“Shazoom. Vas ist das Shazoom?”: Mad Magazine and postwar Jewish America

Leah Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Mad Magazine, founded in 1952 by a group of Jewish New Yorkers, is the most important and popular humour magazine in the United States. This essay charts the many ways that Mad spoke about changes occurring in postwar Jewish American life by focusing on the first 10 years of Mad, as this was the era when the magazine spoke with the most intensely Jewish poetics. The aim is twofold: (1) to establish that the magazine was in fact part of a postwar, Jewish cultural tradition and (2) to show how the writers and cartoonists used the magazine to confront and challenge the massive shifts in postwar Jewish life. The essay discusses a number of ways in which Mad was Jewish American in tone and focus, such as the dominant use of Yiddish, satirizing the American downplaying of the Holocaust, the rise of McCarthyism and the changing gender roles that arose as a result of suburbanization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Modern Jewish Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

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