Monday, July 15, 2019

Review of "The Wonderful World of J. Wesley Smith," by Burr Shafer

Review of

The Wonderful World of J. Wesley Smith, by Burr Shafer

Five out of five stars

 These cartoons are based on non-trivial historical facts that may be lost on those not well versed in history. One of my favorites has a man reading in a stuffed chair while a woman struggling with six small children tells him, “Instead of just sitting there reading Malthus, why don’t you help out around here?” This is of course a reference to Thomas Robert Malthus and his theories of how a population will tend to outgrow the resources available to it.

 Another favorite has a man in a publishing house where there are posters of books authored by Horatio Alger. A man is sitting in an office chair and the caption is, “Why don’t you do a story about me, Mr. Alger? How I inherited this business from my father and …” Of course, Horatio Alger was famous for writing rags-to-riches stories, in fact the phrase “A Horatio Alger story” is used to refer to such events.

 My final featured cartoon has a man about to board an ancient sailing galley and the caption is, “I’m in a hurry to get home so I’ll go with Ulysses.” Of course, this is a reference to “The Odyssey,” the ten-year adventurous journey back from the victory in the Trojan War.

 Many of these cartoons would be excellent supplements to materials in history classes, they are entertaining and challenging.

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