Thomas Nast (Hardcover)
The Father of Modern Political Cartoons
University of North Carolina Press, 9780807835876, 384pp.
Publication Date: January 7, 2013
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In this thoroughgoing and lively biography, Fiona Deans Halloran focuses not just on Nast's political cartoons for Harper's but also on his place within the complexities of Gilded Age politics and highlights the many contradictions in his own life: he was an immigrant who attacked immigrant communities, a supporter of civil rights who portrayed black men as foolish children in need of guidance, and an enemy of corruption and hypocrisy who idolized Ulysses S. Grant. He was a man with powerful friends, including Mark Twain, and powerful enemies, including William M. Boss Tweed. Halloran interprets Nast's work, explores his motivations and ideals, and illuminates Nast's lasting legacy on American political culture.