James Sturm shows us what America wishes it had been, and what America actually was. By rubbing the rose tint from our memories, he uncovers our nation's truest self. We might want American history -- and especially American sports history -- to be a tidy collection of fables with easy-to-grasp morals. What we actually find is grittier and muddier, but perhaps still hopeful.Gene Luen Yang, from his introduction.
A new edition of the classic tale of a barnstorming jewish baseball team during the Great Depression
Before penning his acclaimed graphic novel Market Day and founding the Center for Cartoon Studies, James Sturm proved his worth as a master cartoonist with the eloquent graphic novel, The Golem’s Mighty Swing, one of the first breakout graphic novel hits of the 21st century. Sturm’s fascination with the invisible America has been the crux of his comics work, exploring the rarely-told or oft-forgotten bits of history that define a country.
By reuniting America’s greatest pastime with its hidden history, the graphic novel tells the story of the Stars of David, a barnstorming Jewish baseball team of the depression era. Led by its manager and third baseman, the nomadic team travels from small town to small town providing the thrill of the sport while playing up their religious exoticism as a curio for people to gawk at, heckle, and taunt.
When the team’s fortunes fall, the players are presented a plan to get people in the stands. But by placing their fortunes in the hands of a promoter, the Stars of David find themselves fanning the flames of ethnic tensions. Sturm’s nuanced composition is on full display as he deftly builds the climax of the game against the rising anti-semitic fervor of the crowd. Baseball, small towns, racial tensions, and the desperate grasp for the American Dream: The Golem’s Mighty Swing is a classic American novel.