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Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero [Kindle Edition]

Simcha Weinstein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $19.95
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Book Description

Barricade Books re-introduces Up, Up, and Oy Vey to the book publishing world. From the birth of Krypton in Cleveland to the Caped Crusader, the Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, the X-Men and more, Up, Up, and Oy Vey chronicles the story about the origins of the most famous superheroes. Jewish contribution to pop-culture is well-documented, but the Jewish role in the creation of action comic superheroes has not been —- until now!


Product Details

  • File Size: 3954 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books (June 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D4EDLFA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is a good introduction to the subject of the influence that Jewish history and culture have had upon the comic book industry. Unfortunately it is doomed to stay an introduction due to its lack of depth and relatively short pieces. It is more or less a collection of short essays on various superheroes and superhero teams, none more than twenty pages long. That it not to say that this is a bad book. One thing I really like about this book is that it covers not just the expected superheroes like Superman and Batman, who are always referred to in Comic Theory books like these, but also heroes that aren't thought of to be studied in conjunction with Judaism like the Justice League, The Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. It is extremely informative and to pack so much information in such a small space is to be commended but if the reader is looking for an in depth study of religion in comics, specifically Judaism, that goes into great amounts of detail then he should look for something else. However, if one is looking for more of a light read that packs serious, scholarly information in an introductory manner, then this book could not be more on the mark.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well documented, must read. December 14, 2006
Format:Paperback
This book is a must read for everyone who takes superheros seriously, Weinstein studies the psychology behind each of our favorites icons, and draws the links between their creators and the personage.

Batman, Superman, and all the other heroes are put in the context of their creator's biblical and cultural heritage, and Weinstein does a great job on documenting and arguing that connection
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are Superman and Batman landsmen (Jewish)? July 8, 2006
Format:Paperback
This book is a must for anyone who read comic books as a child or teenager. It is funny and informative about the origins of our favorite comic book characters, including Superman, Batman, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Spiderman, the Xmen, the Incredible Hulk and Sabra. Weinstein goes into the origins of each of these superheros and tells us how these talented Jewish comic book artists melded Jewish history, legends and culture into their stories, including the Golem. The author doesn't neglect the female comic characters either. Sabra is the most prominent 'Eshes Chayil' or woman of valor. She proceeds to 'kick tuches and take names' in her comic book appearances. I was impressed with the amount of research that the author did in producing this book. It ought to be part of the curriculum in high school literature classes along with all of those dead goyishe authors like Shakespeare.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Cool! June 25, 2008
Format:Paperback
If you like Judaism and you like comics this is a must have. An overview on the history of Judaism's influence on comics. It is really fascinating. As a rabbi it became clear to me that Judaism molded the comic world. I always say that Moses was the first Jewish Super Hero, this book proves it. Really a lot of fun and a great Bar Mitzvah gift for a comic book lover.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SuperMensch!!!!! December 1, 2006
Format:Paperback
I recently went to a reading of Up, Up, and Oy Vey at a bookshop in Brooklyn. I have not yet read the book, but am very interested in graphic novels and thought, what the heck, what about comics! Simcha Weinstein spoke about the book with wit, humor, and heart. His knowledge of comics and the film industry is very impressive and fascinating. He had the entire audience captivated. The book chronicles the influence of the Jewish people in the comic book industry. Some believe that Superman, Batman, and even The Thing were Jewish! I know, it's funny! But with the research that he gives, it totally makes sense. In the end, we know they are just comic book heroes, not people, but the book is an interesting and totally new account about comics. I bought the book and can't wait to read it and I suggest it to everyone!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but thin... November 9, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book makes some interesting observations about the influences of judaism on comic books, showing how many of the most important comic book writers and artists were Jewish and how Jewish folklore (especially the tale of the Golem) offered themes for the comic book genre. The material repeats itself pretty quickly, and this reads like a worthwhile article stretched into a (thin) book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jewish values hidden in the mystique of comic books July 12, 2006
Format:Paperback
Growing up as an avid fan of comic books,video games, and science fiction in general, its hard not to have some interest in a book about the philosophical background behind a number of these fabled superheroes. Up, Up, & Oy Vey does an excellent job of depicting how these characters were sculpted from the history, culture, and values of the Jewish people. The author does a great job of embedding humor alongside the well researched facts within the text, while still allowing the reader to relate to their own childhood memories of these characters. This quick read makes a fabulous addition to any fan of imagination, creativity and science fiction, be it within the framework of comic heroes or others.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superman's Four Cornered Cape. August 6, 2007
Format:Paperback
This book addresses an often overlooked facet of the comic industry. Many modern-age superheroes have their histories and moralities based on fundamental precepts within Judaism, and in this book Rabbi Simcha Weinstein makes marvelous use of his knowledge across both subjects to bring the superhero and Torah together. The often overlooked jewish roots of these characters creators' are brought into view and we see many parallels between their own lives and those of the stories they created.

It's written in a fun and interesting format, which will keep you hooked as you discover that not only is Superman a representation of the assimilating Jew, but these are truely modern-day Bible stories.

Highly reccommended for all comic-book fans. If you want to gain a real perspective on the lives of the Golden and Silver Age comic-book creators, and how the idea of the superhero was rooted in foundations laid down over 3,000 years ago.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelsior!
I'm working on a text book teaching Jewish culture, heritage, and religion, as it has been depicted through graphic literature throughout the years. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Novak
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent book written about a fascinating subject.
This is a good introduction of the subject to casual readers. Having read several books on the subject, it's not my favorite but it's concise and easy to read.
Published 5 months ago by Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read !
Well researched , very informative .
I will not look at Superman again in the same way
Well done Simcha Weinstein
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars more on a favorite topic
as stated before in regard to another book on the same subject, some of the material in this book was not new to me, since I've been reading many books lately on the history of... Read more
Published 15 months ago by J. Salerno
4.0 out of 5 stars .
This was a very interesting introduction to the backstory and development of superheroes but I wish it was more in depth. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbi Simcha and Comics are a Great Team!
what can I say that already hasn't been said? Simcha Weinstein's brilliant and backed up discourse on the history of Comic Book legends comes close to none other. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Evan
4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend it
I enjoyed the background on the characters and the writers and found the book lots of light fun. It made me rethink the different characters. Read more
Published on November 12, 2010 by Ozrim
5.0 out of 5 stars Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The...
Wow who could have thought that superheroes are Jews lol! Amazing Book! Easy read! Really Fun! Get it for your teenage Kids. Simply Amazing. 5 Stars all around!
Published on May 24, 2009 by Max Isakov
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply awful
"Oy Vey" is the phrase that best describes this book. I hate to break the news to the author but religion is not the source of comic books (characters, plots, etc.). Read more
Published on January 15, 2008 by A. J. Valenti
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Informational Romp
If you ever wondered the actual origins of the golden era super-heroes and those insightful individuals who created them, this is the book for you! Read more
Published on January 2, 2007 by S. B. Snyder
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More About the Author


Simcha Weinstein is an internationally known, best-selling author. He has appeared on CNN Showbiz Tonight and NPR, and has been profiled in leading publications, including The New York Times, The Miami Herald and The London Guardian. He chairs the Religious Affair's Committee at the renowned New York art school, Pratt Institute.

Simcha holds a bachelors degree in Film History from the Manchester Metropolitan University, England. Following graduation, he became an associate for the British Film Commission and coordinated the production of hundreds of feature films throughout the United Kingdom. They say that "when man makes plans, God laughs" as his path veered from show business to the yeshiva, and he eventually became a rabbi.

Simcha's unique background and life experiences have led him to reconsider the popular culture of his youth through the lens of his commitment to Jewish ethics and spirituality. This one-of-a-kind perspective, along with his wit, makes him an entertaining and much sought-after public speaker.


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