Archive for July 30, 2011

Radical Children’s Literature Now! (video)

Radical Children's Literature Now! -- title slide

On June 25th, Julia Mickenberg and I delivered “Radical Children’s Literature Now!” — the Francelia Butler Lecture at the 2011 Children’s Literature Association Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.  The video for that talk is now on-line.

For more information, see the bibliography we handed out to those in attendance.  Eventually, this lecture will appear on the Children’s Literature Association’s website.

Related content (updated 19 Nov. 2011):

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Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss Biography. Appendix B: We Are for Wallace

WE are for Wallace, 20 Oct. 1948: headerAt the risk of further alienating this blog’s modest readership, here is the second of four appendices cut from The Purple Crayon and a Hole to Dig: The Lives of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (forthcoming from University Press of Mississippi, 2012).  As is true of Appendix A, this one also registers Johnson’s alliance with the Popular Front, an anti-Fascist coalition of leftists, liberals, and even some moderates.  (For more on the subject, please see Michael Denning’s The Cultural Front [Verso, 1998]; for more on children’s literature and the Popular Front, check out Julia Mickenberg’s Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States [Oxford UP, 2006].)  At this point (1948), however, the onset of the Cold War had begun to unravel the Popular Front — Wallace, FDR’s former Vice President, now garnered the support primarily of those on the left.  Liberals and some moderates went for Truman.

The results of this presidential election (1948) confirm the Popular Front’s demise: Progressive Party candidate Wallace came in fourth, just behind Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond.  Republican candidate Dewey came in second (as he had done in 1944), and the Democratic nominee Truman won.

Appendix B

WE Are for Wallace

[October 1948]

WE BELIEVE deeply that the words of Henry A. Wallace hold the promise of peace.

“There is no misunderstanding or difficulty between the U. S. A. and the U. S. S. R. which can be settled by force or fear and there is no difference which cannot be settled by peaceful, hopeful negotiations.  There is no American principle or public interest, and there is no Russian principle or public interest which would have to be sacrificed to end the cold war and open up the Century of Peace which the Century of the Common Man demands.”

WE BELIEVE with Henry Wallace that the major parties and their candidates — Thomas E. Dewey and Harry S. Truman — in bi-partisan alliance have brought us to the brink of war and fascism; that they represent in their policies the interests of the few at the expense of the many; that to a Democratic and a Republican Congress must be attributed inflation (Truman killed price control and the Republicans buried it); fear and intimidation (Truman’s Loyalty Order and the Republicans’ Thomas Committee); repression of labor (Truman charted the course for the Taft-Hartley law when he broke the railroad strike in 1946).

WE BELIEVE with Henry Wallace that America cannot be free until all men, regardless of race, color or creed, can live and work together without fear of discrimination.

WE BELIEVE with Henry Wallace that science, art, literature and education cannot flourish in an atmosphere of intimidation and policed opinion.

WE BELIEVE with Henry Wallace that the United Nations must be made effective, not by-passed or used by us or others, as a pawn in the game of power politics.

WE ARE AMERICANS loyal to our nation’s heritage.  We are deeply convinced that full realization of progress and freedom are possible for the people of this nation.  We believe that this is inherent in the program of policy of Henry A. Wallace.  As independents, and as artists, scientists and professionals, we are proud to pledge our support to his candidacy.

This advertisement is issued by the

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF ARTS SCIENCES AND PROFESSIONS

Harlow Shipley, Chairman             Jo Davidson, Honorary Chairman

Victor Samrock, Treasurer

Don’t miss our Election Eve broadcast with Henry

Wallace, Glen Taylor and a host of celebrities.

Monday evening, Nov. 1st, 9:30 P. M.

over the American Broadcasting System

Bernice Abbott

Rev. Charles B. Ackley

Louis Adamic

Dr. Thomas Addis

Larry Adler

Gregory Ain

Prof. James W. Alexander

George Antheil

Edith Atwater

Prof. Irwin Ross Beuer

Marc Blitzstein

Kermit Bloomgarden

Peter Blume

Edward Bromberg

Richard Burgin

David Burliuk

Dr. Allan M. Butler

Dr. George D. Cannon

Morris Carnovsky

Vera Caspary

Edward Chodorov

Dr. S. W. Clausen

Nicolai Cikovsky

W. G. Clugston

Robert M. Coates

Lee J. Cobb

George Colouris

Betty Comden

Fanny Cook

Aaron Copland

Dr. Samuel Corson

Howard da Silva

Jo Davidson

Dr. John de Boer

Adolph Dehn

Martha Dodd

Prof. Dorothy W. Douglas

Olin Downes

Paul Draper

W. E. B. DuBois

Roscoe Dunjee

Prof. L. C. Dunn

Clifford J. Durr

Arnaud D’Usseau

Dr. Thomas Emerson

Lehman Engel

Philip Evergood

Prof. Henry-Pratt Fairchild

Fyke Farmer

Howard Fast

Prof. Joseph Fletcher

Leatrice Joy Gilbert

Jay Gorney

Morton Gould

James Gow

Charles P. Graham

William Gropper

Wrnest O. Grunsfeld

Robert Gwathmey

Prof. David Haber

Uta Hagen

Talbot Hamlin

Dashiell Hammett

E. Y. Harburg

Minna Harkavy

Prof. Fowler Harper

Dr. Marion Hathaway

Lillian Hellman

Joseph Hirsch

Ira Hirschman

Judy Holliday

Libby Holman

Mary Hunter

John Huston

Burl Ives

Sam Jaffe

Crockett Johnson

Dean Joseph L. Johnson

Reginald Johnson

Matthew Josephson

Robert Josephy

Garson Kanin

William Katzell

Nora Kaye

Stetson Kennedy

Robert W. Kenny

Rockwell Kent

Arthur Kober

Carl Koch

Howard Koch

Alfred Kreymborg

Alexander Laing

Millard Lampell

John Latouche

Richard Lauterbach

John Howard Lawson

James D. Le Cron

Canada Lee

Robert E. Lee

Alan Lipscott

Harry L. Lurie

Aline MacMahon

Norman Mailer

Albert Maltz

Thomas Mann

Fletcher Martin

John Martin

Prof. F. O. Matthiessen

Dr. Leo Mayer

Frederic G. Melcher

Lewis Milestone

Arthur Miller

Dr. Clyde R. Miller

Sam Moore

Prof. Philip Morrison

Willard Motley

Isamu Noguchi

Clifford Odets

Prof. Frank Oppenheimer

John O’Shaugnessy

Shaemas O’Sheel

Prof. Erwin Panofsky

Prof. Linus Pauling

I. Rice Pereira

S. J. Perelman

Jennings Perry

Minerva Pious

Abraham L. Pomerantz

Prof. Walter Rautenstrauch

Anton Refregier

Anne Revere

Bertha C. Reynolds

Mischa Richter

Wallingford Riegger

William M. Robson

Harold Rome

Prof. Theodor Rosebury

Norman Rosten

Muriel Rukeyser

Fred Saidy

Dr. Bela Schick

Artur Schnabel

Budd Schulberg

Prof. Frederick L. Schuman

Adrian Scott

Edwin Seaver

Ben Shahn

Artie Shaw

Herman Shulmin

Prof. Ernest J. Simmons

Louis Slobodkin

Maud Slye

Agnes Smedley

Moses Soyer

Raphael Soyer

Alfred K. Stern

Philip Van Doren Stern

I. F. Stone

Paul Strand

Prof. Dirk J. Struik

William M. Sweets

Arthur Szyk

Helen Tamiris

Louis Untermeyer

Mark Van Doren

Mary Van Kleeck

Pierre Van Paasen

Prof. Oswald Veblen

Prof. Eda Lou Walton

Lynd Ward

Theodore Ward

Prof. Colston E. Warne

Dr. Goodwin Watson

Max Weber

Charles Weidman

Dr. F. W. Went

Edward Weston

Frank W. Weymouth

Prof. Norbert Wiener

James Waterman Wise

Prof. Thomas Moody

Frank Lloyd Wright

William Zorach

Leane Zugsmith


. . . and thousands of other artists, scientists and professionals whom space does not permit listing.

If you agree with us, help spread this message in newspapers throughout the country and help broadcast Henry Wallace’s message to millions of Americans in a final Election Eve broadcast.

[Following the above sentence, the ad includes a form to clip and send — with a contribution — to the National Council of the Arts, Sciences and Professions]

Source: “WE are for Wallace,” advertisement, New York Times, 20 Oct. 1948, p. 32.

WE Are For Wallace, 20 Oct. 1948

Some on the above list wrote or illustrated books for young readers: In addition to Johnson, there’s Louis Slobodkin, Mischa Richter, and Lynd Ward.  Abraham L. Pomerantz was the father of future children’s author Charlotte Pomerantz.  Careful readers might also notice three of the group who would be known as “The Hollywood Ten“: John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, and Adrian Scott.

If you liked this post, you might find the following entries mildly intriguing, since all concern The Purple Crayon and a Hole to Dig: The Lives of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss:

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