The Covers in Historical Context
When one views covers of the New Yorker magazine, it is important to remember that these covers are not conceived and created out of thin air. They are drawn from a specific body of cultural capital, the shared biases, experiences, events, and outlooks of the target audience. A juxtaposition of certain pictures which graced the cover of the New Yorker in the 1930's with an examination into the social history that served as the background to those pictures, can tell us a great deal about how forms of media such as magazine covers represented such issues as race, class, religion, and political culture. A look at this history can help to put these covers back into their cultural context and, combined with a knowledge of the style, audience, and biases of the magazine itself, can in turn tell us a great deal about how people in the 1930's (or at least those people who bought The New Yorker) understood the world around them.