Jeet Heer examines both side of the Wertham legacy in a piece in Slate.
So, who is right, Hajdu or Beaty? Did Wertham have a point? Beaty’s revisionism is valuable in forcing us to see Wertham as a complex historical figure, not an easy-to-dismiss cardboard crank. Still, Hajdu is right to point out that Wertham’s ideas of proof were extremely primitive, more forensic than scientific. (Wertham had often testified in court cases, which skewed his sense of evidence.) Wertham thought he could prove his point by stringing together many anecdotes collected from his clinical research, making his claims virtually unverifiable.
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