MAKE ART NOT WAR Political protest posters from the Twentieth Century edited by Ralph Young published by New York University Press is a fascinating, thrilling, wonderful, aggressive, colored trip in the American protests along the decades of the past century.
American History is very complicated and the country just apparently "young" because substantially people arrived from Europe are part of the Old Continents, so they brought with them their own old problems, that they thought they had left behind.
Americans are in fact people who left as said, their European lands for precise reasons, mainly religious in search for a new land, and a new life.
They didn't know that peace was just apparent and that new fights for their rights were waiting for them.
The creators of the Constitution wisely inserted this point, the freedom of dissent just in case, in the First Amendment.
Americans did all their best, rising their voices, using all medias and strategies for protesting against for what they cared the most.
The 1900s offered a myriad of reasons for protesting leaving alone here the other centuries. At the beginning of the century we can find women's rights movement.
Sorted out this problem, the 1960s will pass at the history as the decade of idealism, new hopes, dreams and expectations. A new wild wind of great ideas, human rights, peace, freedom was borning.
Let's see: John Fitzgerald Kennedy from Boston because the first Catholic American President.
He was assassinated in Dallas on Nov 22 1963 but his voice and his speech if you read them are still in grade to warm souls all around the world. He was a great visionary man.
New People fighting for the right of black citizens: Reverend Martin Luther King, Malcom X, the Black Panther movement.
Both these first two leaders would have been killed.
Martin Luther King in 1968 in a motel in Memphis, TN just some days before the assassination of the candidate of left Bobbie Kennedy, running for the Oval Office, and brother of the unforgettable John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was after the assassination of JFK that people organized Selma and the central government started to take very seriously the cause of black people.
The USA are real fighters for their rights and their ideas.
Later the opposition at the Vietnam War with anti-war movements and the creations of the hippies-season, and then gay rights, without to count the protests citizens clearly expressed for some Presidents seen like imperialists, during the first Gulf War, while the USA should have been a peaceful land in grade of helping other Nations in difficulty and not a place where wars started with great facility.
Cinema, theaters, photography, puppets, mural art, graffiti, art in general helped to spread the discontent of people. Andy Warhol publishing serially pictures of the same topic during the 1960s remarked in this way the obsessive consumerism and standardization of the Americans and their way of living.
The author has taken inspiration from the Tamiment Library located at New York University where there is a big collection of posters you will find in this book. All stunning, all created for a specific strong reason because Americans when decide to protest don't joke. They do that with great intensity.
The fights that they intended to win against the central government in a precise historical moment are lived strongly.
Women's rights, labor, civil protests, black conditions, feminism, Vietnam War, anti-war movements, these ones are citizens and real crusaders of ideas, human rights and mainly: fighters for their research of happiness. It passes also through the proper rights for everyone, for having peace and for staying in peace.
Great book! Highly suggested to everyone. If your child doesn't understand history, it's very common, goes for this book, because it's very stimulating and because I want to hope that the revolutionary side ;-) in children and teenagers pretty developed. No one is insensitive at human rights and so following these decades and thanks to these posters, it will be very simple to create historical connections, and to discover how, facts, people, Presidents, associations tried their best for bettering this world or the opposite.
I thanks NYU Press for the physical copy of this stunning book!
Anna Maria Polidori