Thomas Nast, America’s Greatest Political Cartoonist:
A History of Pictorial Caricatures of 19th Century Society
America’s greatest 19th Century Cartoonist, Thomas Nast is the one chiefly responsible for our Christmas vision of a jolly, red-suited, and plump Santa Claus. But more than a playful artist, Jay G. Williams suggests that Nast is an iconographer, building within pictorial images the presence of the sacred as he popularized political and cultural symbols like Lady Columbia. Copiously illustrated, Williams presents Nash’s work in such a way as to bring together politics, religion, and culture in the images themselves. While popularizing these images, Nast also sanctified them. And in the tension between the two realms, Nast’s work lives on.
“Perhaps the most salient point that Professor Williams’ manuscript makes – and I don’t know if anyone has made this point so clearly – is that religious tolerance and an ideal of a ‘civil religion’ underlies Nast’s critique of those figures and ideas that he lampooned in his cartoons. I found this understanding of Nast to be illuminating.”
Table of Contents
Foreword by Jay G. Williams
ISBN10: 0-7734-4239-1 ISBN13: 978-0-7734-4239-9