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2.6 out of 5 stars
The Cartoons That Shook the World
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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
One might think that a book titled "The Cartoons that Shook the World,"
especially a scholarly one published by an academic press, would contain
reproductions of the cartoons that are the subject of the entire book.
In fact, the original manuscript did, but the cartoons were removed
by the publisher, Yale University Press. The publisher censored its own
book because it did not want to offend anyone. The book was thus
"bowdlerized," robbing the reader of the most interesting and relevant parts.
The banned cartoons apparently can be found in a new book titled
"Muhammad: The Banned Images" by Gary Hull. Amazon deserves credit for
selling "The Banned Images" and for having more spine than
Yale University Press.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
The entire point of the book, I would have thought, is to show us the 'offensive cartoons' and thereby allow readers to understand the controversy. How can this be done without the cartoons? (Actually, they were there originally, by the publisher didn't want the controversy. So much for academic freedom, 'Freedom of the Press,' and facing the truth.)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The fact that the cartoons were censored is asinine, i hope they never sell another copy
One star because it wasnt the authors fault and the books uncensored content is very important
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If Yale was selling cowardice, they could resolve the national debt.

How can you put together a book on cartoons that shook the world and NOT include the cartoons?? I refer specifically to the Danish cartoons that Islamofascists used as a pretext for trying to murder cartoonists. Apparently the ROP (Religion of Peace) has a very short fuse when it comes to depictions of terrorism - so naturally when you see a cartoon of Mohammad with a sizzling bomb as a turban, you prove you are the true ROP by murdering people.

Yeah, that works. For Yale Press, at any rate.

Yale Press, embracing its dhimmitude stature, actually tried to explain why they were too cowardly to do so.

So why publish the book at all?

Maybe Yale is trying to show us how the future will be navigated for those of the Yellow Stripe on the back and the yellow stain on the pant leg. That might work for them, but I'd love for some other publisher - maybe one that has men of character, courage, and cajones - to do the job and publish the cartoons as they were printed.

Yale Press should simply fold and sell prayer rugs like good dhimmis, and stop pretending they have anything to do with free, scholarly inquiry.

What an absurd farce!
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The controversy of the Danish cartoons has been an unusual and fascinating one, but its premise lies at the heart of Western civilization: the problem of how the West perceives Islam, and how members of the faith feel compelled to defend their religion.

Klausen's book is thorough, thoughtful, and well worth the read. It manages to overcome the extraordinary barrier of having to speak about illustrations not reproduced in the text.

Jytte Klausen specifically published her book through the Yale University Press because they, of all the publishers interested in her book, were the only ones willing to reproduce the cartoons. It is neither her fault nor that of the Press that the cartoons were removed; the decision was made by Yale University itself, which has rarely if ever made such an aggressive editorial intervention.

To merely debate the matter does not advance knowledge. Instead, the book should be read in whole; its argument is worth the attention of the YUP critics. Yale's censorship is a travesty, yes, but the book is important enough that even its most vocal critics would be remiss not to read it.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
While the written content is interesting, overall this book falls short for one obvious reason: It does not contain the cartoons that are the subject of the book. It was like reading Moby Dick, but because of political correctness and/or sheer cowardice, all of the whale hunting passages were edited out. If you happen to see this book at your local library, leaf through it if you have nothing better to do, but don't buy it.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
What cartoons are you talking about? Oh, too afraid to put them in your book? Then write about something else---maybe a book about Snoopy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
A very informative book, diminished only by the omission of images of the Danish cartoons which caused the uproar.

In a free society, someone is always offended by political cartoons, but we don't stop the cartooning. The furor in the Middle East was created, intentionally by Imams in Europe, who added cartoons depicting people as pigs, which related to a French Festival, wholely unconnected with the Danish cartoons. Unfortunately, the Muslims in the Middle East did not know this, and exploded into violence. In Islam, to criticize is to blaspheam. We, in the West should not allow ourselves to be intimidated into compliance with Islamic beliefs.
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on October 9, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The positive part is that Klausen offers a rich and precise account of the facts and people involved in the Danish Catoon-affair. On the other hand, she seems to offer all the evidence against the point she tries to make: that although rioting and killing all over the world, burning embassies, and issuing death threats is wrong, the West is somehow responsible for "offending" Muslims and thus partially to blame for the despicable savagery that was the result of the publication of a few satirical cartoons in a small Scandinavian liberal democracy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Klausen's book is an interesting account of the global controversy that erupted after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a collection of cartoons depicting Muhammad. Much has been written about this controversy, but Klausen's book is valuable to readers interested in it because it gives a detailed factual account, complete with chronology, of exactly how the controversy unfolded. The Cartoons That Shook the World makes it clear that the sequence of events involved is far more complicated than the simple idea that publication equalled protests. In fact, diplomatic maneuvering, ignorance and mistaken perceptions of what the cartoons were, the re-publication of the cartoons, and more helped feed the fire that eventually led to demonstrations accounting for (by Klausen's count) around two hundred fatalities and eight hundred injuries (p. 106). The strength of the book comes from the factual detail included, and Klausen conducted dozens of interviews with some of the major players involved. This is, I think it fair to say, more in the nature of quality journalism than deep scholarly analysis, but there is definitely room for multiple ways of approaching the subject.

One aspect of the book that I found particularly helpful was the discussion of the purported Islamic prohibition on representing Muhammad through images. As Klausen explains, conceiving of there being a flat ban over-simplifies a complex idea. "It was often said that Islam prohibits the depiction of Muhammad and that Muslims were angry because the prohibition was violated. One need not spend much time in Islamic art collections to know that the Prophet's life and biography are the subject of many illustrations. . . . The representations are regarded as pictures of the human prophet and not of the divine, 'the beauty of which no human eye can capture,' according to the Koran." (p. 8). In a section titled "What Muslims Do and Do Not Do With Respect to Figurative Representations" (pp. 137-143), Klausen goes into more detail on this issue. Klausen concludes that "it seems clear that the Danish caricatures did not violate a generalized Islamic prohibition on figurative representation but rather insulted Muslims by portraying the Prophet in a disrespectful manner." (p. 139)

Earlier in the book, Klausen writes "[t]he cartoons live on in a deadlocked debate over the balance between free speech, civility, and the propriety and reach of blasphemy laws." (p. 54) The concept of blasphemy was invoked during the controversy not just in its religious connotation, but also in its legal connotation as Islamic activist groups in Denmark hoped to apply the country's blasphemy law as a shield against the cartoons. However, the Danish Public Prosecutor refused to consent to the proceedings, which further fed perceptions of hypocrisy and double standards.
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