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Bill Mauldin : A Life Up Front
by Todd DePastino

Overview - The real war, said Walt Whitman, will never get in the books. During World War II, the truest glimpse most Americans got of the real war came through the flashing black lines of twenty-two-year-old infantry sergeant Bill Mauldin. Week after week, Mauldin defied army censors, German artillery, and Patton s pledge to throw his ass in jail to deliver his wildly popular cartoon, Up Front, to the pages of Stars and Stripes.  Read more...

 
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More About Bill Mauldin by Todd DePastino
 
 
 
Overview
The real war, said Walt Whitman, will never get in the books. During World War II, the truest glimpse most Americans got of the real war came through the flashing black lines of twenty-two-year-old infantry sergeant Bill Mauldin. Week after week, Mauldin defied army censors, German artillery, and Patton s pledge to throw his ass in jail to deliver his wildly popular cartoon, Up Front, to the pages of Stars and Stripes. Up Front featured the wise-cracking Willie and Joe, whose stooped shoulders, mud-soaked uniforms, and pidgin of army slang and slum dialect bore eloquent witness to the world of combat and the men who lived and died in it. This taut, lushly illustrated biography the first of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Bill Mauldin is illustrated with more than ninety classic Mauldin cartoons and rare photographs. It traces the improbable career and tumultuous private life of a charismatic genius who rose to fame on his motto: If it s big, hit it. "


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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780393061833
  • ISBN-10: 0393061833
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: February 2008
  • Page Count: 370


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Artists, Architects, Photographers

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 46.
  • Review Date: 2007-11-12
  • Reviewer: Staff

Historian DePastino (Citizen Hobo) eloquently memorializes cartoonist Bill Mauldin, who won fame as “the leading spokesman for the American combat soldier” during World War II, in this authoritative biography. Mauldin (1921–2003) grew up in Depression-era New Mexico in a dysfunctional family. After studying at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts for one year, he joined the newly mobilized 45th Infantry Division of the Arizona National Guard. Mauldin then became the 45th Division News’s cartoonist. Deployed to North Africa in 1943, Mauldin participated in the invasions of Sicily and Italy. In 1944, while on staff at the GI newspaper Stars and Stripes, Mauldin created his signature characters, the weary and disheveled infantrymen Willie and Joe. Willie and Joe became soldiers’ heroes and anathema to brass such as Gen. George Patton, who threatened to throw Mauldin in jail for his characters’ indolence. After the war, Mauldin published bestselling cartoon collections, worked briefly as an actor, ran unsuccessfully for Congress and ended his career with two Pulitzer Prizes for editorial cartooning. Thoroughly researched and sprightly written, DePastino’s balanced biography is a solid introduction to an American original. Classic Mauldin cartoons are an entertaining bonus. (Feb.)

 
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