wonderToday’s read, The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, is a compelling combination of history, biography, and popular culture and the result is irresistible. Everything I know about Wonder Women is pretty much a result of the 1970’s television show and Saturday morning cartoons of the same era. However, the story behind the creation of the comic book icon is much more than a few creative types sitting around trying to create the next big thing.

In her well researched book, Ms. Lepore turns to the unpublished letters and diaries of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, and provides a profile of the man and circumstances that led to the super hero we know today. Some interesting tidbits, William Moulton Marston also invented the lie detector, and lived harmoniously with his wife, mistress and their shared children.

About The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore: “Wonder Woman, created in 1941, on the brink of World War II, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, she has lasted the longest and commanded the most vast and wildly passionate following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike others, she also has a secret history. In Jill Lepore’s riveting work of historical detection, Wonder Woman’s story provides the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.”

Meanwhile, William Moulton Marston was heavily influenced by early 20th century women’s suffrage and birth control movements, and well um, bondage fetishes. See? I told you a compelling read and so much more than even Miss Linda Carter ever knew.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.