Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Back Home by Bill Mauldin

His Italian campaign Willie and Joe cartoons for the Stars and Stripes are deservedly well known.

I knew he'd gone into editorial cartoons later--seen a few. Back Home shows his transition.

There wasn't economic room for the vast numbers of demobilized men, transition to civilian life wasn't trivial, and the army wasn't always done with you yet--he illustrated them all. Some of our collective memories of the era in our own country are more than a bit gilded, and people were literally starving to death in Europe.

It's worth reading. Don't expect work as compelling as the war cartoons.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I had seen some of these before, though long ago and I don't know where.

Yes, the first few postwar years remained tough, and we have forgotten it. Because there was a general boom throughout the 50s, we tend to back-date that in our imagination.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

A statistic assembled because it is in a memorable form that is nonetheless true: in 1940, 49% of the population was below the poverty line. In 1949, 40% of the population was still below the poverty line.