When Authors Go To War: Dr Seuss’s Lesser Known Works

By August 26, 2017Authors, Political, Reading Excerpts

When authors and historians get heavily involved in political debate, it’s often a sign the world is in trouble! We’ve talked about liberal authors and fascism before but today we are featuring Dr Seuss and his little known work as a political cartoonist during World War II.

Seuss created the cartoons for liberal New York Magazine PM and in them denounced Hitler and Mussolini and was highly critical of those who opposed US intervention during the war. He didn’t hold back in these views, deploring the racism against blacks and Jews at home and launching frequent attacks on Congress.

The collection is unmistakably Seuss, even though it’s a world away from his usual subject matter, and the collection offers a fascinating historical insight. It also offers an insight into the man Seuss was, as he poured his opinions and thoughts about the war and politics into these vibrant and inflammatory cartoons. All these years later, the collection is a valuable anti-propaganda document with a message that survives the passage of years.

In 1999 the collection was published as Dr. Seuss Goes to War: World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel in a book written by Richard H. Minear. The book received critical acclaim upon release with reviewers loving Seuss’ scathing look at Hitler, and other fascists of the day. The release of the collection led to several museum exhibits featuring these works, that had until then fallen into obscurity. In 2009 a follow up edition, Dr. Seuss and Co. Go to War combined Seuss’ cartoons with those by other PM artists of the day.

The images contained in this article are from Dr Seuss Goes to War and are thanks to Booksbirdblog.

Boris Pasternak, the CIA and a Forbidden Book

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Boris Pasternak (10th February, 1890 – 30 May, 1960) was a Soviet Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator, probably best known for the novel, Doctor Zhivago. The popular novel was written in 1957, and takes place between the Russian Revolution, and the First World War. It went on to win the author the Nobel Prize for Literature, has been immortalised in a famous movie and is one of the best known Russian stories of all time.

However, Doctor Zhivago was released in a mire of controversy due to the way it portrayed Soviet Russia. The book was immediately rejected for publication in the USSR, and the Communist Part of the Soviet Union were enraged, forcing Pasternak to reject the Nobel Prize. This in itself is interesting enough, but in declassified files we’ve learned that the CIA arranged the first ever publication of the book in Russia. Read More

Nicola Sturgeon – First Minister of Scotland – Bookworm

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Who knew or would even think that Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has the time to be a massive Bookworm? Well she is, and she tweets her reads with short reviews.

She is very passionate about the benefits of reading and set up The First Minister’s Reading Challenge to encourage Scottish children to read, with prizes at the end of each year. Read More

Alex Jones Reportedly Working on a Book That Promises to “Open Your Mind”

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Right-wing American radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is reportedly working on a book with The Game’s author, Neil Strauss, in order to distil his knowledge, philosophies, and mission to uncover conspiracies. As CNN reports, Jones has apparently been pitching the book to US publishers with the promise that it will “open your mind in ways you can’t expect … like the moment you first discovered sex or the internet or quantum physics”.

Jones has written a 27-page proposal for the book with author Neil Strauss and its aim will be to inform readers about “the front lines of the war for your mind.” He promises it will be “a classic that will be … around for generations” and that, if you read it, you “will never look at your life or your world the same way again.” It certainly looks like Jones has big plans for his book.

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Fire and Fury Set to Surpass Sales of Trump’s Own Book, The Art of the Deal

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Despite only being on shelves for the past two weeks, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Administration is already set to outsell President Trump’s own book, The Art of the Deal. Mother Jones reports that Trump’s co-author and the U.S.’ leading book sales tracking company has revealed that Fire and Fury is set to reach over 1.75 million copies sold within the short time it has been out, meanwhile The Art of the Deal, which turned 30 last year, has sold approximately 1.67 million copies.

Since Trump took office just over a year ago, he has been hotly debated by all sides of the political spectrum. Fire and Fury claims to give a behind-the-scenes look at the Trump administration. The amount of public interest in Trump has seen the book fly off the shelves and even the mega online store Amazon sold out of copies upon the book’s release. Read More

New York Prisons No Longer Allow Inmates to Receive Donated Books, They Must Buy Them

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Three prisons in New York have passed regulations which states that prisoners are no longer allowed to obtain books through the mail from family members or community groups. They can now only purchase a selection of 77 books being sold by six state approved vendors. Activists have criticized the regulations for being too restrictive and expensive for the inmates. Read More

Milo Yiannopoulos’ Editor Didn’t Hold Back

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In 2017, the controversial figure Milo Yiannopoulos was working towards publishing his memoirs. Publishing giants Simon & Schuster spent a while debating over whether they even wanted to be seen as supporting Yiannopoulos and his message. The provocative face of the far-right had written some unashamedly hateful opinions that eventually became too much for Simon & Schuster to protect under the umbrella of ‘free speech’, and the memoirs were cancelled. Yiannopoulos eventually had to self-publish.

January 2018 has seen further evidence of the process the publishing team went through before they decided the memoirs were not your average right-wing non-fiction. Critique and comments made by Yiannopoulos’s editor have been made public thanks to the documents being put forward in the earlier court case. Sarah Mei on Twitter had realised this and read through the manuscript’s comments with glee before posting them online.

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