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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2009
A fitting and wonderful retrospective celebration of America's greatest political cartoonist of the last five decades, published to coincide with a Library of Congress exhibition of Herblock's art. The bulk of the book (212 pages) has a large cartoon per page and a short commentary below to put it in the context of the times though various themes are explored with a spread or two: Cold War; Civil rights; Watergate; Reagan for example.

The first cartoon is from October 14, 1929 with a slightly crude drawing style but turn over the page to a drawing from 1933 and you can detect the first signs of Block's signature style: fluid motion of figures; strong lines that vary in thickness and the wonderful use of graduated tints. By the time he joined the Washington Post (permanently) in 1945 his artwork was perfect. Not only great drawings to look at but he had the knack of presenting complex political points in everyday situations that readers could easily grasp. I think his creation of Mr Atom, the bomb-shaped personality from the Cold War years is a good example of this.

Apart from the cartoons the front of the book has a couple of worthwhile essays about Herblock's life and the art of the political cartoon. Back pages have some fascinating insights by him and how he goes about creating his daily art.

I would be happy with the book as it is but to have a DVD with 18,000 cartoons is really the cherry on top of the cake. Using Adobe Acrobat it's easy to navigate through the material starting with cartoons from Herblock's high school years then just follow each year and see every cartoon up to his last on August 23, 2001. Text material on the disc includes his books, awards and nicely you can check out some online resources.

The book, the DVD make this a brilliant tribute to cartoonist who made a difference.

***SEE INSIDE THE BOOK by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 15, 2009
Herblock ...a good editorial cartoonist is sent as a political conscience is pointed out and is probably the most apt description of this great talent.
Perhaps his most telling works are those done at the beginning of the conflicts that developed into WWII. Some of the most startling predictors of the conflict to come are those done even in the 30's concerning the ongoing problems in Europe. How talented and preeminent his genius was can be illustrated by the cartoon done in May of 1941 before the invasion of Russia by Germany. It shows the ghosts of Napoleon's retreating army meeting up with the soldiers of advancing Germans.
Each one of his works are interspersed with Herblock's biography, his work history and philosophy. The cartoons have a bit of explanation, making it easy to understand the point of each work, even if you are not familiar with that instant and time and crisis in history.
What a wonderful career he had, is shown, beginning with the bank failures in 1933 to George Bush and the NEA lobbyist in 2001. The work he did is wonderfully illustrated in an included DVD. It is a great resource for anyone engrossed in further and complete explorations of his work. Teachers would be well advised to use this marvelous resource both for history and political science classes, even as comparisons to current events - just a wonderful work and collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2009
Herblock: The Life and Work of the Great Political Cartoonist is a representative compendium of the satirical political cartoons of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Herbert Lawrence Block (1909-2001), a.k.a. "Herblock", who lengthy career spanned nearly three-quarters of a century and the careers of thirteen American presidents. 256 classic cartoons, categorized by era and enhanced with accompanying text concerning the relevant issues of the day that the cartoon drew pointed attention to, fill this powerful survey - which is further enhanced by an accompanying DVD of more than 18,000 cartoons (no less than the majority of Herblock's professional work)! From a cartoon of a man crying "Fire!" and trying to put out the Statue of Liberty's torch (in response to the civil liberties crackdown of the Red Scare in 1949), to an image of a naked Nixon using only an image of the globe to cover himself (a twist on "the emperor has no clothes"), to a thief's "getaway care" driven by the Supreme Court representing the metaphorical theft of the 2000 presidential election (which was ultimately decided by a Supreme Court decision), Herblock does not shy away from hot button topics or controversy. A worthy tribute to a truly great cartoonist, Herblock is enthusiastically recommended to public and privately library collections, and to anyone who enjoys political cartoons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
A well-written commentary on a great cartoonist and humanitarian, this book is priceless. The book also includes Herblock's most famous cartoons about critical political, economic, and social issues during his long years at the Post. And, thousands of his cartoons in an easily accessible, well organized DVD.

I am a "book renter," using our excellent local library as the source of my reading pleasure. However, having seen an Herblock exhibit at the National Gallery in WDC, I found out that thousands of his cartoons would become available in this book. Therefore, this rare -- for me -- decision to buy the book, is one I made over one year before publication. It was worth the wait!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2013
A perfect coffee table book that can be reviewed again and again. Well designed and easy to read. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
If you're of an age, Herblock was your guy, through the years. This, along with the accompanying DVD are excellent. If you're younger, this is perhaps the sharpest take on U.S. political history you can cartoons, mind you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
Politics and current affairs explained in a different perspective. A very complete work of Herblock and a must have book for every cartooning carrier student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2014
I enjoyed paging through the cartoons and will go back
and read the book more slowly.

I have not played the DVD.
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on March 19, 2014
This man had the ability to portray the truth with simple imagery. Even as a child I would search for his cartoons in the newspaper. Every time a pick up the book a feel the march of time and know the history we shared. This book is a treasure. The biggest failure of the American Public is to know history. Oh if only he could ridicule the idiot politicians of today. I miss Herblock in a personal way.
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on December 31, 2014
This was a gift for my father-in-law, who grew up on the political cartoons of Herblock. The hard bound book and the accompanying DVD provide the reader with a comprehensive view of Herblock's wit and insight into our political culture and times. My FIL thoroughly enjoyed this gift, spending many hours leafing through it's contents. Highly recommend!
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Herblock: A Cartoonist's Life
Herblock: A Cartoonist's Life by Herbert Block (Hardcover - October 18, 1993)


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