(Gabler's) "...portrayal of Walt Disney himself so much at odds with any reasonable interpretation of the facts of his life. Gabler's haunted, tormented, traumatized Disney is the invention of a writer with a fatally deficient imagination, one who can conceive of no reason for Walt's interest in model trains other than mental illness, and who can dismiss Walt as a "terrible husband" because he didn't conform to some present-day paradigm. Gabler writes about "animations" without ever showing any grasp of what's involved in making animated cartoons, and his limited understanding of business reveals itself in the exaggerated importance he assigns to Roy O. Disney's role and to some of the "crises" the company passed through.
In short, Gabler has written about Walt Disney with the blinkered vision of a middle-aged journalist from an exceptionally self-contained milieu—the urban, liberal, skeptical, and sophisticated Northeast (I can understand why the evil geniuses at Fox News hired him for on-camera duty as one of their liberal punching bags). Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination has often been reviewed by people of much the same sort. It's no wonder that Gabler's peers have greeted the book so warmly, since its ultimate effect is to validate a picture—Warped Walt—they've always carried around in their heads.
As the library statistics alone testify, the worst damage has already been done. Not just the reviewers but also many Disney fans have embraced Gabler's book, which has, after all, received the imprimatur of the Walt Disney Company. It's hard to resist the urge to snuggle up to power.