Graphic Witness: visual arts & social commentary

Winter Soldiers: the story of a conspiracy against the schools

The title for this illustrated history of a New York State committee's hunt for 'subversives' at City College (CCNY) comes from Thomas Paine's essay, Common Sense:
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of his country. But he who stands it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women."
The book was published by the Committee for Defense of Public Education in 1941, with text by Louis Lerman and forward by Franz Boas. It is reproduced here in its entirety. To go through the book in order, select this arrow:
[See below to go to any specific artist's page(s)].

Emerging from the carnage of World War I, and the economic upheaval of the Depression years, by the late 1930s both fascism and anti-Semitism were on the rise in Germany; in Franco's Spain, the Civil War pitted Fascists against Republicans, and in America, Father Coughlin and the Christian Front spewed what we would call today, 'hate speech' against Catholics, Jews, immigrants, Negros and Communists. To speak out against fascism, to be a voice for progressive values like worker's rights, equality, social justice and peace, was to become a target for an anti-Communist witch hunt a generation before Joseph McCarthy asked people to 'name names'.

This book is a chronicle of one such hunt, by the Rapp-Coudert Committee between 1940 and 1942, looking for 'subversives' in New York State schools and colleges. Lives and reputations were ruined; one man went to jail for not naming names. For further reading on this era and this particularly shameful episode, see also The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42.

Text preceeds image; you can link directly to the image by using the title Winter Soldiers image at the top of each page. Depending on your screen size, you may have to scroll down to see the full image.

Below is a list of the artists involved, including links to pages with their specific image(s):
Julian Brazelton
Bennet Buck
Ernest Crichlow
Aaron Douglas
William Dove
James Egleson (1) (2)
Philip Evergood
Hugo Gellert (1) (2)
Harry Gottlieb
William Gropper
Marston Hamlin
Ernest Hopf
Joe Jones
Mervin Jules
Rockwell Kent
Louis Lozowick
Hugh Miller
Elizabeth Olds
Anton Refregier
Philip Reisman
Hulda Robbins
Raphael Soyer
Harry Sternberg
William Steig
James Turnbull
Sylvia Wald (1) (2)
Gilbert Wilson (1) (2)
Art Young (1) (2)