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The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu
The Ten-Cent Plague explains how the ten-cent comic book exploded as a popular form of entertainment between the end of World War II and the era of television. Its popularity with children, coupled with many comic books espousing anti-authoritarian themes to appeal to the children, drew the ire of church groups and other protectors of traditional societal and literary values. Claims were made that comic books contributed to juvenile delinquency and Congressional hearings were held. This forced many comic book authors out of the business and effectively destroyed many publishers. One enterprising publisher, though, called his new comedy issue a magazine, and Mad Magazine is still being published today. David Hajdu's book has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "But the events recounted in The Ten-Cent Plague need no such histrionics. On its own, this book tells an amazing story, with thrills and chills more extreme than the workings of a comic book's imagination."