View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Just finished Back Home, and I'd have to say it was something of a disappointment. In fact, so does Mauldin at the end of the book. His politics are anti-Communist liberal, but the ideas are much less focused and thought-through. He blames this on being forced to continue cartooning during his readjustment to civilian status, rather than being allowed to refamiliarize himself with American life. Since he also didn't get a chance to have the normal GI-reentry experience, he couldn't even do those cartoons well. We also need to remember that he was still very young.

It is interesting to see that America was already becoming more conservative after the war (this is 1947), and a number of pseudo-Fascist groups were trying to use anti-Communism to their advantage. Eventually, McCarthy would demagogue red-baiting to its death. Mauldin also portrays the Hearst newspapers as being almost pro-fascist throughout the war, but I find this hard to believe. It'd be worth going back and reading some of them to see.

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