Philip Nel questions the racial assumptions of Dr. Seuss.

A Woke Reading of The Cat in the Hat

A Woke Reading of The Cat in the Hat

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Oct. 31 2017 8:18 PM

Putting Dr. Seuss on the Couch

It doesn’t take much to see the racial stereotypes in Theodor Seuss Geisel’s works. Does that mean we shouldn’t read them to kids?

Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat.

Daniel X. O’Neil/Flickr

Listen to Episode 860 of Slate’s The Gist:


Was Dr. Seuss racist? Or did his books just not age well? And what is the appropriate response to a canonical work that seems to be littered with racially charged depictions? Philip Nel takes on all these questions and poses some more of his own in his latest book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black?

In the Spiel, what if the office of the presidency were leveraged for the sake of constant distraction? We are finding out.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.