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by Mark Vallen - ART FOR A CHANGE
Tuesday, May. 28, 2002 at 10:51 AM
In 1916 the radical American journal, The Masses, published Robert Minor's infamous Cartoon, "AT LAST A PERFECT SOLDIER!" His Drawing landed him in prison.
minor.jpg, image/jpeg, 291x360
Robert Minor, born in Texas in 1884, became the most well known Editorial Cartoonist in the United States by the time of the First World War. He was the chief Cartoonist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch when he became influenced by Socialism. His work was so popular that he was hired by the
New York World in 1910, making him the highest paid Cartoonist in the country. Minor was one of the first Artists to use grease crayon on paper in drawing his cartoons. The resulting Illustartions looked like traditional Lithographs.
Minor's drawings... mocking denunciations of the wealthy and the drive towards war, became increasingly unacceptable to the New York World. In 1915 Minor was ordered to change his editorial content to that of supporting the war effort, he refused, and left the paper to work for the radical
independent journal, The Masses.
Robert Minor was completely opposed to the First World War, based on the Socialist view that Workers all over the world were united in their class interests, and that they shouldn't be slaughtering each other for the
benefit of the rich. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, The Masses came under government attack for "undermining the war effort." The journal's mailing privileges were suspended and eventually the journal was forced to cease publication for violating the Espionage Act. Robert Minor was sent to Federal Prison for drawing the Cartoon shown on this page.
Released from prison in 1919, Minor found work with the New York Call and went to Europe to cover the rising tide of revolution. He was arrested in Germany for "spreading treasonous propaganda" among British and American troops. Minor returned to the U.S. to join the American Communist Party. In 1924 he helped establish the Party's newspaper, The Daily Worker, and contributed Cartoons to the publication for the next twenty-five years. Robert Minor died in 1952.
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