Herblock, Political Cartoons, atomic weapons


Cartoons are irresistible. No other printed medium conveys its message to a wider range of people. Hebert Block (Herblock) and other popular syndicated cartoonists provided a substantial slice of the cartoons Americans saw each evening as they opened their newspapers. Their themes represent discourse on a national level as opposed to regional or local cartoonists. Examining the intent and content of 1950s editorial cartoons sheds light on society's reaction to the nuclear threat and what part the opinion pages played in shaping the public perception of the nuclear weapons race. Herblock's cartoons emphasized the unknown and uncontrollable nature of atomic weapons, thus both reflecting and contributing to the atmosphere of fear pervading American society in the 1950s.