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Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

The Art of Rube Goldberg (Abrams)

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By now, many people don’t realize Rube Goldberg was a real person, a cartoonist, not just some kind of crazy cartoon machine. Along with page after page of his drawings, The Art of Rube Goldberg includes illuminating essays by The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik and others that describe the world of the cartoonist and the implications of his drawings. Although Goldberg owned one of the first cars in Manhattan, he distrusted the over-mechanization of society, which he spoofed in visions of ridiculous yet functional machines that complicated ordinary tasks. Machines were supposed to be labor saving, yet Goldberg suspected that they could also create more work and separate us from real, hands-on experience. Many of the precisely engineered gadgets and scenarios of his cartoons remain funny decades later. (David Luhrssen)
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