all stripes (he enlisted on the Union side in the American Civil War), his starring role in the movies and as adman for gun-makers and insurance companies. And he demolishes the myths surrounding Santa Claus and Coca-Cola. "Santa Claus: A Biography" will stand as the classic work on the long-lived and multifarious Mr. Claus. "From the Hardcover edition."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780771016684
ISBN-10: 0771016689
Format: Paperback / softback
(215mm x 142mm x 20mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: McClelland & Stewart
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Gerry Bowler

Christmas in the Crosshairs by Gerry Bowler Christmas in the Crosshairs, Hardback (November 2016)

Is there a War on Christmas? Historically, there is and always has been. This book surveys the history of the world's most popular festival and the never-ending battles it has engendered ever since its hotly-contested invention in the Roman Empire.

» View all books by Gerry Bowler


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Author Biography - Gerry Bowler

Gerry Bowler received his Ph.D. in History from King's College, London, and presently teaches at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of "Santa Claus: A Biography" and "The World Encyclopedia of Christmas," and the co-author of "Europe in the Sixteenth Century." He has published works on topics ranging from Renaissance monarchy and Bloody Mary to the Simpsons, the Spice Girls, and the history of professional hockey. Dr. Bowler was the founding director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Contemporary Culture at Calgary's Nazarene University College. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with his wife, Karen, and three daughters. "From the Hardcover edition."

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