What do lie detectors, Margaret Sanger, and a strange yet functional ménage á trois have in common? Each is part of The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Knopf, $29.95). As expertly presented by Harvard historian and The New Yorker writer, Jill Lepore, this account centers on William Moulton Marston (1893-1947), a psychologist and developer of the lie detector, a crank and a charmer, who, by the mid-1930s had lost progressively less distinguished university positions, been fired as a consultant, and gone broke in the 1929 crash. Only a superhero could save him, and with Wonder Woman, his future was assured. Marston saw his Amazonian vision into print in 1941; though he declared that the comic was part of “a great movement underway, the growth in the power of women,” his feminism, like much else about him, was sketchy. With many talented women comic artists to choose from, he worked with a man. Meanwhile, his wife supported him through extended unemployment and his mistress—Margaret Sanger’s niece—stayed home with his children, her own and those of Mrs. Marston; all lived under one roof. The biography is sensational, but Lepore deftly integrates it into her chronicle of comics and the controversies that rose with their popularity, as well as her insightful tracing of 20th-century feminism, from the 1910s and woman suffrage to the 1970s, MS magazine, and Wonder Woman’s bold leap to TV.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385354042
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 28th, 2014

The Secret History of Wonder Woman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804173407
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - July 7th, 2015

Packed with pop culture, feminist history, and a lot of good humored snark, The Book of Jezebel (Grand Central, $27) is an excellent companion to the popular website Jezebel.com. Want to know about Bella Abzug, Planned Parenthood, or Zits? The information is right here. We dare you to find better entries for Tube Tops, Sheryl Sandberg, or Xena, Warrior Princess. Nothing is sacred, and Lady Gaga shares the page with Gaia, Gardasil, and Indira Gandhi. With witty illustrations and photographs throughout, this encyclopedia, edited by Jezebel founder Anna Holmes, is the perfect gift for ladies of all ages.

The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things Cover Image
By Anna Holmes (Editor), Kate Harding (With), Amanda Hess (With)
ISBN: 9781455502806
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 22nd, 2013

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (W.W. Norton, $25.95) is a fine and serious book, even though the title may lead some readers to wonder what it could possibly be about. Far from an x-rated treatment of the subject, it is a highly readable and fascinating documentation of how an essential part of the human anatomy has been altered and harmed by environmental degradation. Florence Williams, a respected environmental reporter, discovered while breast-feeding her child that she had a high percentage of a toxin called perchlorate in her breast milk. This prompted her to do more research (it turns out most women have perchlorate and a lot of other bad stuff in their mammary glands) that explores the history and evolution of breasts, including the early popularity of silicon implants to a frightening rise in breast cancer cases among U.S. servicemen.

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393063189
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 7th, 2012

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393345070
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 6th, 2013