“White is Black, Black is White, Night is Day—”
In the years following World War II, growing tensions between world powers and the chilling threat of nuclear warfare gave rise to what is commonly called the “Cold War Era.” Between 1948 and 1953 these tendencies intensified. As the leading democracy in the postwar world, the United States found its influence and authority challenged by dictators of totalitarian states as they consolidated their positions in the global hierarchy. Herb Block’s cartoons during this time critique the nature of totalitarian states and their sometimes violent imposition of authority on their own societies and others. He also voiced the urgent need for international agreement on nuclear arms control. Block won his second Pulitzer Prize for his 1953 cartoon on the death of Joseph Stalin. As relations worsened between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, internal debates flared within the U.S. over varied forms of communist infiltration. Communist China took aggressive action in Korea, which eventually led to American involvement in the Korean War.
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