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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both entertaining and educational., August 23, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
This well-conceived book truly reminds us that political cartooning has held a giant role in our nation's history -- and perhaps more than it has ever been given credit for. The authors make a stong case of cartooning's political vitality, past and present. The book is a very engaging and fun read not only because of its generous use of cartooning, but also because the authors take effort to put each cartoon they use into a fitting historical context. The reader is also on a guided tour of cartooning's historical phases, starting from the 18th century. The authors suggest that some six different phases (eras) of American political cartooning can be traced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOPS!, January 26, 2009
By 
Paco Calderón (Mexico City, Mexico) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
The best book on the subject I've read so far (and I've read quite a few).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impish Artists, November 1, 2012
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This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
Mr. Hess's and Ms. Northrop's overview of American political cartooning does a fine job of highlighting key periods in its evolution. This is not a book explaining the creative process of editorial cartoonists. There is a treasure trove of useful information and it will give you a better understanding how the art came into its present manifestation. Not only do they cover such luminaries as Thomas Nast, Bill Mauldin, Herbert "Herblock" Block, Pat Oliphant, Paul Conrad, Gary Trudeau and Walt Kelly, but also many excellent, long-forgotten editorial cartoonist who deserve recognition. "Drawn & Quartered" also places the different styles, publications and symbolism used in the context of their times. It clearly explains how satirical publications such as "Puck" made way for newspapers that were overtaken by television and, now, the emergence of the Internet juggernaut.

The book does not take a politically correct approach in its presentation and simply explains the social mores of the times. The authors had no qualms about showing the missteps made by many cartoonists such as shying away from confronting McCarthyism or becoming Wilson Administration propagandists during World War One. There are plenty of wonderful illustrations between these covers which help clarify and support the history being discussed at that moment. A thoroughly enjoyable, well-written, fun book. If you are interested in understanding the history of this unique vocation, "Drawn & Quartered" will not disappoint you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helps explain some history, March 4, 2014
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This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
I was led to this book by another review, which noted that the cartoons were better printed in this one than in the newer version. I am sure that is substantially due to the improved paper.
I was expecting more cartoons and less history, but am glad for the way it is presented. I found myself looking up bits of history in Wikipedia to expand on some of the issues in this book. I have never had a grasp of Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed, so this prompted a look at some of those issues.
Numerous cartoonists are presented along with some of their cartoons. I appreciate the quality of the printing of the cartoons in particular as the cross hatching and other details are very clear. Some cartoons would benefit from being printed larger.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun and An Interesting Window On History, December 9, 2013
By 
Anne Mills (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
Lots of fun with a nice selection of classics, and commentary that helps put the cartoons in context. I only wish it were longer -- maybe someday someone will do a US version of the BIG "Cartoon History of Britain".
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4.0 out of 5 stars the accursed ograbme, October 11, 2012
By 
Scrapple8 (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons is about the evolution of the art of making a political statement. There are approximately two hundred and fifty political cartoons that accompany the 150-page story of authors Stephen Ross and Sandy Northrop. Interesting narration about the leading practitioners of the art and an explanation of some of their tools accompany the cartoons.

With an average of three cartoons for every two pages, the reader is treated to a cornucopia of political debate across the epoch of America. There are some useful explanations in the text, for example, consider the Salt River cartoon. You may have seen this cartoon before: It features a boatload of candidates for the presidential nomination of 1848 (won by Zach Taylor), led by a guide dog that resembles Martin Van Buren. Unless you know a tale from the 1832 Presidential Race between Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson, the cartoon is hard to figure out. The story is that Clay missed a political rally because a boatman, who supported Jackson, steered the boat off-course into the Salt River.

The authors also discuss some of the amazing symbols that are featured in political cartoons. Who knew that Brother Jonathan was once a symbol of Americans? In fact, the way an American political cartoonist used a figure meant to lampoon Americans to lay the smack down on John Bull is a very American idea. The baseball legend Connie Mack created the familiar elephant-on-a-baseball logo of the Oakland Athletics much in the same manner as Yankee Doodle became a proud symbol of Americans. National League luminary John McGraw called the American League franchise in Philadelphia a white elephant, because they were considered sacred and could not be used for work. An owner of a white elephant was stuck with a large bill for feeding the animal, but couldn't use it for labor. There is, in fact, a white elephant depicted in the Dime Circus political cartoon published in Puck, and reprinted in this book. Mack made the white elephant a symbol of top-notch baseball, particularly when his Athletics defeated Muggsy's Giants in the 1911 and 1913 Fall Classics.

Readers of Drawn & Quartered are treated to snapshots of famous political cartoonists, from Thomas Nast and Joseph Keppler of the Gilded Age to recent legends familiar to many readers: Herb Block, Doug Marlette, Pat Oliphant, Mike Peters, and Jim Borgman. All of the last group of artists were syndicated, and staples of newspapers in recent vintage.

The aforementioned Dime Circus cartoon is rich in detail. The tattooed figure of James G. Blaine is mentioned later in the book, but there are also depictions of third party candidate Ben Butler, and future President Benjamin Harrison. The man holding the Tammany Tiger is probably John Kelly, and the Zulu Warrior appears to be Grover Cleveland. Is that a Mugwump snake charmer facing off the stalwart snake, or it is Chester Arthur? There are about twenty faces depicted in the cartoon, and wouldn't it be nice to know about all of them?

Someday I would love to see a book that explains the rich details of political cartoons like the Dime Store Circus. Still, this book by Hess & Northrup does a nice job of presenting political cartoons in America throughout the years and offers a good educational experience, along with entertainment for those inclined to reading about American History.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, November 24, 2014
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This review is from: Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons (Hardcover)
This was used by several of us in our Sage Society Class on Editorial cartoons.
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Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons
Drawn & Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons by Stephen Hess (Hardcover - Sept. 1996)
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