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Herblock: A Cartoonist's Life Hardcover – October 18, 1993

3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Herbert Block, or Herblock, as he is more commonly known, has been an editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post since 1945. A Cartoonist's Life reproduces 250 of his best cartoons from those years (along with some from his earlier stints in Chicago and Cleveland), skewering politicians from Hoover and FDR to Clinton and Gingrich. Herblock also offers his candid reflections on life in the newspaper trade, rubbing shoulders with the people he drew, including the evaluation offered by Lyndon Johnson at a White House reception: "Oh, he'll come over and eat your cookies, but then he'll go back and draw a cartoon giving you hell the next day."

Herblock's always been willing to choose giving the objects of his criticism hell over the easy laugh, as many of the grimmer cartoons on subjects like antigun control lobbyists and the Bosnian conflict attest. The paperback edition includes added material going up to July 1998 addressing campaign finance reform, the unfinished war in Iraq, and the political showdown between President Clinton and independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The prize-winning Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herblock is feared by erring politicians and admired by others for his humorous and pointed drawings on issues of the day. Along with 200 examples of his graphic style and ingenious ideas (Nixon holding the GOP elephant hostage, Carter viewing his own "Fuzzy" TV image, Ollie North turning shredded evidence into lucrative contracts), the artist here engagingly recalls a baseball-and-trolley-car Chicago boyhood followed by his start as a poorly paid cartoonist, a career which ultimately won him nation-wide recognition. Block includes hard-hitting capsule histories of Nixon, Reagan and Bush administration scandals he chronicled. His quietly told press corps anecdotes, such as helping a colleague authenticate a letter from President Truman, his insider bits on the famous and descriptions of correspondence he has received from people he has criticized are all pure delight.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (October 18, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0025118951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0025118959
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The fact that Herblock's cartoons give conservative Republicans indigestion every time they're published should be one reason to buy this book. The fact that Herblock can be equally scathing of Democrats who wimp out on their responsibilities is another. Contrary to the assessment of the overly-partisan reviewer below, I maintain that Herblock is an equal-opportunity gadfly and, as this autobiography shows, one who has led an interesting life both at the Washington Post and away from it. Buy this book and piss off a conservative!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A brilliant artist tells it like it was, with sparkling humor. Good insights into five decades of American history. Inside-the-Beltway gossip about American movers and shakers.

Herblock had a sharp pen, considering that he hobnobbed with the people he satirized. He often encountered them at Washington dinners and parties. That could have been awkward, but he was not afraid of the powerful. President Lyndon Johnson said of him, “Oh, he’ll come over and eat your cookies, but then he’ll go back and draw a cartoon giving you hell the next day.” It was a distinction to catch hell from Herblock; his victims sometimes even requested the original cartoons.

His cartoons present a liberal point of view, but no prominent politician was safe from Herblock’s pen. He had no sacred cows. He knew lots of celebrities. The reader will enjoy his anecdotes about fellow cartoonists, authors, journalists, even movie stars. Political cartooning is hard work and Herblock did it well for forty-seven years. This book suggests that he enjoyed every minute of it!

A fun read, especially for history buffs and political junkies. Lavishly illustrated with you know what. There is also a photo section.
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Format: Paperback
The single finest political cartoon image of a politician and the winner of our national "gut feeling" awareness award goes to Herblock's Richard Nixon rising from a casket with his dracula cape, fangs and 5 o'clock shadow just below the hands holding the wooden stake and mallet.
No, Nixon was still alive and kicking when Herblock did that commentary. He was trying to become an "elder statesman" and given his political history of rising from oblivion -- Herblock had him and us dead square.
Walt Kelly (Pogo) and Herblock were the seminal political cartoonists of the middle of the century. They are missed.
This -- all too short -- book covers the only a few highlights out of a 50 year career. Buy the book. Herblock is gone, but his insights will not fade.
GRO
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Is a great book and so much fun to see the cartoons. It brings to life earlier political stories in the best way possible.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I FIND THIS BOOK VERY INTERESTING IT IS ALMOST LIKE TAKING A TRIP THROUGH THE CORNERS OF HERBLOCK'S MIND I LOVE IT!
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