Four More Years

Here is how political cartoonists have sized up the candidates over a tumultuous half-century.

AMERICANS HAVE BEEN turning out political cartoons since the dawn of the Republic, but in the nineteenth century the drawings tended to be verbose and cluttered, their characters trailing long ribbons of speech balloons as they stumbled over obscure symbols. It took the national turmoil that surrounded the emergence of Franklin Roosevelt to bring the art to its incisive, confident, acid maturity. On the eve of the election, we offer a portfolio of cartoons both admiring and execrating from the last thirteen presidential contests.Read more »

“To Bring You The Picture Of Europe Tonight…”

In 1938 the European correspondent for CBS was in Austria when the Nazis marched in. He wanted to tell the world about it—but first he had to help invent a whole new kind of broadcasting.

I FIRST MET ED MURROW at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin on Friday, August 27, 1937, He had sent me a telegram three days earlier inviting me to dinner. I was not in the best of moods. After three years as a newspaper correspondent in Berlin, I was out of a job, very nearly broke, and my wife.Tess, was pregnant. Read more »

The World Of Gluyas Williams

He was more than just a cartoonist. He was the Hogarth of the American middle class.

IF YOU WANT a quick fix on what upper-middle-class Americans were doing between the two World Wars, look at the cartoons of Gluyas Williams. It will take less time than reading Dodsworth or the works of J. P. Marquand, and will be just as accurate. Accurate observation was the essence of Williams’s art, and he was, in the words of one magazine editor, a “superb noticer.” Read more »

The Inland Printer

was the first magazine in America to change its cover for every issue. And these covers may still be the best graphic art magazine has ever produced.

 

One of the most influential magazines in America before the turn of the century was The Inland Printer , one hundred years old this year and now known as The American Printer and Lithographer . Although primarily a journal for the trade, The Inland Printer displayed a powerful artistic imagination as it reported the printing industry’s coming of age.Read more »

John F. Kennedy, Twenty Years Later

Was the murdered President one of our best, a man of “vigor, rationality, and noble vision” or was he “an optical illusion,” “an expensively programmed waxwork”? A noted historian examines the mottled evolution of his reputation.

The murder of John F. Kennedy twenty years ago last month occasioned an overwhelming sense of grief that may be without parallel in our history. When the news first was announced, people wept openly in the streets, and during the painful weekend that followed, as the mesmerizing images of the youthful President and his family were flashed again and again on the television screens, the feeling of deprivation deepened.Read more »

What Made The ‘World’ Great?

It exposed corruption. It hired drunks. Good writing was rewarded. No wonder every newspaperman wanted to work there.

For three days in the fall of 1930 a bearded, former Norwegian seaman could be seen pacing back and forth at the front entrance of the Pulitzer Building on Park Row, New York City, home of the World , with a sandwich sign that read, “Hire Joe Liebling!” Read more »

If You Ran A Small-town Weekly

… you could battle for clean government, champion virtue, improve the public school, defend the consumer, arbitrate taste, and write lean, telling prose. Or at least that was the author’s dream. Here’s the reality.

It was three in the morning, two days after St. Patrick’s Day, 1958, when I disembarked from a Greyhound bus and stepped into the snowdrifts at the entrance to the Kennebunk Inn, in Kennebunk, Maine. A startled night clerk called the police; he could conjure no other service that might help me go the final mile of my trip in a snowstorm. My journey ended when I said good night to patrolman Frank Stevens, slammed the cruiser door, and entered the cottage where Sandy Brook waited for his new partner. Read more »

Faking It With Pictures

What do you do if there’s no photographer around when Valentino meets Caruso in Heaven?

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but one day in 1926 a picture was worth one hundred thousand extra readers. In August of that year, New York City’s newspapers were in the middle of one of their usual summer circulation wars. Of all the papers the most eccentric and sensationalist was the tabloid-size New York Graphic . The circulation-boosting picture showed nothing less than Rudolph Valentino’s entry into Heaven. Read more »

Faking It

If the facts were dull, the story didn’t get printed. So reporters made up the facts. It’s only recently that newspapers have even tried to tell the truth .

In the winter of 1894-95, Theodore Dreiser was a new reporter on the New York World , and things were going badly. One assignment after another fizzled. Dispatched by the city editor to Elizabeth, New Jersey, to follow up a tale of a graveyard apparition, the gangling twenty-three-year-old returned empty-handed: the cemetery caretaker insisted that the dead man supposedly involved was not even buried there.Read more »

“the First Rough Draft Of History”

… is today’s newspaper. Here the executive editor of the Washington ‘Post’ takes us on a spirited dash through the minefields that await reporters and editors who gather and disseminate a most valuable commodity.

As executive editor of the Washington Post , Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee guides and shapes one of the two or three best newspapers in America. He has been called “a born leader, a quick study … and intuitive. His paper reflects his own interest and hunches.Read more »