Political Cartoons - Preface

Political Cartoons (Illustration) American Presidents Censorship Famous People Government Law and Politics Social Studies Visual Arts Famous Historical Events History Trials American History

Herb Block, one of America's most-brilliant political cartoonists, spent his life cutting politicians down-to-size and holding them accountable for arrogance and bad decisions.  In this cartoon, from 13 August 1951, he warns Americans to be vigilant about their freedoms - including the right to be free from fearing the federal government and national politicians who think (and act) like they are more powerful than they really are.  Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.


He'll come over and eat your cookies,
but then he'll go back and draw a cartoon
giving you h___ the next day.

Lyndon Baines Johnson 
on Political Cartoonist Herb Block

 People say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But when it comes to politics, it’s probably more accurate to say a picture is better than any words.

Political cartoons have jabbed at national leaders for hundreds of years. Using presidential phrases like “I am not a crook” or “I did not have sex with that woman,” cartoonists ridicule the obvious disparities between words and conduct. Each cartoon implicitly asks its subject:  “How stupid do you really think people are?!”

Some of the most famous political cartoons are maintained by national archives. Let’s take a look at the best of Herb Block, as profiled by the Library of Congress. 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Jan 09, 2017

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