The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe

S. & S. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781982171667. $28.99. HIST
Stapinski (Murder in Matera) and Siegler (Dear Client) turn some seemingly tall tales into facts. The extravagant but true stories stem from Siegler’s grandfather, Jules Schulback, who had repeatedly shared family folklore that he shot the only surviving photograph from Marilyn Monroe’s famous PR scene for The Seven Year Itch. Siegler didn’t exactly believe him until she cleaned out his apartment and found the film reel. That led to an investigation of all his stories. The book shows he escaped Nazi detention by claiming to be Clark Gable’s advance man. The person who helped him and his family escape Nazi Germany was Harry Donnenfeld, a DC Comics publisher and sometimes bootlegger and pornographer. Over a span of 20 years, the two cross paths with other luminaries, such as Billy Wilder, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio, Clark Gable, Howard Hughes, Hugh Hefner, Arthur Miller, Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, and even Donald Trump.
VERDICT Should appeal widely.
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