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- DescriptionAbraham Lincoln's love of jokes- hear-ing them, telling them, drawing morals from them-prompted critics to dub Lin-coln the National Joker. Interestingly, the political cartoons and print satires that mocked Lincoln often trafficked in precisely the same images and terms Lincoln humorously used to charac-terize himself. In this intriguing study, Todd Nathan Thompson considers the politically productive tension between Lincoln's use of satire and satiric treat-ments of him in political cartoons, humour periodicals, joke books, and campaign literature. Thompson traces Lincoln's comic sources and explains how, in reapplying others' jokes and stories to political circumstances, he transformed humour into satire. Time and time again, Thompson shows, Lin-coln engaged in self-mockery, turning negative assumptions or depictions of him-as ugly, cowardly, jocular, inexperienced-into positive traits that identified him as an everyman while attacking his opponents' claims to greatness, heroism, and experience as aristocratic or demagogic. By fashion-ing a folksy, fallible persona, Thompson shows, Lincoln was able to use satire as a weapon without being severely wounded by it. Thompson also considers how Lin-coln used political cartoons and other media to craft the particular Lincoln image of the self-made man, under-scores exceptions to Lincoln's ability to mitigate negative depictions, and closely examines political cartoons from both the 1860 and 1864 elections. Throughout, Thompson's deft analysis preserves Lincoln's popular humour. This enjoyable volume will appeal to schol-ars of history, politics, literature, and cultural studies as well as to those of American humour and satire.
- Author BiographyTodd Nathan Thompson, an assistant professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, is the author of articles in Nineteenth-Century Prose, ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, Early American Literature, M/MLA Journal, and Journal of American Culture.
- Author(s)Todd Nathan Thompson
- PublisherSouthern Illinois University Press
- Date of Publication30/08/2015
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationCarbondale
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintSouthern Illinois University Press
- Content Note41 illustrations
- Weight408 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine18 mm
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