Almost everything you know about Mickey Mouse is wrong: he wasn’t Disney’s first star; Steamboat Willie wasn’t his first movie; Mickey wasn’t a nice guy—and Walt Disney didn’t invent him.

In 1928, two very different best friends invented Mickey Mouse. And the success tore them apart. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks’s friendship is a story of betrayal, love, war, money, power, tragedy, intrigue, humor, despair, and hope. You’ll love them both—when you don’t want to drop anvils on their heads. Discover the men behind the mouse, and the mystery behind the magic.

A Mouse Divided is a stirring depiction of two underdogs. One invented Mickey Mouse—and one said he did. You’ll love Walt Disney more than you ever thought possible—until you don’t. And you’ll sympathize with Walt’s friend-turned-rival Ub Iwerks, always in Walt’s shadow.

This true story of how the Disney empire was made is a captivating page-turner, endlessly fascinating and revealing. And it’s never been fully told—until now.

"This is a fascinating story about the early years of what would become the Disney empire. Walt's a big part of it, but others—particularly Ub Iwerks—played critical roles, which are thoroughly explored in this breezily readable book. Disney fanatics—you know who you are—will love it." (Dave Barry)

"In his remarkable and important book, Ryan takes us through the ups and downs and ups—and finally, the triumph—of the creative partnership that ultimately spawned the modern-day Disney juggernaut. Ryan resuscitates—and reboots—the critical contributions of the largely-forgotten Iwerks, rightly spotlighting not just his contributions to the Disney company and mythos, but to the American imagination." (Brian Jay Jones, author of GEORGE LUCAS: A LIFE and JIM HENSON: THE BIOGRAPHY)