American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Richard Nixon as Juliet

'Tis But Thy Name that is My Enemy
Herb Block (1909-2001)
"'Tis But Thy Name that is My Enemy," 1960
Published in the Washington Post, October 6, 1960
Ink, ink spatter, graphite, and opaque white over graphite underdrawing
Herbert L. Block Collection
Gift, 2002, Herb Block Foundation
Prints & Photographs Division
Courtesy of the Herb Block Foundation (11)

Herb Block ("Herblock") frequently references Shakespeare plays in his political cartoons. In this one from the 1960 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon (1913-1994), a frequent target of Herblock's satire, is depicted as Shakespeare's Juliet. Then-Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) appears as Romeo. Farmers blamed Benson's policies for a large shrinkage in their income during the Eisenhower Administration because Benson cut purchases of surplus crops and payments to farmers not to grow certain crops in order to keep crop prices high. As a presidential candidate, Nixon tried to distance himself from Benson. The Democrats, however, found a Benson statement that Nixon, Eisenhower's vice president, had participated in the development of the administration's farm policies and made it a campaign issue.

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