The Implacable Urge to Defame: Cartoon Jews in the American Press, 1877-1935
Syracuse University Press
Hardcover 978-0-8156-3496-6 Available now.
“Fascinating, disturbing, groundbreaking and stunningly complete, The Implacable Urge to Defame will remain a unique and brilliant work, to be studied and referenced for years to come.”—Archie Rand, professor of art, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York
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“This book is an important contribution to early twentieth-century studies, to Judaic Studies programs, and to the large field of literature that addresses the pernicious effects of ethnic stereotyping.”—Mona Hadler, professor of art history at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
“The book is unique in its subject matter, its attention to detail, its use of supporting literary material, some of it informational, some of it interpretive, and, perhaps above all, for its analytic acumen and insightful interpretation of the cartoons . . . wonderfully readable, informative, [and] enlightening.”—Donald Kuspit, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy at Stony Brook University
From the 1870s to the 1930s, American cartoonists devoted much of their ink to outlandish caricatures of immigrants and minority groups, making explicit the derogatory stereotypes that circulated at the time. Members of ethnic groups were depicted as fools, connivers, thieves, and individuals hardly fit for American citizenship, but Jews were especially singled out with visual and verbal abuse. In The Implacable Urge to Defame, Baigell examines more than sixty published cartoons from humor magazines such as Judge, Puck, and Life and considers the climate of opinion that allowed such cartoons to be published. In doing so, he traces their impact on the emergence of anti-Semitism in the American Scene movement in the 1920s and 1930s.
Matthew Baigell is professor emeritus in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University. He is the author of numerous books, including American Artists, Jewish Images, Jewish Art in America: An Introduction, and Social Concern and Left Politics in Jewish American Art, 1880–1940. He is a Founding member and Advisor of the Jewish Art Salon.
6 x 9, 224 pages, 67 b/w illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
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