The Ten-cent Plague

The Ten-cent Plague

The Great Comic-book Scare and How It Changed America

Audiobook CD - 2008
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In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first created in the bold, pulpy pages of comic books. The Ten-Cent Plague explores this cultural emergence and its fierce backlash while challenging common notions of the divide between "high" and "low" art. David Hajdu reveals how comics, years before the rock-and-roll revolution, brought on a clash between postwar children and their prewar parents. Created by outsiders from the tenements, garish, shameless, and often shocking, comics became the targets of a raging generational culture divide. They were burned in public bonfires, outlawed in certain cities, and nearly destroyed by a series of televised Congressional hearings. Yet their creativity, irreverence, and suspicion of authority would have a lasting influence.
Publisher: Blackstone, 2008.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781433210280
Call Number: 302.232 HAJDU
Characteristics: 10 compact discs
Subjects: Comic books, strips, etc. -- Social aspects -- United States.
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Compact discs, Book.


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Dec 13, 2017

Good, but clearly the director and narrator were unsure of how to pronounce several of the characters the writer describes, as well as a few creator's names.

If you like this, you'll probably like MEN OF TOMORROW even better.

Jan 02, 2010

This is an outstanding look at the Comics Scare of the 1950s. Author David Hadju explores the hysteria that surround the belief than comics were corrupting the youth of America.

Comics were scapegoated for changes that the adults perceived in society, especially in children. Radical methods were used to try and curb the industry, legislation, senate hearings, even book burnings. I couldn't help but be reminded of Tipper Gore's attacking of heavy metal music in the eighties and Jack Thompson's ongoing crusade against video games.

Perhaps the best part of this book are the interviews. Hadju is able to track down people who worked in the industry during its hayday. Their words tell of an industry that was aimed at more than just adolescent boys. It was also one that employed women in creative rolls at a time when their options were limited.

I listened to this as an audio book and found it easy to follow and very compelling.


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