The Red Octopus
- The Red Octopus
- Full Title:
- The Red Octopus: Complete reprints of a serialization detailing how, in the past two decades, the Soviet Union has made alarming gains in its drive for world domination
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Mohr, Henry, 1920-
- Date posted:
- ID Number:
Communism & Cold War
- 8 x 11 on sheet 28 x 22
- Collector's Notes:
- The map on the cover of this pamphlet uses the octopus metaphor to describe "how, in the past two decades, the Soviet Union has made alarming gains in its drive for world domination." A number of other cold war maps used the image of arrows to make the same point (see, e.g., ID #1356 "How Communists Menace Vital Materials", #1375 "Communist Conspiracy", #1351 "Stalin's Secret War Plans").
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
- Starr, O., & Mohr, H. 1980. The red octopus. St. Louis, Mo.: St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Articles originally published Sept. 27, 1980 - Oct. 15, 1980.
- 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.