While not a Superman book as such, “The American Way” does have connections to the Man of Steel which Superman fans might find interesting.
Scene: Manhattan, nighttime, 1956. Jules Schulback is out for a walk in Midtown when, suddenly, he stumbles across the one and only Marilyn Monroe. She’s standing above a subway grate, her white dress flying up around her – filming that iconic scene for The Seven Year Itch.
Jules, a Jewish family man who whisked his wife and daughter away to safety in the early years of the Holocaust, also happened to be an amateur filmmaker. He had his camera with him and ended up capturing what would become the only surviving footage of that iconic night.
Bonnie Siegler didn’t quite believe her grandfather Jules’s story… Until she found the film reel. The discovery would prompt her to reconsider all of her grandfather’s seemingly tall tales, leading her to author Helene Stapinski. Written with help and research from Siegler, the resulting New York Times article, “The Lost Footage of Marilyn Monroe,” became a viral internet sensation. And so, “The American Way” was born.
“The American Way,” available from Simon & Schuster on February 14, 2023, presents a remarkable piece of pop culture history that reads like fiction but is actually all true. A colorful, vivacious story, “The American Way” interweaves Jules’s story with those of the man who helped him escape Nazi Germany: DC Comics publisher (and sometimes bootlegger and pornographer) Harry Donnenfeld.
Over the course of two decades, the real-life heroes of “The American Way” cross paths with a glittering array of luminaries: from Billy Wilder and Joe DiMaggio to Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. “The American Way” is a kaleidoscopic tale of hope and reinvention, of daring escapes and fake identities, of the largesse of American dreams, and of the magic and power of movies.