Synopses & Reviews
Zeddy Lawrence once said, "It may not be true in all cases, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb. If the word 'man' appears at the end of someone's name you can draw one of two conclusions: a) they're Jewish, as in Goldman, Feldman, or Lipman; or b) they're a superhero, as in Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man."
In Superman Is Jewish? Harry Brod reveals the links between Jews and superheroes in a penetrating investigation of iconic comic book figures. He describes how the role of each hero reflects the evolution of the Jewish place in American culture—an alien in a foreign land, like Superman; a figure plagued by guilt for not having saved his family, like Spider-Man; outsiders persecuted for being different (X-Men); a nice, smart guy afraid people won't like him when he's angry (the Hulk). Brod blends humor and sharp observation as he considers these well-known figures' overtly and discreetly Jewish characteristics and talks about how their creators—including Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby—integrated their Jewish identities and their creativity. His lively guided tour takes us from the Passover Haggadah's exciting action scenes of Moses's superpowers to acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winners and overseas animators.
Brod has written and lectured extensively on this fun and provocative topic and through his expertise explores the deeper story of how one immigrant group can influence the larger culture through entertainment and, in the process, see itself in new, more empowering ways. Not just for comic book fans, Superman Is Jewish? is a story of America, and is as poignant as it is fascinating.
"This witty, insightful exposé delves into the secret identities of the world's most famous superheroes." ---Publishers Weekly
As brilliant as it is witty, Harry Brod's surprisingly insightful exposé delves into the secret identities of the world's most famous superheroes.
About the Author
Harry Brod is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of Northern Iowa. He has appeared on CNN, Today, Geraldo, and other TV and radio programs, and his articles have been published in many journals and popular magazines. He is the editor or coeditor of several books, including Brother Keepers, Theorizing Masculinities, and A Mensch Among Men. Harry is the father of two children and still has his old comic book collection. A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot's career spans four decades. Highlights include feature roles in Caddyshack and Showtime's Brotherhood, and appearances on America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. His voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, documentaries and industrials. He is a prominent acting coach and a regular contributor to the award-winning news program Frontline produced by WGBH in Boston. Peter served as director of narration for the Emmy-nominated The Truth About Cancer. Peter has recorded a number of audiobooks, including three by Peter Hessler: Country Driving, Oracle Bones, and River Town. Other favorite titles include The Woods by Harlan Coben, English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee, The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer, American Brutus by Michael W. Kauffmann, Better by Atul Gawande, and Some Sort of Epic Grandeur by Matthew J. Bruccoli.