The Secret History of Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore is a tour de force of Non Fiction writing. This covers the history of Wonder Woman and its creator the fascinating William Moulton Marston who was the inventor of the Lie detector. This is more than just a history of the comic however it covers the rise of feminism and the birth control movement in the USA.

Marston based Wonder Woman on a key American feminist and wanted the Comic to express strong feminist themes going as far to include a section in the comics about Wonder Woman in history which included information on real strong women each issue that fans could nominate.

Of even greater interest is the creators personal life himself, a showman and educator, he had clear ideas about submission and dominance between men and women and had an interesting personal life of his own, living amicably with two women and fathering children with both of them. I found this book a deeply fascinating really accessible read, however true comic fans maybe slightly disappointed by the lack of an in-depth discussion of the Wonder Woman comics. I found it a refreshing comic book history because of this, it shows how the history of comics reflects the changing social and political developments of the times in which it is written and no other comic book history i have read has reflected this as well.

I think this is a book that could have a mass appeal by taking a broader perspective of the history it will draw in readers that may not otherwise have bought a book about a graphic novel.