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The Secret History of Wonder Woman

Cover: 'The Secret History of Wonder Woman'

Staff Review: "The Secret History of Wonder Woman" by Jill Lepore


Comic book geeks and history buffs alike will enjoy this fascinating story about the creator of Wonder Woman. William Moulton Marston invented the blood pressure-measuring lie detector test, and had a colorful academic career before he created the beloved comic book character. Inspired by the women's suffrage movement, and his own belief that women would one day rule the world, Marston infused the character and plot of Wonder Women with elements of female empowerment, and references to the women in his life. Wonder Woman's bracelets were inspired by bracelets worn by Olive Byrne, a former student of Marston's who lived with him and his wife Sadie Holloway. The three had an unconventional arrangement where Holloway would work, Byrne would stay home and take care of the children, and Marston would pursue his odd consulting jobs and maintain romantic relationships with both women. Lepore does a great job of describing how Marston's life, beliefs, and the people he met inspired Wonder Woman.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, superheroes

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