Wonder Woman, created in 1941, on the brink of World War II, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, she has lasted the longest and commanded the most vast and wildly passionate following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike others, she also has a secret history. In Jill Lepore's riveting work of historical detection, Wonder Woman's story provides the missing link in the history of the struggle for women's rights--a chain of events that begins with the women's suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. This edition includes a new afterword with fresh revelations based on never before seen letters and photographs from the Marston family's papers. With 161 illustrations and 16 pages in full color
A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted as long or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also has a secret history. Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth—he invented the lie detector test—lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman. The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
A cultural history of Wonder Woman traces the character's creation and enduring popularity, drawing on interviews and archival research to reveal the pivotal role of feminism in shaping her seven-decade story. By the Pulitzer Prize-finalist author of New York Burning. 75,000 first printing.
Author: Tim Hanley
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2014-04-01
Genre: Social Science
With her golden lasso and her bullet-deflecting bracelets, Wonder Woman is a beloved icon of female strength in a world of male superheroes. But this close look at her history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world. In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women’s lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man. Ms. magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman’s feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history as well as her modern incarnations adds new dimensions to the world’s most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman’s iconic status.
Showcases the popular cartoon character with a visual history that spans from the super heroes' origins in the World War II era, through the popular 1970's television series, up to its continued popularity in the comics world.
A portrait of Benjamin Franklin's youngest sister, Jane, reveals how she was, like her brother, a passionate reader, gifted writer, and shrewd political commentator who made insightful observations about early America.
Author: Noah Berlatsky
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 2015-01-02
Genre: Social Science
William Marston was an unusual man—a psychologist, a soft-porn pulp novelist, more than a bit of a carny, and the (self-declared) inventor of the lie detector. He was also the creator of Wonder Woman, the comic that he used to express two of his greatest passions: feminism and women in bondage. Comics expert Noah Berlatsky takes us on a wild ride through the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, vividly illustrating how Marston’s many quirks and contradictions, along with the odd disproportionate composition created by illustrator Harry Peter, produced a comic that was radically ahead of its time in terms of its bold presentation of female power and sexuality. Himself a committed polyamorist, Marston created a universe that was friendly to queer sexualities and lifestyles, from kink to lesbianism to cross-dressing. Written with a deep affection for the fantastically pulpy elements of the early Wonder Womancomics, from invisible jets to giant multi-lunged space kangaroos, the book also reveals how the comic addressed serious, even taboo issues like rape and incest. Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics 1941-1948 reveals how illustrator and writer came together to create a unique, visionary work of art, filled with bizarre ambition, revolutionary fervor, and love, far different from the action hero symbol of the feminist movement many of us recall from television.
In her sparkling new book, Lillian Robinson looks at Wonder Women - all of them - Supergirl, Invisible Girl, Invisible Woman, She Hulk - and examines what these cartoon heroines mean for everyday life. Can you balance a home, career, and the struggle for justice? What about men? Does flying help? Drawing upon her long career as a formidable feminist critic yet wearing her knowledge lightly, Lillian Robinson finds the essence of wonder women in our non-animated three-dimensional world. This book will delight and provoke anyone interested in the history of feminism or the importance of comics in contemporary life.
Author: Joseph J. Darowski
Release Date: 2013-11-18
Genre: Literary Criticism
"A valuable contribution to the study of this character”—Journal of American Culture "The character is both iconic and mysterious, recognizable but hard to understand. Part of the problem is that she has been repeatedly reinterpreted depending on the sensibilities of the era”—Year’s Work in English Studies "There are many things to like about Darowski’s Ages of Wonder Woman...accessible and clearly written...provides much value to a general audience...especially those interested in the history of pop culture and Wonder Woman’s place in it”--SFRA Review "Nineteen essays about the Amazon warrior and how she’s changed over the years...Wonder Woman has always been seen as one of the leading DC characters...few have had a real fix on what she is really about”—SFCrowsnest "Goes into extensive detail about the individual characters starting from their origins and their transition and evolution through the decades...makes for fascinating reading”—Collector’s Corner Created in 1941 by the psychologist William Marston, Wonder Woman would go on to have one of the longest continuous runs of published comic book adventures in the history of the industry. More than 70 years after her debut, Wonder Woman remains a popular culture icon. Throughout the intervening years many comic book creators have had a hand in guiding her story, resulting in different interpretations of the Amazon Princess. In this collection of new essays, each examines a specific period or storyline from Wonder Woman comic books and analyzes that story in regard to contemporary issues in American society.
This masterful study, ‘Emotions of Normal People’ was penned by William Moulton Marston, who was a lecturer in Psychology at Columbia and New York University. It contains chapters dealing with the broader topics of normalcy and emotion, as well as more specialised debates such as the psychonic theory of consciousness, materialism and vitalism as well as the interactive principles of primary feelings and emotions. First published in 1928, Emotions of Normal People argued that individuals act along two axes, with their responsiveness being either passive or active relative to their perceptions of their environment as either favourable or antagonistic. Controversially, Marston posited that the masculine notions of freedom are inherently anarchic and violent, as opposed to feminine notions of love which lead to submission. This book provides a fascinating insight into a highly influential thinker; as controversial as he was prolific.
"A "New Yorker" staff writer and Harvard historian chronicles the discovery of Joe Gould's long-lost manuscript, "The Oral History of Our Time," and of the violence, betrayals, and madness that led to its concealment,"--NoveList.
Author: Jacob M. Held
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2017-05-08
Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique explores a wide range of philosophical questions surrounding the most popular female superhero of all time, from her creation as feminist propaganda during World War II up to the first female lead in the blockbuster DC movie-franchise. The first book dedicated to the philosophical questions raised by the complex and enduringly iconic super-heroine Fighting fascism with feminism since 1941, considers the power of Wonder Woman as an exploration of gender identity and also that of the human condition – what limits us and what we can overcome Confronts the ambiguities of Wonder Woman, from her roles as a feminist cause and fully empowered woman, to her objectification as sexual fantasy Topics explored include origin stories and identity, propaganda and art, altruism and the ethics of care, Amazonians as transhumanists, eroticism and graphic novels, the crafting of a heroine, domination, relationships, the ethics of killing and torture, and many more.
Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner In New York Burning, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events of 1741, when ten fires blazed across Manhattan and panicked whites suspecting it to be the work a slave uprising went on a rampage. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall. Even back in the seventeenth century, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.
Winner of the Bancroft Prize King Philip's War, the excruciating racial war—colonists against Indians—that erupted in New England in 1675, was, in proportion to population, the bloodiest in American history. Some even argued that the massacres and outrages on both sides were too horrific to "deserve the name of a war." The war's brutality compelled the colonists to defend themselves against accusations that they had become savages. But Jill Lepore makes clear that it was after the war—and because of it—that the boundaries between cultures, hitherto blurred, turned into rigid ones. King Philip's War became one of the most written-about wars in our history, and Lepore argues that the words strengthened and hardened feelings that, in turn, strengthened and hardened the enmity between Indians and Anglos. Telling the story of what may have been the bitterest of American conflicts, and its reverberations over the centuries, Lepore has enabled us to see how the ways in which we remember past events are as important in their effect on our history as were the events themselves. Winner of the the 1998 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award of the Phi Beta Kappa Society