In Things Dr. Seuss Would Rather You Didn't Remember

Little known fact: During WWII, Dr. Seuss did his patriotic duty cartooning propaganda for the War Dept. and pencilling political cartoons for the tabloid PM. Really. Seuss's trademark whimsy runs headlong into racist demonization of the enemy. It's as unsettling as it is fascinating.

Just check out this drawing imploring citizens to buy savings bonds: A caged Seussian rhino, replete with Hitlerstache and totally swastikafied, is held captive by a smiling bald eagle in Uncle Sam garb.

Or this little number: A cutesy Josef Stalin (maybe a first) holds up a platter of stuffed, Nazi pig, captioned "They're serving roast Adolf at Joe's house tonight!"

And for added irony: A pile of wood labeled "War Work To Be Done" is emblazoned with a sign "No Colored Labor Needed," as two African American men look on, appearing somewhat gobsmacked. Racism is a bad thing, Seuss says here (see also The Sneetches). Except when Othering the enemy (see image above).

Like I said, unsettling, fascinating. More here.

[Cross-posted. And thanks to my pal Will for passing this along.]

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