Cartoon History Essay

Submitted By bran21
Words: 673
Pages: 3

Although the history of the United States is relatively short in comparison to the rest of the world, all the information can easily be mixed up. History books take a rigid and purely informational approach to teaching students about the history of the United States. This can often confuse those who read it. Author Larry Gonick however takes an entirely different approach to teaching students about U.S history through his book The Cartoon History of the United States. The author’s purpose for writing this book was to provide students with an alternative methods of learning about the history of the United States that is easier to understand and fun to read. The unusual style in which Gonick goes about presenting the information in the book is exemplified throughout part 1. For example, the author utilizes crude comic drawings that provide a clear example of the information being written about. In conventional textbooks there is just written information with the occasional photo about a scene in history. Gonic however incorporates a drawing with every sentence to help the reader better understand the information. Furthermore, the author uses a dark sense of humor to relay the information. Gonick uses witty punch line quote bubbles that pertain to the information at hand but at the same time make it a relatable topic. Moreover, the way that the information on the pages is arranged is a method unique to this book. Unlike a uniform textbook, different comic strips and pieces of writing are set up differently for every page. These styles of communicating information all add to the reason that this book is easy and enjoyable to learn about the history of America. Throughout part 1 of the book, the authors maintains an accurate grasp of historical facts. Even though the information is presented in an unorthodox way, it is all factual. For example, when the author is discussing “slave codes” he goes over what they stated. This information is the same as a textbook would discuss just in a lighter presentation. Also, the author has an accurate grasp on historical facts because most of American history is documented and Gonick often takes the information straight from the writings and “fluffs” it up. This is exemplified when the Constitution is discussed. The information from the document was taken directly from it and made easier to read as well as condensed. In the first part of the book my favorite sequence of cartoons is when the author discusses the Louisianna Purchase. On terms of part 2, Gonick remains accurate in his