“The Vicious Circle’: Communist Cartooning, Internationalism & Print Culture, c.1917-25’

Hyde, Samuel S. (2017) “The Vicious Circle’: Communist Cartooning, Internationalism & Print Culture, c.1917-25’. Twentieth Century Communism: A Journal of International History (12). pp. 200-234. ISSN 9781912064625 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

In September 1921, the President of the Communist International, Grigorii Zinoviev, wrote to its national sections on ‘The Character of our Newspapers’. The circular gave practical guidance for a ‘new type of communist organ’ based on the Bolshevik daily, Pravda. In these publications, Zinoviev asserted, the pencil could be elevated over the pen: ‘One caricature which hits the nail on the head is of better use than scores of high flown so-called ‘Marxist’ boring articles’. This study examines the first generation of communist cartoonists and transnational networks that shaped the formative organs of the British movement between 1917 and 1925. During the unification of the Communist Party of Great Britain, social democratic cartooning traditions remained prominent in contesting the tenets of a future communist party. Indigenous cartoons were supplemented by those syndicated or recycled through international networks. Under ‘Bolshevisation’ - that sought to cleanse national parties of social-democratic remains - cartoon circulation was increasingly routed through official Comintern channels. Nonetheless, a dynamic culture of cartooning was sustained, if not always encouraged.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cartoons; Communism; Internationalism; Print Culture; Social Democracy
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History and Politics
Depositing User: Sam Hyde
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 08:53
Last Modified: 11 May 2017 08:53
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1954

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