Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero

Larry Tye. Random, $27 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6866-1
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Tye offers this super-powered, well researched look into every aspect of the character in comics, radio, TV, films, and theater, muscling into such areas as insider editorial decisions, licensing, litigations, and mass comic book burnings. Following his bestselling Satchel Paige biography, Tye hits another home run with this overview. Tracing the Man of Steel through eight decades, he begins in Cleveland, where teenager Jerry Siegel created “The Super-Man” in 1932 and then teamed with artist Joe Shuster: “They agreed that Superman had to be everything they were not: strapping and dashing, fearless yet composed.” After six years of rejections, their character soared in 1938 to “quickly become the big brother every kid needed.” With a $130 contract, Siegel and Shuster had launched the multibillion-dollar industry of comic book superheroes. To document Siegel’s anger and angst along with Superman’s “loves and deaths, reinventions, resurrections and redemptions,” Tye interviewed more than 250 writers, artists, editors, actors, filmmakers, and collectors, and he hired student researchers in four cities to do library and courthouse searches. The lengthy legal battles seeking fair compensation for Superman’s creators fill pages. Anyone looking for truth, injustice, and the American way will find it in this comprehensive, definitive history. Agent: Jill Kneerim.(June 12)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2012
Release date: 06/12/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 409 pages - 978-0-8129-8077-6
Hardcover - 711 pages - 978-1-4104-4967-2
Hardcover - 316 pages - 978-1-58836-918-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-99010-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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