“John Adler’s America’s Most Influential Journalist: The Life, Times and Legacy of Thomas Nast brings together for the first time over 1000 of the famous political and social cartoons created by Thomas Nast. Nast is best remembered for his unrelenting visual campaign against William “Boss” Tweed. But Nast’s cartooning covered a far wider territory than Tweed alone. The Civil War, slavery, Reconstruction, Presidential campaigns, the currency — all were fat targets for Nast’s barbed drawing-pen.
Although Nast did not invent the political cartoon, he transformed it into the sharply-hewn iconographic weapon that it is today. Adler introduces us to the artist who wanted to be known as a history painter and book illustrator as well as a cartoonist, and this generously-proportioned collection of Nast’s images creates what could almost be a Nast encyclopedia. But it is, at the same time, an encyclopedia of hilarity — from Adler’s work, we learn the political history of Nast’s times, but we also cannot suppress more than a few laughs at a satiric wit that crosses the decades. It is a book to peruse for the sheer fun of Thomas Nast — and for the history of his times.”
— Allen C. Guelzo, Director, Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and prize-winning author of several books about the Civil War and nineteenth century American history