In this real-life adventure, the publisher of DC Comics comes to the rescue of a family trying to flee Nazi Berlin, their lives linking up with a cast of 20th century icons, all eagerly pursing the American dream.
To write their book, Stapinski and Siegler stitched together a cast of tangential figures and events from several recurring threads: Jewishness, New Yorkiness and... a singular, striving, midcentury Americanness ... The short, punchy chapters combine lively bits of trivia and glimpses of New York City immigrant life... with harrowing accounts of Third Reich atrocities ... Through these gripping, intertwined stories we... witness the birth of Superman, midwifed by a girlie magazine publisher; and watch the abandoned foster child Norma Jeane Mortenson become the biggest star in the world. What’s more American than all that?
A fast-moving American epic with a cast of refugees and starlets, publishers and bootleggers, comic-book creators and sports legends ... In Jerry and Joe’s comic-book universe, Superman... brought Nazis and fascists to their knees. But he couldn’t save the real-life victims of the Nazis’ genocidal antisemitism. Millions died; each of them had a story. The American Way never forgets that.
This is a beautifully hopeful tale about what it means to live the American dream, how ordinary people can become real-life superheroes, and the serendipitous ways in which strangers impact our lives. Supremely readable, this book is highly recommended to both serious and casual history readers.