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Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye

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Before the summer blockbuster “Man of Steel” hits theaters on June 14th, be sure to pick up Superman: the High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Lexington native Larry Tye.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were young Jewish boys growing up during the Great Depression, and both had tragically lost their fathers. Together, with Jerry as writer and Joe as artist, they would create a modern day golem and forge a new American mythology. Their creation would experience an exodus from his native people and be raised by another culture, similar to Moses. He would possess the strength of Hercules and the speed of Hermes. He would be humble despite his powers and possess an unwavering moral compass. He would represent everything the young boys dreamed of being and everything they sought in a father figure. They would name their creation, “Superman”

What really makes  Larry Tye’s book shine is the detailed exploration of the rich history of writers, artists, actors, producers, and financiers that helped make the “Man of Tomorrow” as relevant today as he was during his debut in 1938. Each creative team would add unique ideas to the Superman mythos and would help extend the character beyond just comic books. But each creative team also experiences setbacks, from Fredric Wertham’s crusade against comics in the 1950s, to countless lawsuits by creators Jerry and Joe to the owners of National/DC comics, and the famously mysterious death of Superman T.V. actor George Reeves (as depicted in the movie Hollywoodland). This is a wonderful, well researched, and intimate trip for fans of Superman or the comic book industry. Check it out in our catalog before Superman hits the big screen again!

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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