In 2006, a cartoon in a Danish newspaper depicted the Prophet
Mohammed wearing a bomb in his turban. The cartoon created an
international incident, with offended Muslims attacking Danish
embassies and threatening the life of the cartoonist. Editorial
cartoons have been called the most extreme form of criticism
society will allow, but not all cartoons are tolerated.
Unrestricted by journalistic standards of objectivity, editorial
cartoonists wield ire and irony to reveal the naked truths about
presidents, celebrities, business leaders, and other public
figures. Indeed, since the founding of the republic, cartoonists
have made important contributions to and offered critical
commentary on our society. Today, however, many syndicated cartoons
are relatively generic and gag-related, reflecting a weakening of
the newspaper industry's traditional watchdog function. Chris Lamb
offers a richly illustrated and engaging history of a still vibrant
medium that "forces us to take a look at ourselves for what we are
and not what we want to be." The 150 drawings in Drawn to
Extremes have left readers howling-sometimes in laughter, but
often in protest.
Subjects: Language & Literature, Art & Art History, Political Science, History
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