Bob Cannon
March 03, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Bill Mauldin

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Todd DePastino
publisher
W.W. Norton
genre
Nonfiction, Biography

We gave it a B+

Bill Mauldin’s satirical cartoons in Star and Stripes made WWII a little more bearable for GIs. Way before M*A*S*H or Doonesbury, Mauldin echoed the gripes of dogfaces by describing the absurdity of military life and lampooning the stuffy, incompetent Army brass. Luckily, would-be censors like Gen. George Patton were no match for the feisty Mauldin, who parlayed his wartime popularity into two Pulitzers and a successful postwar career. Todd DePastino’s bio, Bill Mauldin, serves not only as an appreciation of Mauldin’s artistry but also as a complex portrait of an iconoclast who started out as the Greatest Generation’s court jester but grew to become its conscience. B+

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