The Implacable Urge to Defame
Cartoon Jews in the American Press, 1877-1935
A compelling look at the history of anti-Semitism in American visual culture.
"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
"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
Unknown Artist, Joseph Pulitzer, Our Worst Editor, from Life, March 9, 1899
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.
Book Description »[Close »]
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.
View other series books on Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art.
6 x 9, 224 pages, 67 b/w illustrations, notes, bibliography, index