Art Young was one of the most renowned and incendiary political cartoonists in the first half of the 20th century. And far more — he was an illustrator for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s, a New York State Senatorial candidate on the Socialist ticket, a magazine publisher, and perhaps the only cartoonist to be tried under the Espionage Act for sedition. He made his reputation appearing in The Masses on a regular basis, using lyrical, vibrant graphics and a deep appreciation of mankind’s inherent folly to create powerful political cartoons.
To Laugh That We May Not Weep is a sweeping career retrospective, reprinting — often for the first time in 60 or 70 years — over 800 of Young’s timeless, charming, and devastating cartoons and illustrations, many reproduced from original artwork, to create a fresh new portrait of this towering figure in the worlds of cartooning and politics.
With essays by Art Spiegelman, Justin Green, biographer Marc Moorash, Anthony Mourek and Valerie Higgins, and Glenn Bray, with a biographical overview of Young’s life and work by Frank M. Young, To Laugh That We May Not Weep is a long-awaited tribute to one of the great lost cartoonists whose work is as relevant in the 21st century as it was in its own time.
"Political cartoons usually have the shelf life of yogurt, yet many of Art Young’s drawings from the early twentieth century remain fresh and hilariously witty. A jovial man who even had empathy for his enemies, Young had a winning sense of humor as well as a strong sense of social justice." — The New Yorker
"The brilliance and humane qualities of Art Young's work are as real in these pages as they ever were. Reader, dig in." — LA Review of Books
"Published at a time when political rancor overwhelms nearly every other conversation, To Laugh That We May Not Weep is a welcome reminder of how poignant, elegant and, yes, funny a historic political cartoon can be." — Chicago Tribune
"To Laugh That We May Not Weep enshrines, even as it comments on, the work of the preeminent American political cartoonist. Young's beautifully drawn cartoons are still fresh and as powerful as any tabloid front page." — Bookforum