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Common Book Program: The Secret History of Wonder Woman

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Please note: This research guide is no longer being actively updated. VCU Libraries provides this content for archival purposes in support of the history of the Common Book program. 


Copies of The Secret History of Wonder Woman are available at VCU LibrariesClick this link to the e-Book version; click "View Online" to access.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
by Jill Lepore


"Jill Lepore's obsessively researched book on Wonder Woman, the four-color embondiment of the women's rights movement, reveals that the life of the character's creator, Dr. William Marston - inventor of the lie detector, charming crank, ardent feminist and secret polygamist - was waaay more colorful than any comic book superhero. Suffering Sappho!" Art Spiegelman, author of Maus (VCU's Summer Reading book, 2009)

"Few historians handle weirdness as deftly or thoughtfully as Lepore... [her] brilliance lies in knowing what to do with the material she has. In her hands, the Wonder Woman story unpacks not only a new cultureal history of feminism, but a theory of history as well." Carla Kaplan, New York Times Book Review

"A Harvard professor with impeccable scholarly credentials, Lepore treats her subject seriously, as if she is writing the biography of a feminist pioneer like Margaret Sanger, the founder of the birth control movement - which this book is, to an extent.... Through extensive research and a careful reading of the Wonder Woman comic books, she argues convincingly that the story of this character is an indelible chapter in the history of women's rights." Ariel Gonzalez, Miami Herald

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