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Thought Dr. Seuss Was Just Kids Books?

By Brendan S.

Dr. Seuss was a multidimensional social democrat who on one hand provided crucial anti-nationalist dissent in the political cartoon realm during the rise of fascism and WWII, but also contributed to racist stereotypes. His political cartoons helped divert Western populations from fascism, but also helped rationalize racist carceral actions such as Executive Order 9066. After the war Seuss expressed regret and tried to make up for his racist works in his 1954 book “Horton Hears a Who!” but the damage had already been done. His occasional contribution to Red Scare propaganda must also not go unnoticed.

According to one estimate, 1/4 of children in the US are given a Dr. Seuss book as their first book. Liberal, reactionary, centrist, and unengaged parents alike tend to flood their children with Dr. Seuss books in the US, often completely oblivious to the multidimensional character Dr. Seuss was himself. Nonetheless, one cannot help but compare Seuss’s political cartoons to political memes of today, and the legacy of information warfare humor that comes along with them.

The following is a collection of Dr. Seuss political cartoons from the UC San Diego Dr. Seuss collection:


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