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Profusely Illustrated

A Memoir

Edward Sorel

Art / Art & Politics

The fabulous life and times of one of our wittiest, most endearing and enduring caricaturists—in his own words and inimitable art. Sorel has given us "some of the best pictorial satire of our time ... [his] pen can slash as well as any sword” (The Washington Post).

Alongside more than 172 of his drawings, cartoons, and caricatures—and in prose as spirited and wickedly pointed as his artwork—Edward Sorel gives us an unforgettable self-portrait: his poor Depression-era childhood in the Bronx (surrounded by loving Romanian immigrant grandparents and a clan of mostly left-leaning aunts and uncles); his first stabs at drawing when pneumonia kept him out of school at age eight; his time as a student at New York’s famed High School of Music and Art; the scrappy early days of Push Pin Studios, founded with fellow Cooper Union alums Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast, which became the hottest design group of the 1960s; his two marriages and four children; and his many friends in New York’s art and literary circles.

As the “young lefty” becomes an “old lefty,” Sorel charts the highlights of his remarkable life, by both telling us and showing us how in magazines and newspapers, books, murals, cartoons, and comic strips, he steadily lampooned—and celebrated—American cultural and political life. He sets his story in the parallel trajectory of American presidents, from FDR’s time to the present day—with the candor and depth of insight that could come only from someone who lived through it all.

In Profusely Illustrated, Sorel reveals the kaleidoscopic ways in which the personal and political collide in art—a collision that is simultaneously brilliant in concept and uproarious and beautiful in its representation.

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