Huntington Author Explores Jewish Roots of ‘Superman’

Huntington author Roy Schwartz has recently published a book entitled “Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero.”

Schwartz says that throughout the book he “explores the development of the comic book field” and concentrates on the “Jewish roots of the comic book industry and superhero genre, with a focus on Superman.” 

The book is based on Schwartz’s graduate school thesis, which focused on Jewish heroic figures in literature. While he was a graduate student at NYU, Schwartz came in second place in a thesis competition, which led to attention and a publisher reaching out in hopes of turning his paper into a book. He also received a fellowship from the New York Public Library, where he conducted most of his research for the book.

Although the title may sound like it belongs on top of a comic strip, the book itself is actually in the academic genre. In fact, research for the book was so thorough and vast, that it contains a previously unsourced Hitler quote from 1923 that was found by a research librarian from the Berlin Library to be in the Munich Police archives. 

Schwartz said  Superman’s creators base their “hero’s origin story on Moses, (and) his strength on Samson” and that “Superman’s mostly Jewish writers, artists and editors continued to borrow Jewish motifs for their stories, basing Krypton’s past on Genesis and Exodus, its civilization on Jewish culture, the trial of Lex Luthor on Adolf Eichmann’s and a holiday celebrating Superman on Passover.”

Schwartz was born and raised in Israel, and moved to the United States when he was 24 years old. He is the director of marketing and business development at a law firm, and writes on a part time basis. This is Schwartz’s second published book. His first book was published in 2018 and is titled “The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There”.

He is currently under contract to write a third book.

Schwartz will discuss his Superman book in a hybrid in-person/Zoom presentation  Sunday at the Huntington Jewish Center.

The event starts at 10 am with a bagel breakfast, with the presentation at 10:30 am. It’s free of charge and open to the  public.

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