a girl building a snowman

The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

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The History of the Snowman is a fun look at the snowman throughout the ages in our country and others. If you are looking for the perfect book to curl up with in front of the fire, you’ve found it.

a real snowman with hat and scarf

The History of the Snowman

Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing snowballs on top of each other, and who decided they would use a carrot for a nose? Most puzzling of all: How can this mystery ever be solved, with all the evidence long since melted?

The snowman appears everywhere on practically everything – from knickknacks to greeting cards to seasonal sweaters we plan to return. Whenever we see big snowballs our first impulse is to deck them out with a top hat. Humorist and writer Bob Eckstein has long been fascinated by this ubiquitous symbol of wintertime fun. And finally, for the first time, one of the world’s most popular icons gets his due.

A thoroughly entertaining exploration, The History of the Snowman 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.

a girl playing in the snow

Who invented the snowman?

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.

The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

With more than two hundred illustrations and a special section of the best snowman cartoons, The History of the Snowman is a truly original winter classic — smart, surprisingly enlightening, and quite simply the coolest book ever. 

About the author

Bob Eckstein has been a humor writer for more than twenty years, and is most recognized for his popular weekly columns in Newsday, the Village Voice, and now, TimeOut. His cartoons and artwork have also appeared in publications like The New Yorker, the New York Times, Spy magazine, and Details. He splits his time between his studios in Manhattan and Pennsylvania. 

The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

My thoughts about The History of the Snowman

I really thought this book was fascinating. There are parts that are funny. But, there are also parts that truly make you think. I had no idea that the snowman had such a varied past. You can read the entire book all at once. Or, you can read each chapter that captures your interest. The chapters can stand alone as they are written. Whether you read the entire thing or skim through it, I guarantee you will know more about snowmen than you did when you started. This is a fun coffee table book for the winter months. Or, it will make a great gift for anyone that loves winter. And, it will probably make you want to build a real snowman. Here are some tips to get started.

Buy it today.

Have you ever seen The Snowman by Michael Fassbender?

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