Most of the fairy tales that we grew up with we know thanks to the Brothers Grimm. Jack Zipes, one of our surest guides through the world of fairy tales and their criticism, takes us behind the romantic mythology of the wandering brothers. Bringing to bear his own critical expertise as well as new biographical information, Zipes examines the interaction between the Grimms' lives and their work. He reveals their personal struggle to overcome social prejudice and poverty, as well as their political efforts -- as scholars and civil servants -- toward unifying the German states. By deftly interweaving the social, political, and personal elements of their lives, Zipes rescues the Brothers Grimm from sentimental obscurity. No longer figures in a fairy tale, the Brothers Grimm emerge as powerful creators, real men who established the fairy tale as one of our great literary institutions. Part biography, part critical assessment, and part social history, The Brothers Grimm provides a complex and very real story about fairy tales and the modern world.