The One about New Yorker’s “On the Money: The Economy in Cartoons, 1925-2009”


(Originally Reviewed back in October 17, 2009)

The New Yorker magazine has always been a source for well-written articles for over 80 years and but also, the publication has also been a great source to find the latest cartoons on various situations happening in American culture.  May it be politics, religions and also the economy.

From the economy starting out in 1925 and the Great Depression of 1929 to the recession of 2009, with “The New Yorker – On the Money: The Economy in Cartoons (1925-2009)”, you get over 250 pages of cartoons from various decades.

Personally, one of the most intriguing parts of the book that I was look forward to was to see how the economy during the 1920’s was depicted in the publication.

From the lady who lends a beggar some money saying “You poor fellow! The stock market, I suppose?” and the man responding with “No, lady, I was always a bum.”

Or the 1930’s with a woman sitting on her husband’s lap during the the theater saying to the woman’s next to them “We’re on a budget”.

And of course, when you make it to the 1980’s during the bubble economy, and the cartoons showing how the Republication 80’s favored the rich with one cartoon showing a man telling another “I suppose one could say it favors the rich, but, on the other hand, it’s a great incentive for everyone to make two hundred grand a year.”

And of course, this decade with cartoons with one man at a bar telling the bartender “I fell like a man trapped in a woman’s salary.” and a woman telling her boyfriend (or husband) with another couple coming to visit, “I forget – are these your friends where we pretend we make more money than we actually do, or less?”.

And another cartoon with a man coming to a gas station and the attendant telling him “If you have to ask how much gas costs, you can’t afford it.”

“The New Yorker – On the Money: The Economy in Cartoons (1925-2009)” is one of those books that are like a time capsule of how things are in America and how the public felt about the economy at that time.

One thing that I’ve noticed in the book is how back in the earlier years, there was so much detail in the cartoons drawn back then versus the more simpler style of today.  But nevertheless, the book is quite entertaining and pictures are nice and large, text easy to read and for the most part, the book is straightforward in its showcase of cartoons from 1925-2009.  You do get an introduction by Malcom Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”.

Overall, if you are a fan of the cartoons shown in the publication or those drawn to cartoons from yesteryear, this nice, large, hardbound book is definitely one that is easy to recommend and seeing how things today, may not be so different in terms of public sentiment as they were throughout the decades.

Definitely recommended!