Saturday, July 04, 2009

Dr. Seuss vs. Hitler

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The Holocaust Museum has a display of Dr. Seuss political cartoons which isn't very good--it doesn't have an originals, and doesn't even really show all that many of the cartoons he drew for P.M. (That said, a concurrent exhibition, A One-Man Army: The Art of Arthur Szyk is well-worth seeing. It has both originals and printed copies of the Szyk's work, so you can see the context for the pieces.)

But thanks to Radosh.net, I've found a place where online where you can see all of Seuss's political cartoons.

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The anti-Lindbergh cartoons are vicious! We tend to forget this unsavory aspect of the aviation pioneer these days.

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Heh--this reminds me of many kneejerk reactions to Obama.

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More on Lindbergh.

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After the Japanese attacked, Seuss's battles with the isolationists, America-firsters, and Lindbergh abruptly end. Those people are history and the job now is to keep America fighting.

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Sadly, Seuss swallowed the lie that Japanese Americans were potential traitors--thinking that lead directly to concentration camps for a people based solely on their national ancestry.

http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspolitic/pm/1942/20223cs.jpg

Seuss was aware that the rest of the world was depending on the U.S.--it wasn't just about us.

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Hey, this looks familiar!

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About half of Seuss's cartoons were aimed at getting Americans at home to act in ways that supported Americans fighting abroad.

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This is as stirring a defense of freedom of speech as any I've seen!

http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspolitic/pm/1942/20602cs.jpg

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Seuss was also a bit of a scold.

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But he was capable of celebrating when things went right (for a change).

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He did several cartoons opposing Jim Crow hiring practices in war industries.

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Happy Independence Day!

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