Roy Schwartz is the author of “Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero” and “The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There.” He writes for newspapers, magazines, toy companies, production studios, and is currently writing about pop culture for CNN.com. He has taught English and writing at the City University of New York and is a former writer-in-residence fellow at the New York Public Library.
About his new book:
Superman is the most famous character in the world. He’s the first superhero, an American icon—and he’s Jewish! Introduced in 1938, the Man of Steel was created by two Jewish teens, the sons of immigrants from Eastern Europe. They based their hero’s origin story on Moses, his strength on Samson, his mission on the golem, and his nebbish secret identity on themselves. They made him a refugee fleeing catastrophe on the eve of World War II and sent him to tear Nazi tanks apart nearly two years before the US joined the war. In following decades, Superman’s mostly Jewish writers, artists, and editors continued to borrow Jewish motifs for their stories, basing Krypton’s past on Genesis and Exodus, the trial of Lex Luthor on Adolf Eichmann’s, and a future holiday celebrating Superman on Passover. A fascinating journey through comic book lore, American history, and Jewish tradition, “Is Superman Circumcised?” examines the entirety of Superman’s career, from 1938 to date, and is sure to give readers a newfound appreciation for the Mensch of Steel!