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Crockett Johnson and Ruth KraussHow an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature$
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Philip Nel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036248

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036248.001.0001

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At Home with Ruth and Dave

At Home with Ruth and Dave

(p.99) 12 At Home with Ruth and Dave
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

During the harsh 1947–1948 winter, Ruth Krauss came up with a 123-page manuscript that provided a glimpse into her and Crockett Johnson’s daily lives, their relationship, and her aspirations. The piece, entitled “Where Am I Going?” also reflected Krauss’s uncertainty about where her professional life was heading. She was not earning a living from writing children’s books, and her most recent ideas had been rejected by Ursula Nordstrom. On winter Fridays, she and her husband would take the train into New York City for the weekend. In late February 1948, Johnson and Krauss signed a petition supporting Henry Wallace’s 1948 presidential bid. Also in the political arena, Krauss worked on behalf of social justice while Johnson opposed U.S. policy toward communism at home and abroad. Meanwhile, another stage adaptation of Barnaby premiered at Indiana’s Terre Haute Children’s Theatre. Johnson’s comic strip also made its way to radio in 1948. That same year, however, the color Sunday Barnaby strip, which had begun in 1946, came to an end due to the financial woes of its distributor, PM.

Keywords:   winter, Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson, children’s books, Henry Wallace, communism, Barnaby, comic strip, radio, PM

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