Synopses & Reviews
All the Art That's Fit to Print reveals the true story of the world's first Op-Ed page, a public platform that--in 1970--prefigured the Internet blogosphere. Not only did the New York Times's nonstaff bylines shatter tradition, but the pictures were revolutionary. Unlike anything ever seen in a newspaper, Op-Ed art became a globally influential idiom that reached beyond narrative for metaphor and changed illustration's very purpose and potential.
Jerelle Kraus, whose thirteen-year tenure as Op-Ed art director far exceeds that of any other art director or editor, unveils a riveting account of working at the Times. Her insider anecdotes include the reasons why artist Saul Steinberg hated the Times, why editor Howell Raines stopped the presses to kill a feature by Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, and why reporter Syd Schanburg--whose story was told in the movie The Killing Fields--stated that he would travel anywhere to see Kissinger hanged, as well as Kraus's tale of surviving two and a half hours alone with the dethroned peerless outlaw, Richard Nixon.
All the Art features a satiric portrayal of John McCain, a classic cartoon of Barack Obama by Jules Feiffer, and a drawing of Hillary Clinton and Obama by Barry Blitt. But when Frank Rich wrote a column discussing Hillary Clinton exclusively, the Times refused to allow Blitt to portray her. Nearly any notion is palatable in prose, yet editors perceive pictures as a far greater threat. Confucius underestimated the number of words an image is worth; the thousand-fold power of a picture is also its curse.
Op-Ed's subject is the world, and its illustrations are created by the world's finest graphic artists. The 142 artists whose work appears in this book hail from thirty nations and five continents, and their 324 pictures-gleaned from a total of 30,000-reflect artists' common drive to communicate their creative visions and to stir our vibrant cultural-political pot.
"The enduring relevance of the New York Times op-ed illustrations are explicated with literary flair by Kraus, a former art director of the page, who contends that the groundbreaking pictures 'changed the very purpose and potential of illustrations... to stir the political and cultural pot.' Episodic essays accompanied by illustrations re-create the battles between art directors and editors that have raged since the Times created the world's first op-ed page in 1970. The works of famous Times illustrators like Brad Holland and Roland Topor, are enriched by Kraus's presentation of the controversies associated with their publication or rejection. The book serves as a chronicle of late 20th-century history, replete with sardonic images of tyrants and visual commentaries on the fall of communism; the works of Eastern Europeans who fled totalitarian regimes are some of the most challenging and resonant. In this overflowing treasure chest of ideas, politics and cultural critiques, Kraus proves that 'art is dangerous' and sometimes necessarily so. 306 illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lamb . . . brings all his scholarly tools to the project. . . . The author has documented a story of immense cultural importance."—Kirkus Starred Review
"[Conspiracy of Silence] is a valuable resource for students of baseball history and for readers concerned with the history of race relations and the media in this country."—Robert Bruce Slater, Library Journal
"Though it covers some familiar ground, this solidly researched study introduces new faces to the picture to broaden the context. The clear, bold writing makes the book a joy to read."—L. A. Heaphy, Choice
"Conspiracy of Silence offers overwhelming evidence of the effectiveness of the black press in advancing integration in this country."—Dorothy Seymour Mills, New York Journal
"Lamb's thorough journalistic exposé chronicles the drama and history behind the game, while tracing how the desegregation of baseball parallels the story of the civil rights movement in the United States."—Kathleen Gerard, Shelf Awareness
"Lamb's research shows the struggle that took place in the media had a lot to do with the tug-o-war of ideals and practicality of all the issues involved in the decision. It's as good a book on the subject as we've ever come across."—Tom Hoffarth, Farther Off The Wall
In 1970, the New York Times launched Op-Ed, a groundbreaking phenomenon that transformed journalism. Not only did nonstaff bylines shatter tradition, but the pictures were revolutionary. Unlike anything ever seen in a newspaper, Op-Ed art became an internationally influential, fertile idiom that reached beyond narrative for metaphor and changed illustration's very purpose and potential. Conceived as a tool to add intellectual resonance and emotional impact to the prose, Op-Ed art accessed an eloquent underbelly where topical texts become springboards for illuminating our cosmic drama.
Written by thirty-year Times insider Jerelle Kraus, whose thirteen-year tenure on the volatile Op-Ed page far exceeds that of any art director or top editor, All the Art reveals Op-Ed's story from its conception to today while recounting the stormy confrontations of word and image, artist and editor.
Many illustrations killed by the Times for provocation, blasphemy, or political incorrectness are published here for the first time. Others appear in their original forms before Times editors stripped them of their wit.
Kraus's book reproduces more than 300 of Op-Ed's most striking images by 127 of the finest international graphic artists of our time. A treasury of illustration, this is also a stunning pictorial perspective on the events and personalities that shape our lives. Frank and sassy, Kraus's intimate tale takes the reader behind the scenes of the newspaper of record, where ego and ambition, stoicism and humor, can collide over a two-inch spot of art.
A "New York Times" insider explores the world's first Op-Ed page, a public platform that--in 1970--prefigured the Internet blogosphere and changed illustration's very purpose and potential.
The campaign to desegregate baseball was one of the most important civil rights stories of the 1930s and 1940s. But most of white America knew nothing about this story because mainstream newspapers said little about the color line and less about the efforts to end it. Even today, as far as most Americans know, the integration of baseball revolved around Branch Rickeys signing of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945. This book shows how Rickeys move, critical as it may well have been, came after more than a decade of work by black and left-leaning journalists to desegregate the game.
Drawing on hundreds of newspaper articles and interviews with journalists, Chris Lamb reveals how differently black and white newspapers, and black and white America, viewed racial equality. He shows how white mainstream sportswriters perpetuated the color line by participating in what their black counterparts called a “conspiracy of silence.” Between 1933 and 1945, black newspapers and the Communist Daily Worker published hundreds of articles and editorials calling for an end to baseballs color line. The efforts of the alternative presses to end baseballs color line, chronicled for the first time in Conspiracy of Silence, constitute one of baseballs—and the civil rights movements—great untold stories.
About the Author
Chris Lamb, a professor of journalism at the Indiana University School of Journalism, Indianapolis, is the author of Blackout: The Story of Jackie Robinsons First Spring Training, available in a Bison Books edition.