Bob Batchelor is a cultural historian and biographer. He writes about the ideas and issues that help shape the contemporary world.

Bob's forthcoming book (Fall, 2019) is The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius. The book tells the amazing story of George Remus, who cracked the Prohibition system, turned it on its ear, became one of the world's richest criminal masterminds, and served as an inspiration for The Great Gatsby, then later murdered his wife in cold blood, leading to the biggest show trial of the 1920s. Bourbon King will be published in print and ebook by Diversion Books for the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act in 2019, which provided for the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment.

He recently served as an on-air commentator for the National Geographic Channel's "The '80s Greatest" and "The '90s Greatest" series, produced by Nutopia.

Bob's last book, Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel examines the illustrious life of Marvel legend Stan Lee, one of America's most important creative icons.

Bob also wrote Mad Men: A Cultural HistoryGatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, Bob Dylan: A Concise Biography, and John Updike: A Critical Biography, among others.

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Stan Lee: the Man Behind Marvel

"Where Batchelor succeeds most is fleshing out the settings and context along the narrative spine of Lee’s life." (Washington Post)

"Fun Ride!" (New York Daily News)

This first full biography of Stan Lee is an eye-opening look at a popular culture visionary. This book traces Lee's life -- from his Depression-era childhood to his years as a teen editor/writer and ultimately to his triumphs as the genius cocreator behind some of the most beloved characters in pop culture history, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, the Avengers, and Thor.

Reviews of Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel

Bob Batchelor’s bio of Stan Lee is not only thorough and accurate, it’s extremely well-written. If you enjoy reading Stan’s stories, you’ll enjoy the story of Stan just as much.” – Steve Englehart, novelist and comic book writer (The Avengers, Captain America)

“An insightful and candid look at one of the 20th century’s greatest mythmakers.” – Mark Waid, writer, (Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, Kingdom Come)

“Bob Batchelor’s book takes us on a journey into the life and imagination of Stan Lee, whose collaborations with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko laid the foundation of the Marvel Universe and unleashed a creative explosion that continues to impact, and transform, all of popular culture.” – J.M. DeMatteis, writer (The Amazing Spider-Man, Silver Surfer)

“In this smartly-written, deeply researched biography, Bob Batchelor cuts through the hype and hyperbole to reveal the secret origins of Stan Lee’s thoroughly mythic life and art. It’s the one bio for both casual and hardcore fans.” – Brian Jay Jones, author (George Lucas: A Life)


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Bob Batchelor, Popular Culture Expert

Bob Batchelor, Popular Culture Expert

Stan Lee reviewed in The Washington Post

Bob talks about Stan Lee on NPR station WVXU

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On the 55th anniversary of Spider-Man, Bob shares insight on Spidey's co-creator Stan Lee

Bob chats with local morning show host about the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming

Bob discussing Kimberly-Clark's iconic products and consumer marketing history in a documentary made by Wisconsin Public TV

Bob Batchelor Shines New Light on Mighty Marvel's Prodigious Progenitor, Stan Lee

BBC Interview: Bob Batchelor on Bob Dylan turning 75

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Bob Batchelor, Pop Culture Expert

Bob Batchelor, Pop Culture Expert