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The Secret History of Wonder Woman von Jill…
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The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Original 2014; 2015. Auflage)

von Jill Lepore (Autor)

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1,0875914,200 (3.81)140
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.
Mitglied:sandypiper
Titel:The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Autoren:Jill Lepore (Autor)
Info:Vintage (2015), Edition: Reprint, 464 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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The Secret History of Wonder Woman von Jill Lepore (Author) (2014)

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Wonder Woman has been a comic series, a TV show and a couple of movies. However, the history behind this character is stranger than anything that could be dreamed up in the mind of a novelist. Conceived by William Moulton Marston (coincidentally the inventor of the lie detector), a Harvard educated psychologist and self-proclaimed champion of women’s rights who had a very peculiar personal life of his own.

Marston was married to Sadie Holloway, a graduate of Mount Holyoke college, but also lived in a menage a trois with Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, the crusader for women’s reproductive rights. He had children with both women and somehow managed to keep this outré living arrangement secret from the rest of the outside world.

LePore explores this living dynamic, Marston’s strange theories on the empowerment of women, along with his other psychological theories and spins an engaging and highly readable tale. ( )
  etxgardener | Aug 2, 2021 |
Extraordinarily well researched, Harvard history professor Jill Lepore profiles the creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston. WMM was a Harvard-trained psychologist: he developed one of the first polygraphs, but could never keep employed, and relied on the income of his well-educated wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway. WMM led a most unconventional life, fathering two children with Holloway and two more with a younger paramour, Olive Richard Byrne (niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the 20th century's most influential feminists), who raised all four children and was the model for Wonder Woman, including the iconic bracelets. The book does a decent, but not terrific, job of explaining the suffragette movement, but is too much about WMM and not enough of Wonder Woman herself, whom herself is a paradox: strong when battling for justice and weak when confronting her own feelings. The section in the middle, with 16 pages of color comics and Lepore's editorial commentary was my favorite part of the book. 2.5 stars.
( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Overall, this is a well-researched book on the history of the creator of Wonder Woman, his crazy-ass family and the very deep feminist theory that undergirds most of the early comics.

The only knock on the book is that it is by no means a complete history of Wonder Woman. It might better have been titled, "The Secret History of Wonder Woman's Creation," or, most accurately, "Wonder Woman and Feminism: The Early Years."

You'll learn about William Marston, the inventor of an early version of the lie-detector test/failed psychologist/failed moviemaker/failed entrepreneur who used his lifelong obsession with women to craft the early tales of the Amazonian Wonder Woman. You'll learn about his wife. And his other wife. And his other other kind-of wife.

You'll be confused by what scholarship/writing should be attributed to whom between the primary threesome. You'll be bewildered by the lengths of the deception that the unofficial wife went to keep Marston's progenitorship a secret from her children. And you'll be slightly weirded out by how closely Margaret Sanger weaves in to all of it.

The book focuses heavily on the early comics (up until Marston's death), then sort of writes off the entire 50 other years with a "the people who came directly after Marston were chauvinist pigs" which, while not inaccurate, is not exactly meeting the mantle of "history."

That being said, this book is essential for truly understanding Wonder Woman, her origins and her standing/place in the culture at large. ( )
  kaitwallas | May 21, 2021 |
The story of the creation of Wonder Woman as explained in these pages could not be more fascinating or unusual! I was intrigued and surprised by all of the wild circumstances and yet.... I found this book rather boring and slow at times. Still a worthwhile read. ( )
  klnbennett | Oct 7, 2020 |
I think the author's work is strongest when creating the social context and intellectual history Marston, Holloway, Byrne, and their comic. I think it's weakest when she's trying to connect the inner workings of their individual psychologies, lifestyle, and the comic. She has only circumstantial evidence for any personal bondage fetish connection from the creators to the comic: She says that Huntley was into "love binding"; Holloway mentions Olive Byrne's bracelets as being symbolic of "love binding" in a letter; She describes their brief involvement in a weird little cultish group; She says that the kids say they saw nothing like that going on, but then again, they hid the true nature of their family group from the kids. The family arrangement seems much more like a plural marriage; perhaps the relationship between the women went beyond that of "sister wives". This history also serves as history of feminism, and also problematizes the ideal vs. the actual in the way people live their lives. I read this at the same time as Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow: there was a lot of intersection between the two, not surprisingly. ( )
  AmyMacEvilly | Sep 2, 2019 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Lepore, JillAutorHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Kidd, ChipUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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As lovely as Aphrodite — as wise as Athena — with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules — she is known only as Wonder Woman, but who she is, or whence she came, nobody knows!

All-Star Comics, December 1941
With the announcement yesterday that the popular comics heroine "Wonder Woman" will now rate a whole magazine to herself beginning July 22, M. C. Gaines, publisher of All-American Comics at 480 Lexington Avenue, also revealed officially for the first time that the author of "Wonder Woman" is Dr. William Moulton Marston, internationally famous psychologist.

— Press release, All-American Comics, Spring 1942
"What's the idea of calling me Wonder Woman?"

— Olive Byrne, Family Circle, August 1942
Wonder Woman was from the start a character founded in scholarship.

The ΦBK Key Recorder, Autumn 1942
Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I believe, should rule the world.

— William Moulton Marston, March 1945
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To Nancy F. Cott, for making history
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Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time.
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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.

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