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Dictators in Cartoons

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What is it that makes dictators fear cartoonists? The answer is that they can't stand to be ridiculed. And they don't help their cause much by so obviously enjoying the trappings of power, appearing in public with a retinue of bodyguards, a fleet of limousines and rows of medals across their chests topped off with over-sized sunglasses. Cartoonists may not be able to toppl What is it that makes dictators fear cartoonists? The answer is that they can't stand to be ridiculed. And they don't help their cause much by so obviously enjoying the trappings of power, appearing in public with a retinue of bodyguards, a fleet of limousines and rows of medals across their chests topped off with over-sized sunglasses. Cartoonists may not be able to topple tyrants or change the course of history, but they can lessen the climate of fear and bring courage to the victims of state bullying with their subversive drawings. Laughter is the last thing dictators want to hear, especially when they are the subject of it.


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What is it that makes dictators fear cartoonists? The answer is that they can't stand to be ridiculed. And they don't help their cause much by so obviously enjoying the trappings of power, appearing in public with a retinue of bodyguards, a fleet of limousines and rows of medals across their chests topped off with over-sized sunglasses. Cartoonists may not be able to toppl What is it that makes dictators fear cartoonists? The answer is that they can't stand to be ridiculed. And they don't help their cause much by so obviously enjoying the trappings of power, appearing in public with a retinue of bodyguards, a fleet of limousines and rows of medals across their chests topped off with over-sized sunglasses. Cartoonists may not be able to topple tyrants or change the course of history, but they can lessen the climate of fear and bring courage to the victims of state bullying with their subversive drawings. Laughter is the last thing dictators want to hear, especially when they are the subject of it.

45 review for Dictators in Cartoons

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    It is a very strange feeling...how do you 'laugh' or 'make fun' of these monsters? When you think of the suffering they have caused the human race there is nothing funny about it. But then it occurred to me that the fact of the matter is that they HATE when they are made to look foolish; and that is the very reason we all should laugh at them - because by making them look foolish we are all the little boy who laughs at the emperor with no clothes on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    The Emperor Has No Clothes I am not sure exactly what I was expecting from this book when I picked it for its title. I guess I was hoping for Trudeau's Yuge about Trump, Doonesbury-type laughs about subjects familiar to me: Hitler, Stalin. About once a month here I need to laugh, given the political tensions and fears in my country right now. Tony Husband is an award-winning British cartoonist, very prolific, lots of books, lots of yuks. Just the ticket. But Dictators in Cartoons: Unmasking Monst The Emperor Has No Clothes I am not sure exactly what I was expecting from this book when I picked it for its title. I guess I was hoping for Trudeau's Yuge about Trump, Doonesbury-type laughs about subjects familiar to me: Hitler, Stalin. About once a month here I need to laugh, given the political tensions and fears in my country right now. Tony Husband is an award-winning British cartoonist, very prolific, lots of books, lots of yuks. Just the ticket. But Dictators in Cartoons: Unmasking Monsters and Mocking Tyrants is not a silly book. It is a scholarly worked, well-researched, about cartoons against dictators across history. As he says, it is “a pictorial history of the fightback cartoonists have led against the tyrants of history on behalf of ordinary men and women everywhere.” Dictators in Cartoons features cartoons (and not strips) by primarily editorial page political cartoonists, accompanied by short analytical texts by Husband, sometimes discussing the cartoonists and the degree of pushback they got for their cartoons. Hitler hated one British cartoonist so much he vowed to execute him as soon as Germany took over England. The first chapter is devoted to nineteenth-century cartoons (of Napoleon, Tsar Nicholas, and others), and subsequent chapters examine cartoons skewering Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Franco and Mao Zedong. There are also examples of cartoonist making fun of more contemporary dictators such as Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Un, Milosevic, and others. There have been a lot of dictators in the last century or so! So cartoonists will always be there, helping us to laugh even as we cry. This is a good book about taking the work of political cartoonists seriously, seeing them and acts of satire, parody and laughter as necessary.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Scott Klemm

    Tony Husband is an award winning British cartoonist. His book, Dictators in Cartoons: Unmasking Monsters and Mocking Tyrants, is “a pictorial history of the fightback cartoonists have led against the tyrants of history on behalf of ordinary men and women everywhere.” As Husband put it: “The more they (the dictators) promoted themselves, the more dictators challenged cartoonists to take them down a peg or two…Laughter confuses dictators, and knocks them off stride.” Dictators in Cartoons is not ju Tony Husband is an award winning British cartoonist. His book, Dictators in Cartoons: Unmasking Monsters and Mocking Tyrants, is “a pictorial history of the fightback cartoonists have led against the tyrants of history on behalf of ordinary men and women everywhere.” As Husband put it: “The more they (the dictators) promoted themselves, the more dictators challenged cartoonists to take them down a peg or two…Laughter confuses dictators, and knocks them off stride.” Dictators in Cartoons is not just a picture book consisting of old editorial cartoons. Each cartoon is accompanied with short text explaining the context, translating if in a foreign language, and sometimes providing information about the cartoonist. Entire chapters are devoted to Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Franco and Mao Zedong. Others are included in Tyrants of Long Ago (King Louis-Philippe, Napoleon, Tsar Nicolas II, etc.) and in Modern Despots (Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung Un, etc.).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessh093

    Awesome! I really enjoyed this book as a break from my usual reads. Not only does it include some fantastic historical primary cartoons that were published during the rise and fall of leaders (for some), the additional extracts accompanying them also really does give some good brief information on more obscure facts about the rulers as well as the cartoonists.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen McRae

    Political cartoonists can make very large statements in just one picture. This book is brilliant and the commentary is a very quick way to pick up a history lesson

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael P.

    This is a great book for the cartoons, but weak on context. It needs more than the captions to be really effective.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Huffman

    The hover tags for Goodreads tells me that two stars equals "it was OK" which seems bonkers to me (because 4/10 or 2/5 seems more like I hated it) but I am trying to get used to it. This is a mildly entertaining little book I found in Hoopla. I would recommend finding a physical copy because the layout in Hoopla was seriously glitchy and frustrating. I was intrigued by the title because I've gained a slight fascination with WWII propaganda after stumbling upon a bunch of it in the wake of the cr The hover tags for Goodreads tells me that two stars equals "it was OK" which seems bonkers to me (because 4/10 or 2/5 seems more like I hated it) but I am trying to get used to it. This is a mildly entertaining little book I found in Hoopla. I would recommend finding a physical copy because the layout in Hoopla was seriously glitchy and frustrating. I was intrigued by the title because I've gained a slight fascination with WWII propaganda after stumbling upon a bunch of it in the wake of the creeping fascism put on acceleration that was our most recent election and decided to finally read it today. And while is a good source of interesting cartoons lampooning dictators through time, I find its historical commentary off-putting or just generally not very informative. This book reinforces the pro-US/capitalist version of history, piling all the 'Socialist' and 'Communist' dictators together with the many Fascists from the past century and the more ancient dictators while shrugging off the dictators that the US put in power to stop the spread of anti-capitalist ideals. The chapter on Mao is also particularly awkward since it is mostly racist depictions of Chinese folks, which the book justifies only by saying that Communist China was too strict to have any homegrown political cartoons. Anyway, 'it was OK' because it's still a decent little collection of cartoon propaganda, despite Husbands's biased commentary. (Note: Some of the commentary IS informative, since you're still provided context to most of the drawings.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bjorn

    Worth it for the collection of vintage satires, could have used a bit more interesting text in between them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Bishop

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Sipila

  11. 5 out of 5

    Konrad

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Zhang

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schul

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Austen Miller Aceituna

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cendrella Azar

  19. 4 out of 5

    Masto

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charlie H. Davis, Jr.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carlton Duff

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sam Vercauteren

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nelli

  24. 5 out of 5

    Georgie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Sipila

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dna

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Rhode

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Belyew

  31. 5 out of 5

    Adam Taffner

  32. 5 out of 5

    Christie

  33. 5 out of 5

    Lauren McDaniel

  34. 5 out of 5

    Randy

  35. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

  36. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Hoffman

  37. 4 out of 5

    Reverenddave

  38. 4 out of 5

    Joe Btfsplk

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Paradise

  40. 5 out of 5

    Chris Holder

  41. 4 out of 5

    Wilbur

  42. 5 out of 5

    Zach Opsitnick

  43. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

  44. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  45. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

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