Jules Feiffer, Alfred Kazin, Arthur Schlesinger

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Maurice Dolbier introduces Village Voice cartoonist Jules Feiffer. Feiffer the discusses comic books from his youth, noting that any character who was a "bork worm" was invariably also a "Mad Scientist and Oriental Mastermind." The Mad Scientist is a archetype throughout comics, the Oriental Mastermind has shifted over the years to reflect US foreign policy - Chinese before December 7, 1941 (the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor), Japanese from then until August 1945, then back to Chinese and now "interchangeably Chinese and North Vietnamese." In comic books all South Vietnamese look like Americans.

While adult intellectuals were always villains, boy intellectuals were sissies. This was apparent in their dress and stature. The other dumb, and clearly heterosexual, characters bullied the boy intellectual, calling him "the brain" or "the professor."

You can always take the pulse of a time by looking at its second rate arts. Contemporary TV references. "To the know the true temper of a nation turn not to its sociologists, turn to its junk." General cultural criticism.

Dolbier next introduces Alfred Kazin, who talks about the nature of autobiographies in relation to his most recent work, "Starting Out in the Thirties." He speaks of the rapid changes in history during World War II.

Finally, Arthur M. Schlesinger, author of "A Thousand Days" speaks about his book about the late President John F. Kennedy. For more on Arthur Schlesinger and his account of the Kennedy administration, please visit http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/neh-preservation-project/2012/dec/19/arthur-schlesinger-jr/.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 8309
Municipal archives id: T1364