What are SORDID comic books doing to our children? 1954 News Article on Dr. Frederic Wertham

Dr Frederic Wertham on comic books children

April 24, 1954 – From the Milwaukee Journal:
What are SORDID comic books doing to our children?

“The Senate judiciary subcommittee on juvenile delinquency is currently holding hearings in New York on the effect of comic books upon child behavior. Among those who have testified before the subcommittee is Dr. Frederic Wertham, senior psychiatrist of hospitals and author of a new book, “The Seduction of the Innocent” published this week by Rinehart.”

Click on the newspaper clipping image to read “a chat with Dr. Wertham” from the very week his infamous book was released. Google is scanning tons of old newspapers, so you can read it right from the pages of the old newspaper scans. Fun to search thru the archives too!


Robin Cain said...

Thanks for posting... that was really interesting. I especially loved the quote from the little boy when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up: "a sex maniac"! It would so interesting to see hwat Dr. Wetham would think of some video games in the 21st century!

Anonymous said...

Nice trip down history lane. I am a history major myself.

It's interesting that Dr. Wetham didn't think of just informing the concerned parents of children under 15 that these crime comics are dangerous. I'm sure that one or two pieces of "contraband" would have slipped into homes without the parents' knowledge, but not much more than that.

The more sinister view in this article, though not obviously stated, was that parents at the time were too trashy or stupid to control what their children do and that some government entity had to step in and take over. "Our Children" was really a euphemism for "Their Children", and spoke volumes about Dr. Wetham’s elitist view on society.