Captain America and the American Journey, 1940–2022


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About the Book

Captain America made his debut in 1940, just two years behind the first comic book superheroes and five years before the United States’ emergence as the world’s primary superpower at the end of World War II. His journey has been intertwined with America’s progress throughout the decades. Known as the “Sentinel of Liberty,” he has frequently provided socio-political commentary on current events as well as inspiration and warnings concerning the future.

This work explores the interconnected histories of the United States and Captain America, decade-by-decade, from the character’s origins to Chris Evans’ portrayal of him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It examines how Captain America’s story provides a guide through America’s tenure as a global superpower, holds a mirror up to American society, and acts as a constant reminder of what America can and should be.

About the Author(s)

Richard A. Hall has taught courses on various areas of American popular culture as well as U.S. military history. Retired from teaching, he lives in Laredo, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

Richard A. Hall
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 277
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8874-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5136-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface: My Journey with Cap 1
Introduction: “I can do this all day!” 5
Chapter 1. Sentinel of Liberty: 1940s America and the Birth of Captain America 21
Chapter 2. Commie Smasher! Captain America in the Age of Consensus, the 1950s 46
Chapter 3. Man Out of Time: Captain America and a Society in Transition, the 1960s 69
Chapter 4. Man Without a Country: Captain America and a Nation in Crisis, the 1970s 90
Chapter 5. Captain America No More (Again): Captain America in the Age of Reagan, the 1980s 115
Chapter 6. Heroes Reborn: Captain America, the 1990s, and a New World Order 140
Chapter 7. Civil War and The Death of Captain America: America in the 2000s 164
Chapter 8. From Two Americas to “Hail Hydra!”: Captain America and a Divided Nation in the 2010s and Beyond 192
Chapter 9. The ­Star-Spangled Man with a Plan: Steve Rogers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe 216
Chapter 10. The Legacy of the Shield: Truth, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Race in Captain America Comics 232
Conclusion: “We Can Do Better!” 239
Chapter Notes 243
Bibliography 255
Index 263