Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) Draws Political Cartoons for PM Magazine
These cartoons rail against isolationism, racism, and ant-Semitism with a conviction and fervor lacking in most other American editorial pages of the period.
These are virtually the only editorial cartoons outside the communist and black press that decried the military’s Jim Crow policies and Charles Lindbergh’s anti-Semitism. Dr. Seuss said that he ‘had no great causes or interest in social issues until Hitler,’ and explained that ‘PM was against people who pushed other people around. I liked that.’ More of a humanist than an idealogue- one of those Groucho rather than Karl Marxists- Dr. Seuss made these drawings with the fire of honest indignation and anger that fuels all real political art. If they have a flaw, it’s an absolutely endearing one: they’re funny.
Dr. Seuss was a not only a successful children's author, but also a successful political cartoonist, lampooning current events during World War II for a progressive newspaper. Viewed as mere entertainment or children’s “funnies,” modern cartoons and comics often don’t get enough respect. But from caricature to commentary, from long-running print serials like Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” to televised satire such as Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons,” political cartoons have rightly taken their place on the page and screen as valid outlets for expressing political thought, championing activism and affecting social change through creative use of visual art.