Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate epub –

Jerry Siegel was different from most of the other kids in Glenville While they were playing ball in the street, shooting hoops at the community center, or shopping on th Street, Jerry was holed up in the attic with his precious zines He also loved to take in the movies at the Crown Theater, just a couple blocks from his house, or at the red carpeted and balconied Uptown Theatre farther up th Scrunched in his seat with a sack of popcorn in his lap and his eyes fixed on the screen, he marveled as the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks donned a black cape and mask to become the leaping, lunging, sword wielding Zorro Jerry admired Fairbanks and all the other leading menthose strong, fearless, valiant he man characters who took care of the bad guys and took care of the gorgeous women too Jerry worshipped Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, whose names he would later combine to form Clark KentJerry usually sat in darkened theaters alone as he absorbed stories, tracked dialogue, and marveled at the characters After the movies he would walk to the newsstands on St Claire Avenue to pick up a pulp fiction novel or a zine Soaking in every line of narrative and dialogue, he would read the books and magazines cover to coverthen read them again Turning to his secondhand typewriter, he would dash off letters to the editors, critiquing the stories and suggesting themes for future editions He would scour the classified sections for the names and addresses of other science fiction fans and send them letters in which he shared his ideas for stories, plots, and characters For kids like Jerry, science fiction provided a communitya network of fans bound together by a common passionOne of Jerrys favorite books was Philip Wylies Gladiator Initially published in , it was the first science fiction novel to introduce a character with superhuman powers Jerry moved through the swollen river of words like an Olympian swimmer, devouring the description of the protagonist, Hugo Danner, whose bones and skin were so dense that he waslike steel than flesh, with the strength to hurl giant boulders, the speed to outrun trains, and the leaping ability of a grasshopper Danners life is a tortured pursuit of the question of whether to use his powers for good or evil That made Jerry think about how hard it was to choose right over wrongThen there was that unforgettable image of the flying manthe one he had seen on the cover of Amazing Stories Jerry would hang on to that image for the rest of his life The flying man, clad in a tight red outfit and wearing a leather pilots helmet, soared through the sunny sky and smiled down on a futuristic village filled with technological marvels From the ground, a pretty, smiling girl waved a handkerchief at the airborne man and marveled at his fantastic abilities In this edition of Amazing Stories Jerry saw a thrilling new world of scientific advances and social harmony a perfect green and sunny utopia to be ushered in by creative geniuses withbrains than brawn,natural imagination than school injected facts,good ideas than good looks Jerry wanted to help create that utopia Luckily, he had a partner in his questThis book tells a group of intertwining stories that culminate in the historiccollision of the Superman Radio Show and the Ku Klux Klan It is the story of the two Cleveland teenagers who invented Superman as a defender of the little guy and the New York wheeler dealers who made him a major media force It is the story Ku Klux Klan s development from a club to a huge money making machine powered by the powers of fear and hate and of the folklorist who along with many other activists took on the Klan by wielding the power of words Above all, it tells the story of Superman himself a modern mythical hero and an embodiment of the cultural reality of his times from the Great Depression to the presentNational Geographic supports Keducators with ELA Common Core ResourcesVisitnatgeoed commoncoreforinformation From the Hardcover edition