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The Cartoon Century: Modern Britain Through the Eyes of Its Cartoonists (Paperback)Timothy S. Benson
Paperback Published: 07/05/2009
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Cartoons have the astonishing power to encapsulate a historical moment or popular mood, and this magnificent new survey tells the story of modern Britain through hundreds of the finest examples. Year by year, from the death of Queen Victoria to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it shows the views taken by the nation's leading cartoonists of the issues and personalities that dominated the news - some of worldwide significance (the outbreak of the Second World War, for example), some of major social and political importance (the rise of the Suffragettes), some reflecting more parochial obsessions (football, bad traffic and the curse of the mobile phone). Occasionally they show a nation united, but more often they reveal where battlelines have been drawn, whether they're cartoons supporting or attacking appeasement, trade unions, the EU or contraception, or seeking to praise or bury Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair or the royal family.A number of the cartoons shown here have achieved iconic status, such as David Low's savage attacks on Hitler and Steve Bell's portrayal of John Major with his pants over his trousers. The majority, however, have not seen the light of day since they were first published, and quite a few are shown here for the first time, having been rejected or censored by contemporary newspapers. Together they offer fascinating, revealing - and often very funny - snapshot views of Britain over the course of a tumultuous century.