Friday, April 27, 2018

Ferdinand the Bull--Interesting Random Facts

Remember that children's book Ferdinand the Bull?  Turns out it's got an interesting political history behind it.  Via Wikipedia.

In 1938, Life magazine called Ferdinand "the greatest juvenile classic since Winnie the Pooh" and suggested that "three out of four grownups buy the book largely for their own pleasure and amusement".[1] The article also noted that Ferdinand was accused of being a political symbol, noting that "too-subtle readers see in Ferdinand everything from a fascist to a pacifist to a burlesque sit-down striker".[1] Others labelled the work "as promoting fascism, anarchism, and communism".[5] The Cleveland Plain Dealer "accused the book of corrupting the youth of America" while the New York Times downplayed the possible political allegories, insisting the book was about being true to oneself.[7]
The book was released nine months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and was seen by many supporters of Francisco Franco as a pacifist book.[8] It was banned in many countries, including in Spain (where it remained banned until after Franco's death).[7] In Nazi GermanyAdolf Hitler ordered the book burned (as "degenerate democratic propaganda"), while it was the only American children's book available for sale in Stalinist-era Poland.[7] It received particular praise from Thomas MannH. G. WellsGandhi, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.[3] Following the 1945 defeat of Germany during the Second World War, 30,000 copies were quickly published and given out for free to the country's children in order to encourage peace.[7]

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