... in a sense, Profusely Illustrated is really an easygoing history of the left at a particular moment, with Sorel moving like a haimish Forrest Gump through print media New York ... The book’s not just a who’s who of liberal luminaries, but of cartoon-world royalty as well. I can pay the author no greater compliment than to say that, through it all, he does not come off as an operator ... As should perhaps be obvious, the memoir is overtly political. Indeed, Sorel makes a point of giving a highly opinionated "exposé' of every administration in his lifetime. But really, nothing provides so vivid a record of the events he lived through as the cartoons, caricatures and drawings that do, yes, profusely illustrate every chapter. He’s not proud of all of them, but together they concisely convey the passions and pieties of their moment ... Despite the deceptive neatness inherent in any retrospective glance backward, Sorel’s has not been an uncomplicated life. There are personal challenges, professional setbacks, regrets, controversy. There’s the loss of his beloved wife, Nancy. By his own account, this is a book about the failures of 13 administrations. And yet, the takeaway’s not a grim one ... In an introductory author’s note, Sorel states his aim: 'to save a few of my drawings from the oblivion that awaits all protest art, and almost all magazine illustrations.' He does more than this. Warm, affectionate, often angry but never cruel, cynical but not without a certain faith in people, Sorel gives us a life — and a world — in pictures. It made me very happy.
... irresistible ... Breezy, funny, and self-deprecating, Sorel tells tales of starting the Push Pin Studios with Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast, getting jobs and getting fired, living on a shoe string, attending Quaker meetings, falling in love, and committing himself to political dissent. So entwined for him are his experiences and the state of the nation, he offers arresting assessments of the covert abominations of each of the presidential administrations he zapped with his pen. Sorel has also created an exuberant on-the-page retrospective exhibition of his imaginative, vital, mischievous, and daring magazine work. Sorel is refreshingly candid about his amazement over and gratitude for his happy, productive life combating greed, corruption, lies, hubris, and crimes against humanity with wit and artistic vigor, righteous outrage and ebullient creativity.
Throughout, the author examines the many ways in which politics has influenced his work, propelling him to astutely express his perspectives through brilliant (and often scathing) works of pen-and-ink art. He also weaves in engaging discussions of his sharp-witted, biting commentary on a succession of more controversial, 'unconstitutional' American presidents, from Nixon to Trump ... As a sharp cultural observer and an enticing raconteur, the author shines throughout his entertaining anecdotes and unique artwork. Fans of Sorel’s storied artistry will welcome this generously illustrated centerpiece ... A colorfully entertaining self-portrait conveyed through pithy prose and vital artwork.