Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

By Susan Orlean

Added May 3, 2015

The seeds for Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend were planted, in Susan Orlean’s childhood, by the Rin Tin Tin figurine on her grandfather’s desk and the 1950’s TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Years later when she learned that Rin Tin Tin was a real dog with an amazing life, she was drawn into his story. Rin Tin Tin was a puppy found by Lee Duncan, a young American soldier, on a battlefield in France during World War I. Lee adopted Rinty and took him home to California where he drew the attention of Warner Bros. During the following ten years he stared in twenty-three blockbusting films that saved the studio from bankruptcy. Through the years Rinty and his descendants transitioned from silent films to talkies, from black and white to color, from radio to television. The story that began on a battlefield expanded into an enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. Over its ninety-year timespan, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend explores the shift in status of dogs from working farmhands to beloved family members, the rise of Hollywood, and the past and present of dogs in war. Visit Susan Orlean’s official website. Book description courtesy Ohioana Library. Book jacket image courtesy Simon & Schuster; used with permission.

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