American Political Cartoons: The Evolution of a National Identity, 1754-2010

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers - History - 203 pages
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From Benjamin Franklin's drawing of the first American political cartoon in 1754 to contemporary cartoonists' blistering attacks on George W. Bush and initial love-affair with Barack Obama, editorial cartoons have been a part of American journalism and politics. American Political Cartoons chronicles the nation's highs and lows in an extensive collection of cartoons that span the entire history of American political cartooning.

"Good cartoons hit you primitively and emotionally," said cartoonist Doug Marlette. "A cartoon is a frontal attack, a slam dunk, a cluster bomb." Most cartoonists pride themselves on attacking honestly, if ruthlessly. American Political Cartoons recounts many direct hits, recalling the discomfort of the cartoons' targets--and the delight of their readers.

Through skillful combination of pictures and words, cartoonists galvanize public opinion for or against their subjects. In the process they have revealed truths about us and our democratic system that have been both embarrassing and ennobling. Stephen Hess and Sandy Northrop note that not all cartoonists have worn white hats. Many have perpetuated demeaning ethnic stereotypes, slandered honest politicians, and oversimplified complex issues.

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User Review  - karenmerguerian - LibraryThing

A short introduction to American political cartoons and their creators for the non-specialist. The book chapters take the reader through a chronological treatment of the basic outlines of the history ... Read full review

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About the author

Stephen Hess is senior fellow emeritus at the Brookings Institution. He worked on the staff of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, as well as an advisor to Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. He is the author of American's Political Dynasties, Organizing the Presidency and numerous other publications on journalism and politics.
Sandy Northrop, an award-winning television producer, has contributed to Public Broadcasting System (PBS) programming for over forty years and is a noted authority on political cartoons.

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