The Secret History of Wonder Woman

retail ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Random Audio. 2014. ISBN 9780553551341. $20. digital download. SOC SCI
Lepore (Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin) presents a wide-ranging background story of the creation and mission of Wonder Woman (1941), the third longest-running comic book character in the United States. The beginning of the feminist movement, the evolution of comic book publishing, and the mores of the 1940s and 1950s are all discussed. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, whose varied callings include academician, psychologist, and inventor of the lie-detector test. Much of the book discloses a profile of Marston that reveals a bizarre, strong-minded individual out of step with his time. The content is interesting and thorough, but the narration is poor. Lepore's voice has only a few ranges: her normal voice for most of the recording and another voice that becomes blustery and cartoonish for males or very high-pitched for females. This production would have greatly benefited from a professional narrator.
VERDICT Not recommended. ["Fans interested in the background of the character and readers who appreciate well-written popular history will enjoy this thought-provoking volume," read the much more positive review of the Knopf hc, LJ 9/15/14.]

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