Political satire in 1934

Do we ever really learn from history? Last week I found a satirical piece called “The 1934 Psalm” that blames President Roosevelt for the financial misfortunes of the country during the Great Depression.  It is actually quite clever. But I was struck by how today, depending on your political leanings, you could substitute Obama or Bush (or any politician of your choice), and the verse could still be applicable.  Although we think we learn from our mistakes, or that history never repeats itself, this little postcard, I think, proves otherwise.

Satire has been a popular form of political commentary for ages.  I found a few examples of other forms of satire specifically related to FDR and the Great Depression. For an interesting examination of the film The Wizard of Oz as a satirical statement about the Depression, see http://otal.umd.edu/~vg/msf95/ms18/emerald.html.  Another fascinating article is an analysis of the use of art to caricature FDR on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in the 1930s. http://www.pophistorydig.com/?tag=1930s-political-satire. The medium may change, but the message seems to stay the same.

This postcard is from Ms 100894.

Please visit our website at www.chs.org.


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