To me, the image to the right looks an awful lot like an anthropomorphic chimpanzee (sorry for the lousy screen cap). But that’s silly, of course, because it’s Barack Obama! Brought to you by the New Yorker! Right on the magazine’s home page! Actually, the image is a tease for a video about drawing the presidential candidates, including a meditation on Obama’s efforts to cast himself as post-racial. Still, it strikes me that this caricature — and perhaps the video as well — suggests one or more of the following: 1) I’m too sensitive. 2) Editors at the New Yorker aren’t sensitive enough. 3) Having an African-American man run for president will present extraordinary, and likely salutary, challenges for our culture. To be clear, 1, 2, and 3 are in no way mutually exclusive.
The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Content is not edited, solicited, or necessarily endorsed by The Chronicle. More on the Network...
This blog is a blog about history, Yiddishkeit, and the Muppets, neither exclusively nor necessarily in that order. And as William Gibson said about this very blog (no, really), “History can save your ass.” Yiddishkeit and the Muppets are just extras.
is an associate professor of history at UC Davis. He is the author of A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, which won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize in 2004, and his new book, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2012.Read Ari's posts
See Ari's books and bio
is a professor of history at UC Davis. She is the author of Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 (Oxford, 2009); Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley (North Carolina, 2002); and Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (North Carolina, 1996).Read Kathy's posts
Search The Edge of the American West
Follow The Edge of the American West through your favorite RSS reader: SUBSCRIBE