[Download] The Secret History of Wonder Woman By Jill Lepore

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

By: Jill Lepore
Narrated by: Jill Lepore
Length: 9 hours
Release date: Oct 28, 2014
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (160 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of one of the world's most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story-and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism

Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted as long or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also has a secret history.

Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman's creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth-he invented the lie detector test-lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is 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.
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36 Responses to “[Download] The Secret History of Wonder Woman By Jill Lepore”

  1. Nelson B.

    A biography of a super hero.
    This biography of Wonder Woman is also a history of American feminism. Comics are not just kid stuff.

  2. Shirlee Kawulok

    Fantastically Researched, Poorly Read
    This a fascinating look into the lives of the people behind the Wonder Woman story. The author, unfortunately, read the book and I found it very obnoxious. It’s a feminist story and it’s sad that she felt the need to portray Marston with a profoundly silly voice. Probably better if read.

  3. Mia G.

    After seeing the Wonder Woman movie I was curious about its creation. The book showed that the history of this character was more interesting than I could have imagined. Other reviews complained about Lepore’s narration but I thought it was good. Highly recommend.

  4. Mary Middleton

    Don’t buy this as an Audio Book
    Would you try another book from Jill Lepore and/or Jill Lepore?

  5. Colene A.

    Shocked & Appalled!
    Was not a book I expected to expose the vial history of sexism’s. I now understand why Wonder Woman was resently nominated as woman of the year. Before this book, it seemed both ludicrous & utterly insulting to women.

  6. Mike L.

    Wow. I mean … wow.
    I would never have thought that a history of a comic would be so profoundly revealing about such a wide range of areas. Lepore has written a brilliant history we did not know we desperately needed. Women’s rights, gun control, birth control, the military, politics, sex, the history of comics themselves, the history of academic psychology, the history of lie detector machines, and on and on. Lepore ties the threads together into a fascinating tale that is revealing, moving, profound, and a great read. Highly recommended.

  7. Delmar Samudio

    Wow – great book
    I very much enjoyed this book. I’m a 45-year-old man. I learned from it. If you are a thoughtful, intelligent person, you should read this book. If you’re an idiot Trump supporter, then you probably won’t like it.

  8. Jim

    Very Interesting – Detailed Account
    The research was in depth and thorough. I was very interested in the subject matter and also ALL of the surrounding story. Jill Lepore is skilled in her craft.

    Sadly, reading her writing is something she still needs to strive towards. I would go ahead and pay for a pro in the future. In a professional voice artists hands, this book would be a much more enjoyable experience.

    It’s worth it now. Please get it and listen, but you’ll hear the stumblings. It got to be a bit distracting.

  9. Elizabeth R.

    We’re still dealing with the same issues!
    What made the experience of listening to The Secret History of Wonder Woman the most enjoyable?

  10. Isabell Chemin

    Amazing story of the origins of Wonder Woman!! 🙂
    Amazing story of the origins of Wonder Woman!! 🙂 Really enjoyed from cover to cover. The author did an admirable job reading, but wondering if a professional voice actor may have been a little better.

  11. Matha Carotenuto

    Didn’t enjoy:-(
    The development of characters was t very interesting. We read this in our book club and most didn’t find it an enjoyable read. Would not recommend based on the format.

  12. Karan Estabillo

    it’s an interesting enough story…
    I learned a few things about the women’s liberation movement and to see we how things have changed in today’s world it’s almost surreal. The narration was not good, as so many have said before. I’m glad I listened, but also glad to be done.

  13. Douglas Cerao

    The story is fantastic.
    Great job with storytelling. Pro narrator would have been a better choice. All & All I would highly recommend this book. 🙂

  14. Lashawna C.

    Brilliant, intelligent, fascinating history
    This is a historical nonfiction, but reads easily as an immensely informative story. Jill Lepore has done significant, original research, highly worthy of acclaim.

  15. David F. Flanders

    A story of feminism…
    The author of this book self narrating her own historical investigation is fascinating. A bitter-sweet tale charting the rise of Wonder Women during the suffragette movement, through to the feminism of today. Who was really WW and whom were the people who his the secret identity of WW? Well worth the read to find out!
    Please feel free to ask further Qs via tweet: @DFFlanders

  16. Dr.J.A.P.

    WOW, who knew?
    Read this BEFORE seeing the movie they made from it… yah there’s a movie… This of course was better, and far more detailed. For anyone interested in the conceptual evolution of Wonder woman it’s a must read, for anyone interested in opening up their marriages to include more than just two people, it’s a must read…. I will say this, I wish the book had focused on the multiple male partners of the women in the story and not just on the writer of wonder woman and his female partners

  17. Bud Kelton

    Amazing research
    The research was very well done and done in depth. This was the best work on Wonder Woman that i have read so far!!!!

  18. Scotty Koepke

    A must read!
    I absolutely loved this book. Very informative. Stunning in its revelations, poignant in its treatment of the most invisible character of the story.

    I highly recommend it. In the end it is Jill Lepore’s metaphor of feminism as a river that rings true to all she has brought together to tell this incredible tale.

    A must read for anyone interested in history, indeed for anyone interested in a gentle telling of one family’s encounter with the vicissitudes of life– particularly as that one family has, albeit unbekbownst to most of us– been so influential in our experience.

  19. Ilana Enerson

    Loved the book. I learned a lot about the history of the times. Well written and very enjoyable. Will read again!

  20. Ridgway Hall

    An interesting history of the Women’s Lib movement
    This is a colorful perspective on the women’s lib movement but ultimately an odd picture of an even more odd individual whose impact on the movement seems questionable.

  21. Vernie Klunk

    reading out loud
    I heard the author on NPR and couldn’t wait to buy the book. I am only 30 minutes into it and I do not like the narrator. I know it is the author and I think the book is going to be interesting. However , she has no variation in her voice for each character, except to speak louder. I am going to have to actually read the book

  22. Tandgn

    The secret history of Wonder Woman
    This is an interesting book for anyone interested in history of pioneers in Lie Detection, Women’s Liberation and a comic book creator. Three histories at once, the creator of Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman herself and Woman’s Lib. If your into psychology, A little law, and Comic Book history. You will enjoy this book and the secrets it revels. Even if your only interested in one of these histories you will understand why they all come together. It’s a good listen by the author.

  23. Britni Mallon

    Stacked to the max
    Wow! Impressed with how Lepore unpacked about 100 years of woman’s right into a single book about the writers of Wonder Woman. Marston, for all his show-boatman-ship was ahead of his time. Holloway and Byrne both speak to women’s right in that woman should have the right to work and receive equal pay or the right to stay home.

  24. Ivan Retzler

    Great writer, but genuinely awful reader
    Ms. Lepore has written a WONDERful book, and the history of comics, women, and, in fact, the world should be grateful. I certainly am.
    That said, her reading style, and lack of skill diminishes and infantilises a genuinely riveting, adult, important narrative, and, a mere 2 hours in, I cannot bear to listen to the rest.
    I have purchased a hard copy, and will re-read from the beginning, as her bizarre and childish attempt has all but ruined the first 4 chapters.
    Please keep writing, but PLEASE hire a voiceover professional for your next masterpiece? You deserve it.

  25. Paul P.

    Great feminist listening!
    Thoroughly researched, entertainingly written, Jill Lepore’s book was inspiring and maddening (slow pace of social change) for this listener.

  26. Latoyia Hislope

    A fascinating listen, and you can hear the author’s enthusiasm for the subject matter. I would recommend this to everyone one who is a fan of comic books.

  27. Stanford Bissonnette

    Still trying to get the bad taste out of my mouth
    I stuck with this book to the bitter end. I respect the author and her writing and wanted to appreciate her reading, but it was, hands down, the most awful performance of any service book I’ve listened to. This colored my opinion of the story, I’m sure, as I came away with a thorough dislike for all the characters.

  28. Maximo Choulnard

    Surprisingly engaging!
    When I started this book I thought it would be boring, but it actually was pretty interesting. I learned a lot about the history of feminism and comics that I didn’t know before, I became attached to the characters, and actually teared up a little at the end. I’d recommend this book to anyone, because the story is just weird enough that I think even people not particularly interested in feminism, history, or comics would still be entertained.
    On a side note, Margaret Sanger was kind of a jerk.

  29. Corinne Isacson

    reading not the best, but excellent book
    narrator definitely not the best. but the book and it’s message are important and need to reach more people.

  30. Roland Novitski

    Narration makes for a bad read
    Would you try another book from Jill Lepore and/or Jill Lepore?

  31. Charley Nevarrez

    A captivating portrayal of history
    I will not soon be forgetting the important dates in history that is so artfully correlated with the story of wonder woman and women’s suffrage.

  32. Andre Downy

    Excellent and engaging
    Excellent history of the creation of Wonder Woman, far more fascinating than you would imagine. The author gives an impressive performance, giving life to the reading like a trained thespian.

  33. Chance Esquiuel

    Really fascinating history that was at times inspirational, at times bizarre. An eye-opening glimpse into the women’s movement of the early 20th century and a very personal story too.

  34. Lucien Perrault

    I never knew feminism could be so interesting!
    I never knew feminism could be so interesting. This book is a fantastic read. It satisfies the nerdy side of me, which was the original reason I picked it up after hearing Jill Lepore interviewed in NPR, as well as interested me in feminism and early figures of the feminism movement. Lepore takes time in explaining just how Wonder Woman came to be. It’s a bit of a slow start, but it all starts to come together quickly and by then it’s so engaging you can hardly stop listening.

    The book is well written and I really love her as the narrator. Since she did the research I feel she has a good understanding of the characters and is able to perform them in a such a way that as the reader, one is always aware of who she is quoting.

    As with most non-fiction, there were charts and photos that were referenced that I didn’t get to see, but I didn’t find that it diminished my enjoyment of the book.

  35. Elliott M.

    complex and compelling
    this complex story reads like a comic strip, emotionally jumping back and forth through time.

  36. Modesto Berke

    As much as a history of how Wonder Woman came about, there is as much (if not more) on the women’s movement of the early 20th century. It’s not a topic that I knew well, so the information was a nice bonus; it felt like I was getting two books for the price of one!

    I was surprised to find a print copy in my little town’s library, so I took a day to go through and look at all the pictures it includes. But for the most part, the author here describes so many of them well that you won’t miss context with the audio edition.

    Comparing to the Prof. Marston and the Wonder Women, unlike the movie, I didn’t find this book spending ample time on the details of their sexual escapades, but more about how they worked out their polyamorous lives together and Marston’s drive for achievement and prestige.

    The narrator wasn’t so bad as other reviews are going on about. I would not hesitate to sit through another of her readings if it’s on a subject that interests me.

    I would recommend to anyone with an interest in Wonder Woman, Marston, or 20th century feminism.

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