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Monday, April 7, 2008

When comic books scared America

One way of looking at the history of U.S. popular culture is to see it as periodic eruptions of condemnation of what young people—or others of “limited sophistication”—like to see, hear, read and do. Such an episode is described in The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), David Hajdu’s splendid account of America’s “comic-book scare” of the early 1950s. It is weird—to use one of comic books’ favorite words—to read about events that one has experienced. I grew up on 10-cent comic books . . .
Books
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How FDR continues to outrage the right

By and large, historians have credited President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal for getting the United States out of the Great Depression. From time to time salvos are lobbed from conservative bunkers, such as Amity Shlaes’ anti-New Deal tome of last year, The Forgotten Man. But like so many other books of its kind, it failed to land a lethal hit, and meanwhile the ranks of New Deal defenders continue to be replenished.
Books
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008

Germany on the brink

You could almost suppose that Germany had no past before 1933, so massively does the Third Reich overwhelm popular thought and historical writing about the country. But it does, and one of the most interesting periods is the one immediately preceding . . .

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