Super-History: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present

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McFarland, Jan 10, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 230 pages
In the less than eight decades since Superman’s debut in 1938, comic book superheroes have become an indispensable part of American society and the nation’s dominant mythology. They represent America’s hopes, dreams, fears, and needs. As a form of popular literature, superhero narratives have closely mirrored trends and events in the nation. This study views American history from 1938 to 2010 through the lens of superhero comics, revealing the spandex-clad guardians to be not only fictional characters but barometers of the place and time in which they reside. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 We Need a Hero 19381940
7
2 World War II and SuperPatriots 19411945
29
3 The Nuclear Era 19451989
49
4 The Postwar 1940s and 1950s 19461959
69
5 Counterculture Heroes 19601969
86
6 The American Malaise 19701979
103
7 SuperConservatives and NeoCowboys 19801989
125
8 Searching for a New Direction 19901999
150
9 Decade of Fear 20002009
170
Conclusion
189
Notes
191
Bibliography
205
Index
217
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Jeffrey K. Johnson, a World War II historian for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the author of several books and articles.

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