David Hadju covers one of America’s lesser known periods of censorship in the well-reviewed history of the hysteria, public action, and legal battles against the comic book industry during the 1950s. Kicked off with Frederic Wertham’s bestselling Seduction of the Innocent of 1954, a campaign against one of the most vibrant popular culture products ended in Congressional hearings and the decimation of industry itself. Hadju firmly locates the controversies surrounding comic books in the decade’s cultural upheavals, class conflicts, and the political environment of the Red Scare. He personalizes the story with portrayals of individual authors and writers whose professional lives were virtually eliminated in the fallout.
Here are some links to reviews and relevant material:
The LA Times
Ohio State University’s Cartoon Research Library.
J. Edgar Hoover’s 1943 editorial condemning comic books in pdf format.
Review from the book site Bookslut
David Hadju’s website.
New York Times review.