Few Americans now remember the vast political battles that divided the United States during World War II. We look back in a patriotic haze at a nation that seemed united but was, in fact, as divided as it is today.
A decade ago, the book "Dr. Seuss Goes to War" showed that Theodor Seuss Geisel, in addition to his many children's books, was a very engaged political cartoonist during the war years. His cartoons lambasted the American isolationists and then the Axis foes daily, from 1940 to 1943, in PM, the radical New York tabloid.
Until Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, many of the country's Republicans were adamantly opposed to any intervention to help the Allies. (Some, such as Charles Lindbergh, the heroic aviator, even thought the Germans were bound to win and shouldn't be antagonized. Seuss relentlessly attacked him and others who were unwilling to admit that the United States was endangered.)
But Seuss was far from the only noted artist working for PM. The forthcoming "Dr. Seuss & Co. Go to War" offers the work of many others who became famous in the New Yorker magazine and elsewhere. Along with columnists such as I.F. Stone and Max Lerner, they pointedly showed the concerns of the American left before and during the war.