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Doomed by Cartoon: How Cartoonist Thomas Nast and the New York Times Brought Down Boss Tweed and His Ring of Thieves Paperback – August 1, 2008


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Doomed by Cartoon: How Cartoonist Thomas Nast and the New York Times Brought Down Boss Tweed and His Ring of Thieves + Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons + Thomas Nast Cartoons [Classic Anthology]
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600374433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600374432
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Adler is a retired management consultant and entrepreneur, who has spent 12 years studying the 2,200-plus cartoons that Thomas Nast drew over 25 years (1862-1886) for Harper's Weekly, America's leading 19th century illustrated newspaper. This book, his first, contains more than 160 of them. Mr. Adler is the publisher of two digital databases - Harper's Weekly: 1857-1912 and Lincoln and the Civil War.com - for which he was awarded the 2003 E-Lincoln Prize for History. As a public service, he also initiated and edited 30 historical and literary websites currently available at HarpWeek.com. Several of them feature Nast, including Cartoonist Thomas Nast vs. Candidate Horace Greeley: The Election of 1872; Nast on Broadway: The Grand Caricaturama of 1867-1868; Nast and Shakespeare; and Nast and Literature.


Draper Hill, a political cartoonist by profession and a political cartoon historian by avocation, has been engrossed for 50 years by the artistry and imagination of Thomas Nast. John Adler tapped Mr. Hill's vast store of knowledge by commissioning him to prepare three Nast-oriented projects, providing about 60% of the narrative and interpretative content included in this book.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dudnique on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
John Adler has done America and history buffs a TREMENDOUS service with this remarkable book about the cartoons by Thomas Nast that brought Boss Tweed to justice and made New York City a better place to live. The cartoons themselves are gorgeously rendered and varied, and Mr. Adler manages to bring them back to life with well written and enlightening vignettes about how things were under the thumb of Tammany Hall. This book is absolutely A+. Hat's off to Mr. Adler!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allan Holtz on December 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read several biographies of the great editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast, and I've read a history of Boss Tweed's Tammany Hall ring, but what I've long pined for, and considered the most perfectly natural idea for a book, is a history of the Tweed ring as told through Nast's cartoons.

Finally such a book was written, and unfortunately has managed to fly under my radar for over five years. Well, better late than never, I did finally stumble upon it recently, and I'm delighted to say that the book is pretty much everything I could have hoped for.

John Adler navigated through a minefield of potential pitfalls to produce this book, which I consider just about as close to a perfect treatment of the subject as possible. He could easily have gotten bogged down trying to provide a thorough biography of Thomas Nast or Boss Tweed, or offered an exhaustive history of the deeds of Tammany. He resists those temptations, though, and confines himself to guiding us through the entire amazing episode via Nast's incredibly powerful cartoons. He explains all the nuances of what is depicted, and gives us enough of the history and biography of the personages involved to understand the enormity of the events and the genius of Nast's response.

It's a masterful piece of work, and Adler, with the expertise of cartooning scholar Draper Hill guiding him, deserve a much wider readership than, as best I can tell, they have gotten. These are the most important cartoons ever drawn; I can't even imagine that blunt statement garnering even a whisper of debate. So if you are seriously interested in cartooning, this book is not really optional in your library. It is basically a Cartooning Scripture, explaining how it was In The Beginning.
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By Jim Leaman on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting how Alder shows the origination of newspaper political cartoons. Thomas Nast was perceptive and able to convey the mood of the nation through reconstruction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great Kindle Book if you enjoy history! Thomas Nast points his pencil at Boss and shoots a bullseye. This is the first Kindle book I ever bought and it just amazed me that ZAP it was on my Kindle.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edward Franks on November 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative and a good read. Why is there a minimum number of words to provide this free review. Very annoying and I won't submit another.
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