Customer Reviews: The Art of Ill Will: The Story of American Political Cartoons
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I've been a big fan of political cartooning for a long time, dating from reading Pogo in the daily papers back in the 1950s, and acquiring Bill Mauldin's two published wartime collections when I was in college. Dewey is a general writer of popular nonfiction, not a specialist in this field, but he does a pretty good job of surveying the history of the editorial cartoonist's art in U.S. history, from Ben Franklin and Paul Revere and Thomas Nast to Herblock and Pat Oliphant and Gary Trudeau. He seeks not only to present telling examples of each artist's work but also each man's influence, why those being lampooned sometimes tried to bring pressure to bear (Patton hated Mauldin and many papers relegated Doonesbury to the editorial section under pressure from advertisers), and how the public's attitudes changed over time. There are some reservations, however. First, not all artists lived or worked in New York or Washington, but you would think so from the selection in this book. Second, he doesn't seem to quite "get it" when he's discussing certain periods of American history, especially the age of imperialist expansion at the turn of the 20th century. (Maybe because, as noted, he's not an historian.) Many of the drawings in the very lengthy introduction are too small to read the text, but don't worry -- they all seem to appear again in the body of the book, which is divided into thematic chapters.
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on July 16, 2015
It is not a definitive collection however it is an excellent start if you are looking for a history of political cartoons. I do wish it had gone into more detail into some of the history of certain characters if you will. Example. Why the transition from Brother Johnathan to Uncle Sam. I would love to see more depth about Nast, Fieffer, and Herblock. A great light read on political cartoons
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VINE VOICEon October 28, 2007
A very good title, a very good subject, but ultimately a mediocre book.

Donald Dewey starts strong about the early history of political cartoons, but then fades into boring personal views in his overlong "Introduction."

The actual cartoons are the guts of this book, and most interesting on their own. Unfortunately the author is not a real historian and this collection suffers from a lack balance. For example, very few local editorial/political cartoons are presented in the chapter on "Local and Domestic Politics": most are from the L.A. or New York papers.

I think American political cartoons are more important than does Mr. Dewey and hope that this subject is taken up by another author in a more comprehensive and positive way.
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on February 22, 2013
Damn. Some of these cartoonists are rough! Make that 'most' of them are rough. That's what it's all about.
Great condition. Came very quickly.
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on January 22, 2016
Another book I intended to use for lamination, but couldn't. Beautiful book.
Fast shipping!
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on March 7, 2016
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on October 27, 2007
This is a fantastic collection of political cartoons wonderfully presented. A beautiful coffee table book.

But, upon reflection, all this celebration and I ended up with a question instead of answers.

What have political cartoons ever done?

On second thought, maybe I do have an answer because the answer is nothing. Political cartoons appeal to the converted but have never converted. Political cartoons amuse those who agree and anger those who don't. But can anyone name a single political cartoon that has changed anything?

Even the politicians who have tried to pass laws against political cartoons have BEEN elected despite those cartoons.

So, while this collection is very interesting and historical, I have to say that the entire field of political cartoons amounts to absolutely nothing.
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