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"...Climb Down and Get to Work!"

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In Spring 1990, Czechoslovak artist and cartoonist Vladimir Rencin sends this message that is was time to stop the flag-waving euphoria surrounding the revolution's victory and to get to the hard work of rebuilding the country. The caption reads: "It's high time for you to climb down and get to work! The garden is neglected, the latrine" (actually a Czech word for an open-air refuse pit) "is... Read More »

Brothers Grimm cover

"How Some Children Played at Slaughtering"

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The pioneering collection of fairy tales published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the first half of the 19th century reflects both the romantic interest in the national past—that is, in the cultural origins and "childhood" of the German people—and the burgeoning efforts to create a literature tailored to the perceived needs of children. "How Some Children Played at Slaughtering" encompasses two... Read More »

Title page of Observationes Medicae

"On Scarlet Fever"

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There are many fevers listed as the cause of death in early modern England that do not translate well into modern diseases (worm, spotted, pining, nervous) but scarlet fever is still with us. The Puritan Dr. Thomas Sydenham (1624-89) is often referred to as the "English Hippocrates" because of his emphasis on the need to observe the course of diseases and not just theorize about them. His two... Read More »

"The Song of the End": The Whole World Now Chases Him

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Where Napoleon was once the conqueror, the world now avenges itself. This sense of reversal, felt widely outside of France, characterized a number of the caricatures of Napoleon, and indeed of the entire Revolution.

"This is My Dear Son": Napoleon as Child of the Devil

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Linking Napoleon with Hell represents a far cry from his own propaganda.

15th Anniversary Celebration of the October Revolution

15th Anniversary Celebration of the October Revolution

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Black and white photograph of a large group of uniformed individuals standing in front of buildings at a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution. Militarized Guard, Belomorkanal Camp.

20 June 1791, Anonymous Drawing

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In this depiction of the King’s arrest, the Queen risks her body to save her son, the crown prince.

301

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A poster distributed by the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), a liberal political party founded in 1988 in opposition to the Communist Party in power in Hungary. This poster alludes to the martyrs of the 1956 Soviet invasion to put down the Hungarian revolution. Imre Nagy and his associates who had promoted a "New Course" for socialism were buried in plot "301" of a Budapest cemetary, and... Read More »

45 Years is Enough!

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While the world watched the events in Berlin, another Soviet ally in East-Central Europe suddenly collapsed: On November 9-10, after three-and-a-half decades in power, Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov was unceremoniously dumped. This poster - a map of the Bulgarian gulag - was circulated by the opposition Union of Democratic Forces during the spring 1990 election campaign.

[... Read More »

A Democrat, or Reason and Philosophy

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This cartoon by the popular British caricaturist James Gillray depicts the British politician Charles James Fox as a sans–culotte. Wearing a cockade in his wig and a bandage on his forehead, the unshaven Fox raises his bloody left hand as he lifts his left leg to break wind. Notice his torn shirt, the bloody dagger in his belt, and the fact that he wears no pants. He sings the popular... Read More »

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