The Virtue of Captain America: Modern Day Lessons on Character from a World War II Superhero by Mark D. White description:
The first look at the philosophy behind the “Captain America” comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of “Captain America: The Winter Solider” in April 2014.
In “The Virtues of Captain America,” philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940’s comic book character Captain America remain relevant to the modern world. Simply put, “Cap” embodies many of the classical virtues that have been important to us since the days of the ancient Greeks: honesty, courage, loyalty, perseverance, and, perhaps most importantly, honor. Full of entertaining examples from more than 50 years of comic books, White offers some serious philosophical discussions of everyone’s favorite patriot in a light-hearted and accessible way. Presents serious arguments on the virtues of Captain America while being written in a light-hearted and often humorous tone. Introduces basic concepts in moral and political philosophy to the general reader. Utilizes examples from 50 years of comics featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and other Marvel superheroes. Affirms the value of “old-fashioned” virtues for the modern world without indulging in nostalgia for times long passed. Reveals the importance of the sound principles that America was founded upon. Publishing in advance of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier “out in April 2014.
I’m not exactly a comic book expert, or even know that much about the character beyond the movies and the bits of my own research for a paper that led me to this book, but this was an amazing look into the importance of Captain America and his tie to America. While it’s easy to see him as a relic from WWII, and while a good hero a bit too old fashion to be that relevant, the book shows that the values he’s always stood for are always relevant because he represents what America is supposed to be. White did a great job of showing Captain America’s different aspects and how they reflect the world around us, the value of his viewpoints and opinions, and his consistency with standing for justice, equality, and liberty. Even though this is obviously geared towards Americans just because of the character itself, it’s really something that anyone anywhere, and even for people who may not be fans of the character can find something of interests within. Altogether, it’s rather thought provoking.