Thomas Nast by Fiona Deans Halloran
The Father of Modern Political Cartoons

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Synopsis

Thomas Nast (1840-1902), the founding father of American political cartooning, is perhaps best known for his cartoons portraying political parties as the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant. Nast's legacy also includes a trove of other political cartoons, his successful attack on the machine politics of Tammany Hall in 1871, and his wildly popular illustrations of Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly magazine. Throughout his career, his drawings provided a pointed critique that forced readers to confront the contradictions around them.
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.
 

About Fiona Deans Halloran

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Fiona Deans Halloran teaches history at Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
 
Published January 7, 2013 by The University of North Carolina Press. 380 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Thomas Nast

Publishers Weekly

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Thomas Nast may be known as “The Father of Modern Political Cartoons,” but history teacher Halloran’s thorough biography of the 19th-century journalist is much more than mere caricature.

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Thomas Nast: The Father of Mo...

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Thomas Nast (1840-1902), the founding father of American political cartooning, is perhaps best known for his cartoons portraying political parties as the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant.

| Read Full Review of Thomas Nast: The Father of Mo...

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