cover of book
by Ronald Searle
University of Chicago Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-226-74408-7
Library of Congress Classification D860.S4 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 741.5942

Ronald Searle, a master of modern caricature, has tremendously influenced the work of other artists. His biting, darkly satirical wit and unique graphic style have also earned him admirers from far and wide; Groucho Marx called him a genius, and John Lennon named him as one of two people (along with Lewis Carroll) who most affected his life.
Since 1995, Searle has plied his sardonic trade on the coveted op-ed pages of the French daily newspaper Le Monde. This book presents more than a hundred of the best of these cartoons, ranging across politics, the new Europe, the nature of the contemporary economy, social games, and various "angels," both benign and mischievous. Whether skewering the greed of the rich with images of men in suits padding each other's pockets with cash or conducting business under the table, or making a poignant comment about how much harder peace has to work than war to stay in the same place, Searle displays the same pungent, incisive, yet infinitely humane wit. The deceptive simplicity of his lines and shadings combine with meticulously observed details of dress, background, and facial expression to produce arresting images that convey his messages powerfully and beautifully.

By turns delightful, amusing, and disturbing, but always deeply thought provoking, Searle's work reaches well beyond the specific occasion that inspired a given cartoon to illuminate key aspects of public life in the West at the end of the millennium. This book contains twenty-five illustrations not found in the French edition, together with a new preface for English-speaking readers written by Searle himself.