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James Sturm's America: God, Gold, and Golems
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James Sturm's America: God, Gold, and Golems (Americana #2-3)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  224 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Focusing on less sensational times in U.S. history (non-war and pre-Depression) James Sturm's America draws a portrait of the people and their dreams that make up this country. Comprised of three chapters—"The Revival," "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight," and "The Golem's Mighty Swing"—the stories grow as the country grows: from pioneers searching for a place to call home t ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Drawn and Quarterly
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Sam Quixote
Dec 30, 2012 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
This is a collected edition of three books James Sturm has written/drawn - "The Revival", "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight", and "The Golem's Mighty Swing". All of the stories are fictional but have a basis of historical record.

"The Revival" is the shortest of the three and is set in late 18th century America. A couple are walking through the woods on their way to hear a preacher's sermon. They devoutly believe in God and talk vaguely about a miracle. I won't spoil the surprise but it's a dark,
Apr 21, 2012 David rated it it was amazing

I first read James Sturm, and really liked his work- so I tracked down this book through an inter library loan- and I was not dissapointed!

This is a three-story volume, containing one that I had already read ("The Golem's Mighty Swing") and two more that I had not. ("The Revival" and "Hundred of Feet Below Daylight")

The facinating thing about this book, is how it is, in essence, a perfect picture of american history... and yet told in scrawls and sketches, ink and paint... you see it through the
May 31, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
Very good historical fiction graphic novel stories.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edward Sullivan
Dec 07, 2014 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
A collection of three previously published graphic novels offer a clever look at leser-known episodes of America's past.
Apr 30, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
When I saw this volume in the Library the main thing that drew me to it was the fact that it had "The Golem's Mighty Swing" story in it. This is a graphic novel I've wanted to read for a couple years now. I enjoy baseball and love the stories behind the game. This story was no exception. It was a beautifully drawn story and a great baseball story. There are not that many baseball comics in America. This is one of the great stories. James Sturm knows how to draw baseball comics. This is the secon ...more
This book is a collection of three separate stories, each looking at a glimpse of a time and place in American History. The third, "The Golem's Mighty Swing," was recommended for thinking about GN narrative flow.

In the first story, "The Revival (1801)," we encounter a couple attending a camp meeting in Kentucky, complete with revival, dynamic "miracle-working" preachers, and a startling twist at the end.

"Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight (1886)" chronicles the people and problems in a mining town
Tyler Hill
Jul 26, 2011 Tyler Hill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
There are some books that you search out, and other books that -through fate or circumstance- seem to find you. This book definitely fell into the later category for me. And, I'm really happy it did. I'd never encountered Sturm's work before, but when someone in my illustration group brought in an old copy to give away, I grabbed it, hoping it would satisfy my budding interest in all things early Americana.

This book is actually an anthology of three short stories. The first, involves a family a
May 01, 2012 Marion rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book is comprised of three unrelated stories. I liked the first one - it was eerie and memorably weird - but didn't care much for the other two.

If I ever write a book and ambitiously call it "America," I'll make sure to put some immigrants, black people, and women (who aren't either dead or crazy) in it.

Yes, violence against women, children and non-whites has been real in American history. But I feel like there are more intriguing and empowering ways to tell these stories than to just sho
Apr 09, 2010 Brian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teh jews, baseball lovers
Given the title and format, I expected some supernatural stories tied into our nation's founding. But I was wrong, and I'm not the worse off for it.

The first two stories are interesting enough, but are throwaway. They take up less than half the book. The best part is undeniably the final story of the 1920s Jewish baseball team. The delivery and pacing is perfect, and utilizes the capabilities of a graphic novel to their fullest. That the author credits a lot of baseball manga that he cribbed off
Bob Redmond
Jul 28, 2009 Bob Redmond rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphica, americana
Sturm's book addresses some of my favorite territory: American history and baseball. I found those themes, as well as his drawing style, irresistable. It's impossible for such a captivating book to earn less than 4 stars here, although I was disappointed in the sketchy nature of the narratives.

There are three short stories in this book: other than the loose theme of Americana, there is no connection at all between them. They are presented chronologically: a religious revival in Kentucky (from 18
Christina Chang
Sep 08, 2015 Christina Chang rated it it was ok
Illustrations felt crude to me, but then again, he was writing about not beautiful periods in American history-religious fervor in the mid 1800s, gold mining (and racism against the chinese), and baseball in the 40s and 50s, but again with a racist perspective-the stars of david (incl a black player), who couldn't get gigs anywhere else. Very interesting, but I wouldn't say I enjoyed it.
Lisa K
Three stories set in the past: one during a massive early 19th century camp meeting, one in a mining town, and one follows the 1920s barnstorming / novelty baseball team the House of David. The last was my favorite, both for illustrations (the rain out!) and nuanced story.
Rocco Versaci
Sep 15, 2012 Rocco Versaci rated it it was amazing
Sturm's specialty is to unearth those rich yet obscure footnotes of American history that shed light on our country and its people. in his book, "James Sturm's America," he collects three previously-published works: "The Revival" (a Hawthornesque story about a pioneer family at a religous revival), "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight" (a tragedy set in a small mining town), and "The Golem's Mighty Swing" (a longer piece--previously published as a graphic novel--about the Stars of David, a traveling ...more
May 31, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
First two stories are interesting but not great. 'Golems' worth a read though. Story of a Jewish baseball team mid-20th century who 'create' a Golem to help their team. As with all Golem stories, things don't turn out as planned. Art is solid throughout all three stories, but the book is mediocre overall.
Feb 17, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it
The first two stories are solid, but The Golem's Mighty Swing is excellent. If it were a bit longer and more in-depth, it would rate among the very top in the genre.
sweet pea
Jul 18, 2010 sweet pea rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-content
this is an interesting collection with beautiful illustrations. of the stories, the first - about the revival - appealed to me the most. each story is a snapshot of a period of time. the story and illustrations combine to transport one back in time. both the second and third stories end kind of abruptly and make me wish there was a little more. i haven't seen anyone do historical snapshots in the graphic form exactly like this. in that way, it reminds me a bit of Eisner. definitely views history ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Johanna rated it liked it
I liked the darker aspects of this book. I was a tad bored by the last story. Otherwise an interesting read.
Apr 21, 2008 Shauna rated it it was amazing
Fantastic GN. As the title gives away, it tells bits of American history in 3 parts: "God," about religious life in the form of a camp revival in 1801 Kentucky; "Gold," about late nineteenth-century gold-mining, and "Golems," about a Jewish baseball team. I don't consider myself a baseball fan, but "Golems" was intriguing, fascinating and it really drew me in.
There's a lot of emotion, history and thought-provoking ideas in these three bits of historic American life.
Jun 22, 2012 Molly rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
A compilation of three works, each representing god, gold, and golems, and as a whole, James Sturm's picture of America. It's all there in the title. :) It was a provocative piece, and the third story, The Golem's Mighty Swing, was both what drew me to this work and what made it worth my time.
Apr 24, 2012 Jacob rated it it was amazing
This HC has 3 different stories, I've already read The Golem's Mighty Swing--and that story is excellent--but the other two stories will be new to me...and now that I finished those two it's no surprise as they too were excellent.
Nov 14, 2013 Albert rated it really liked it
A nice anthology of stories from the gritty underbelly of American history. A few to many crazed and angry facial expressions in the artwork at times, but I don't think realism was intended.
Emilia P
Jan 29, 2008 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: my mom
Shelves: comic-books
I really love how Sturm is able to get really into a time period and mindset without beating you over the head about how history is cool. Right on, dude.
Matt Piechocinski
Mar 13, 2012 Matt Piechocinski rated it really liked it
I didn't like the middle story as much as the other two ... the first being especially creepy, and the Golem's Mighty Swing just being pretty awesome.
William Clemens
Feb 24, 2010 William Clemens rated it it was amazing
Three great stories that left me wanting more I really enjoyed this book and Sturms vision of some of the more unsavory aspects of American history.
I didn't understand any of the baseball stuff but the stories were great and told/drawn in an engaging/entertaining/occasionally unsettling way.
Jul 05, 2008 Christopher rated it really liked it
3 stories, all which take place between 1800 and 1920 or so. Of the 3, the one on baseball (Golems) is the the best. Sad and sweet and funny.
Mar 26, 2009 Jose rated it it was amazing
incredible. excellent book. should, could be taught in high school/college. really good account of early america. akin to wil eisner books.
Jake Forbes
Jul 11, 2010 Jake Forbes rated it it was amazing
I've never been exposed to James Sturm before, but this collection of three historical stories has made me an admirer. Wonderful comics.
Amar Pai
May 04, 2010 Amar Pai rated it liked it
The story about early American revivalism was particularly haunting. Maybe just cos I have a kid now... some images you don't want to see
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James Sturm is the author of several award-winning graphic novels for children and adults, including James Sturm’s America, Market Day, The Golem’s Mighty Swing and Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. He is also the founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies and the National Association for Comics Art Educators. He created Adventures in Cartooning with collaborators Alexis Frederic-Frost and Andr ...more
More about James Sturm...

Other Books in the Series

Americana (3 books)
  • Market Day
  • Above and Below: Two Stories of the American Frontier
  • The Golem's Mighty Swing

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