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The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons…
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The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power

by Victor S. Navasky

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Disappointing history of political cartooning and caricature over the last several hundred years. The author does make good choices of the right cartoonists to feature in such a book, and the sections on individual cartoonists are interesting. The first part of the book, however, which purports to treat cartooning in general, is too full of lit-crit babble to be useful, or interesting. Also, the reader should be prepared to deal with a highly personal viewpoint -- the author is a former editor of "The Nation", and has many anecdotes to share. An interesting book., but not the serious study I was looking for. ( )
  annbury | Jul 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307957209, Hardcover)

A lavishly illustrated, witty, and original look at the awesome power of the political cartoon throughout history to enrage, provoke, and amuse.

As a former editor of The New York Times Magazine and the longtime editor of The Nation, Victor S. Navasky knows just how transformative—and incendiary—cartoons can be. Here Navasky guides readers through some of the greatest cartoons ever created, including those by George Grosz, David Levine, Herblock, Honoré Daumier, and Ralph Steadman.  He recounts how cartoonists and caricaturists have been censored, threatened, incarcerated, and even murdered for their art, and asks what makes this art form, too often dismissed as trivial, so uniquely poised to affect our minds and our hearts.

Drawing on his own encounters with would-be censors, interviews with cartoonists, and historical archives from cartoon museums across the globe, Navasky examines the political cartoon as both art and polemic over the centuries. We see afresh images most celebrated for their artistic merit (Picasso's Guernica, Goya's "Duendecitos"), images that provoked outrage (the 2008 Barry Blitt New Yorker cover, which depicted the Obamas as a Muslim and a Black Power militant fist-bumping in the Oval Office), and those that have dictated public discourse (Herblock’s defining portraits of McCarthyism, the Nazi periodical Der Stürmer’s anti-Semitic caricatures). Navasky ties together these and other superlative genre examples to reveal how political cartoons have been not only capturing the zeitgeist throughout history but shaping it as well—and how the most powerful cartoons retain the ability to shock, gall, and inspire long after their creation.


Here Victor S. Navasky brilliantly illuminates the true power of one of our most enduringly vital forms of artistic expression.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:34 -0400)

"A lavishly illustrated, witty, and learned look at the awesome power of the political cartoon throughout history to enrage, provoke, and amuse. As a former editor of The New York Times Magazine and the longtime editor of The Nation, Victor Navasky knows just how incendiary--and transformative--cartoons can be. Here Navasky guides readers through some of the greatest cartoons ever sketched--by George Grosz, David Levine, Herblock, Honore Daumier, Thomas Nast, Ralph Steadman, et al.--as he asks what makes cartoons so uniquely positioned to affect our minds and our hearts. Incorporating neuroscience, psychology, and a sweeping historical view of the cartoon's evolution, The Art of Controversy is a book for all lovers of satire, politics, and the vastly underappreciated and endlessly surprising art form of the political cartoon. "--… (more)

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