Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel Hardcover – October 1, 1999
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Before Yertle, before the Cat in the Hat, before Little Cindy-Lou Who (but after Mulberry Street), Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) made his living as a political cartoonist for New York newspaper PM. Seuss drew over 400 cartoons in just under two years for the paper, reflecting the daily's New Deal liberal slant. Starting in early 1941, when PM advocated American involvement in World War II, Seuss savaged the fascists with cunning caricatures. He also turned his pen against America's internal enemies--isolationists, hoarders, complainers, anti-Semites, and anti-black racists--and urged Americans to work together to win the war. The cartoons are often funny, peopled with bowler-hatted "everymen" and what author Art Spiegelman calls "Seussian fauna" in his preface. They are also often very disturbing--Seuss draws brutally racist images of the Japanese and even attacks Japanese Americans on numerous occasions. Perhaps most disturbing is the realization that Seuss was just reflecting the wartime zeitgeist.
Dr. Seuss Goes to War marks the first time most of these illustrations have appeared in print since they were first published. Richard H. Minear's introduction and explanatory chapters contextualize the 200 editorial cartoons (some of whose nuances might otherwise be lost on the modern reader). Those who grew up on Seuss will enjoy early glimpses of his later work; history buffs will enjoy this new--if playful and contorted--angle on World War II. --Sunny Delaney
From Library Journal
Few fans of Dr. Seuss's whimsy are likely to be aware that before authoring The Cat in the Hat Theodor Seuss Geisel penned editorial cartoons for the New York daily PM. This new collection presents approximately half the newspaper cartoons that Geisel drafted for the pro-New Deal paper from the start of 1941 (when his main targets were the isolationists who opposed U.S. intervention in European and Asian affairs) until 1943 (when he accepted a commission in the U.S. Army). Minear (history, Univ. of Massachusetts) has done a fine job of selecting, arranging in thematic order, and providing historical commentary for these cartoons, which are full of Geisel's expected visual wit; seeing the early development of his eccentric animal menagerie is a special treat. As Art Spiegelman notes in his introduction, Geisel's Uncle Sam seems to have been practice for what would become the Cat in the Hat. "The prototype for the cat's famous headgear is actually...Uncle Sam's red-and-white-striped top hat! The Cat in the Hat is America!" writes Spiegelman. Recommended for larger libraries.AKent Worcester, Marymount Manhattan Coll., New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For much of the period, Geisel's cartoons appeared every day, sometimes twice. Minear concluded that, with one or two possible exceptions, Geisel always came up with his own ideas, a luxury he was afforded by PM's editor Ralph Ingersol whose editorial stance -- "[w]e are against people who push other people around" -- suited Geisel just fine. He took on the America Firsters, isolationists, profiteers, slackers, anti-Semites, and the military's Jim Crow practices as well as Hitler, the Japanese leaders, and Mussolini. The artwork got better as it went along and the creatures he created would, in some cases, show up years later in his children's book work.
To summarize, Geisel's record as an editorial cartoonist would, by itself, assure him a hallowed place in the history of American journalism. That we have largely overlooked it is a function, not of its lack of significance, but of the weight and importance of his work as a children's book author and illustrator. WW II is history, our need to raise children who can read well will always be with us. Fortunately, "The Cat in the Hat" and "Horton The Who" and all of the other wonderful Dr. Seuss books are there to help us.
End note: For more on Geisel, see the reviews (including mine) of "Theodore SEUSS Geisel" by Donald E. Pease in the Oxford University Press "Lives and Legacies" series (2010). Art Spiegelman's introduction also ran as a "Notebook" piece in the New Yorker under the title I have borrowed for this review.