Straight Jackets: the Art of the Book Jacket University of Otago Straight Jackets: the art of the book jacket

In 1919, the German writer and poet Ernst Toller was sentenced to five years in prison. His crime: high treason. After Hitler came to power, his henchman Goebbels denounced Toller (among many others) as a public enemy of the Third Reich, especially for the statement he had written: 'the ideal of heroism is the stupidest ideal of all.' In 1933, safely living in England, Toller produced his autobiography I was a German. Letters from Prison followed. By utilising stark black and blue lettering, a barred window, and downcast men-like images, the designers from John Lane Bodley Head have captured the essence of Toller's grim work.

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