God and the Gorillas
- God and the Gorillas
- Full Title:
- God and the Gorillas
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Johnston, Scott
- Date posted:
- ID Number:
- Politics & Government
- 30 x 47
- Collector's Notes:
- Arthur Brisbane was a talented journalist hired away from Joseph Pulitzer's New York World by William Randolph Hearst. Brisbane was "a one-time socialist who had drifted pleasantly into the profit system . . . in some respects a vest-pocket Hearst - a personal enigma, a workhorse, a madman for circulation, a liberal who had grown conservative, an investor." Swanberg 1961, 390-91. He became extraordinarily successful as a columnist in the Hearst papers, as well as "some 200 non-Hearst dailies and 800 country weeklies." His work "is said to be read by a third of the total U. S. population. Obviously this is an exaggeration, but half that many would be some 20 million readers." Time Magazine, August 16, 1926. As a columnist, Brisbane was anti-labor, anti-communist, pro-Mussolini and a wealthy owner of real estate - in short, everything the New Masses hated. In this article by Dale Kramer, Brisbane is caricatured as a giant octopus, with tentacles reaching out to strangle cities from Seattle, Los Angeles and San Antonio to Washington and Boston.
The octopus is a persistent trope in persuasive cartography. It first appeared in Frederick Rose's "Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877," ID #2272, about the Russo-Turkish War. "Once Fred W. Rose had created the 'Octopus' map of Europe, it proved difficult to rid propaganda maps of them." Barber 2010, 164. "The prevalence of the octopus motif in later maps suggests that the octopus also spoke to humanity's primeval fears, evoking a terrifying and mysterious creature from the depths (the dark outer places of the world) that convincingly conjured a sense of limitless evil." Baynton-Williams 2015, 180.
The collection includes numerous maps - from Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Latin America, the Netherlands and the U.S. - employing the octopus motif. (Search > “octopus”.) Many of these relate to imperialism and war, from 1877 to the Cold War. Others attack social and political targets, including a "reactionary" journalist, the Standard Oil monopoly, “Landlordism,” mail order houses, Jews and Mormons.
- For further information on the Collector’s Notes and a Feedback/Contact Link, see https://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/content/about-collection-personal-statement and https://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/content/feedback-and-contact
- Kramer, Dale, "God and the Gorillas," New Masses, March 24, 1936, pp. 12-13.
- For full details on references, see http://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/content/references.
- Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
- Archival Collection:
- P.J. Mode collection of persuasive cartography
- For important information about copyright and use, see http://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/copyright.