Mafalda : A Social and Political History of Latin America's Global Comic

4.19 (37 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 
4.19 (37 ratings by Goodreads)
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Since its creation in 1964, readers from all over the world have loved the comic Mafalda, primarily because of the sharp wit and rebellious nature of its title character-a four-year-old girl who is wise beyond her years. Through Mafalda, Argentine cartoonist Joaquin Salvador Lavado explores complex questions about class identity, modernization, and state violence. In Mafalda: A Social and Political History of Latin America's Global Comic-first published in Argentina in 2014 and appearing here in English for the first time-Isabella Cosse analyzes the comic's vast appeal across multiple generations. From Mafalda breaking the fourth wall to speak directly to readers to express her opposition to the 1966 Argentine coup, to Spanish students' protest signs bearing her face, to the comic's cult status in Korea, Cosse provides insights into the cartoon's production, circulation, and incorporation into social and political conversations. Analyzing how Mafalda reflects generational conflicts, gender, modernization, the Cold War, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, and much more, Cosse demonstrates the unexpected power of humor to shape revolution and resistance.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 15.24mm | 431g
  • North Carolina, United States
  • English
  • 56 illustrations
  • 1478006382
  • 9781478006381
  • 792,409

Review quote

"This is transnational cultural history at its best. Isabella Cosse takes us on a global journey to reveal how and why a simple comic strip that began in Argentina in the 1960s found resonance and took root in Western Europe during the early 1970s, became a unifying symbol of Latin America's 'continental identity' in the 1980s, and evolved into a mass-marketed icon whose namesake-the puckish, prepubescent, feminist rebel, Mafalda-is today recognized the world over." -- Eric Zolov, author of * The Last Good Neighbor: Mexico in the Global Sixties * "Mafalda combines the best traditions of Latin American social and political history. A brilliant discussion of gender and the political seriousness of humor, this book ingeniously invites the audience to 'read the funny pages' while taking students on a rigorous analytical journey about the politics of Latin American modernity. Just like Mafalda herself." -- Heidi Tinsman, author of * Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States * "In this important sociopolitical/cultural study (first published in Spanish in 2014, here smoothly translated by Perez Carrara), Cosse demonstrates-with a nod to Freud, Bakhtin, and other 'humorists'-how a simple comic strip about a 1960s middle-class little girl speaks to generations of Argentines and transcends national borders... Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." -- J. Walker * Choice * "Mafalda was widely disseminated throughout the Spanish-speaking world and beyond; Cosse attributes the comic strip's enduring popularity to its universal, humanistic humor and to the utopian nostalgia evoked by allusions to the hopeful, youthful 1960s. In explaining Malfalda's relative obscurity in the United States, Cosse suggests that the cartoon's social commentaries are too subtle for many American readers." -- Richard Feinberg * Foreign Affairs * "Cosse's contribution to the social and cultural historiography is invaluable.... Her research rests on a solid, innovative methodology and on primary sources that until recently had not enjoyed the status accorded to other, canonical repositories used by professional historians." -- Paula Halperin * Hispanic American Historical Review * "Cosse's book is a crucial contribution to the study of popular culture and humor in Latin America.... [Mafalda] is a model for historians studying popular culture." -- Matias Hermosilla * H-LatAm, H-Net Reviews * "Isabella Cosse has produced a thoroughly researched, analytically robust, and well-written work.... [Mafalda] is an important read not only to understand the national and international impact of the comic strip itself, but also to experience Cosse's masterful application of social and political analysis to make an important contribution to the history of humor in society." -- Jeffery Morris * Journal of Global South Studies * "Cosse's extraordinary and paradigmatic book ... is clearly written and well-structured." -- Juan Poblete * American Historical Review *
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About Isabella Cosse

Isabella Cosse is an independent researcher for the National Science and Technology Research Council and the University of Buenos Aires. She is the author of numerous books, including Pareja, sexualidad y familia en los anos sesenta.
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Rating details

37 ratings
4.19 out of 5 stars
5 43% (16)
4 35% (13)
3 19% (7)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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