Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Review Publication: "The Ten-Cent Plague"

"The Not-So-Untold Story of the Great Comic-Book Scare,"
my review essay of David Hajdu's recent book The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, has been published in the May 23rd, 2008 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (specifically, in The Chronicle Review, "The Magazine of Ideas"). Unfortunately, you can only read the article if you or your academic institution subscribe to the CHE. Once a sufficient length of time passes, though, I'll be able to post the full text - or a much longer version - here.

It was an honor for this independent scholar (i.e., me) to be invited to contribute to the Chronicle. I've now officially added my voice to Plague's incredibly large chorus of reviewers. Be sure to check out our
Ten-Cent Plague information page for more information about the book and its reception.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Update Spotlight: David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague

For the life of me, I can't recall another recent book about comics which has received as many reviews as David Hajdu's new history The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008). It re-tells the story of the controversy surrounding comic books in America and how it grew into the 1950s, when - spurred on in part by Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent - Congressional hearings were held concerning the possible contribution of comic books to juvenile delinquency.

The story it tells is well-known (if not always well-understood) by most comics scholars and aficionados of American comic books. However, it seems that the general public - or at least most book reviewers - don't remember much about it at all, if the content of many of the book's reviews is any indication.

Given the book's high media profile, we've decided to collect links to all of the reviews we can find, as soon as they appear. You can find the results at our bibliography page for The Ten-Cent Plague.

We'll post our own review shortly. But in the meantime, if you run across any reviews of the book, either in print or online, that we haven't listed, please let us know and we'll add them. Thanks!

P.S.: We're aided in large part here by the comics research bibliography's Mike Rhode, who also runs the blog ComicsDC (it's about comics in the Washington, DC area, not the comic book publisher of a similar name. And Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter blog has let folks know about our project, too. Thanks, guys!

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