Synopses & Reviews
"This meticulous exploration into comics and the censorship campaigns of the late 1940s and 1950s proves interesting and accessible to even neophytes of comics. Hajdu reveals a complicated and controversial history interlacing public opinion and 'research' on the effects of comics by cultural critics such as Sterling North and Frederic Wertham with interviews of artists, publishers and consumers of comics at the time. Stefan Rudnicki's deep gravely voice with its smooth release and pace compliments the sometimes exhaustive Hajdu. However, Rudnicki's quoting voice can be both tiresome and questionable as he instills accents that are not necessarily suggestive from the text, and often they are indistinguishable from other similarly accented voices. Surprisingly, though the topic is highly visual in nature, listeners won't necessarily feel they are missing out on the illustrations and photos in the book. Simultaneous release with the FSG hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 10). (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first createdin the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books.
In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first created in the bold, pulpy pages of comic books. The Ten-Cent Plague explores this cultural emergence and its fierce backlash while challenging common notions of the divide between "high" and "low" art. David Hajdu reveals how comics, years before the rock-and-roll revolution, brought on a clash between postwar children and their prewar parents. Created by outsiders from the tenements, garish, shameless, and often shocking, comics became the targets of a raging generational culture divide. They were burned in public bonfires, outlawed in certain cities, and nearly destroyed by a series of televised Congressional hearings. Yet their creativity, irreverence, and suspicion of authority would have a lasting influence.