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Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style,…
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Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made… (edition 2007)

by Joshua Zeitz

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5861431,494 (3.83)10
Blithely flinging aside the Victorian manners that kept her disapproving mother corseted, the New Woman of the 1920s puffed cigarettes, snuck gin, hiked her hemlines, danced the Charleston, and necked in roadsters. More important, she earned her own keep, controlled her own destiny, and secured liberties that modern women take for granted. Her newfound freedom heralded a radical change in American culture. Whisking us from the Alabama country club where Zelda Sayre first caught the eye of F. Scott Fitzgerald to Muncie, Indiana, where would-be flappers begged their mothers for silk stockings, to the Manhattan speakeasies where patrons partied till daybreak, historian Joshua Zeitz brings the era to exhilarating life. This is the story of America's first sexual revolution, its first merchants of cool, its first celebrities, and its most sparkling advertisement for the right to pursue happiness. The men and women who made the flapper were a diverse lot. There was Coco Chanel, the French orphan who redefined the feminine form and silhouette, helping to free women from the torturous corsets and crinolines that had served as tools of social control. Three thousand miles away, Lois Long, the daughter of a Connecticut clergyman, christened herself "Lipstick" and gave New Yorker readers a thrilling entrEe into Manhattan's extravagant Jazz Age nightlife. In California, where orange groves gave way to studio lots and fairytale mansions, three of America's first celebrities'Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, and Louise Brooks, Hollywood's great flapper triumvirate'fired the imaginations of millions of filmgoers. Dallas-born fashion artist Gordon Conway and Utah-born cartoonist John Held crafted magazine covers that captured the electricity of the social revolution sweeping the United States. Bruce Barton and Edward Bernays, pioneers of advertising and public relations, taught big business how to harness the dreams and anxieties of a newly industrial America'and a nation of consumers was born. Towering above all were Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, whose swift ascent and spectacular fall embodied the glamour and excess of the era that would come to an abrupt end on Black Tuesday, when the stock market collapsed and rendered the age of abundance and frivolity instantly obsolete. With its heady cocktail of storytelling and big ideas, Flapper is a dazzling look at the women who launched the first truly modern decade. From the Hardcover edition.… (more)
Member:gordsellar
Title:Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern
Authors:Joshua Zeitz
Info:Three Rivers Press (2007), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read 2010
Rating:****1/2
Tags:history, pop culture, gender, bought New York

Work Information

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern by Joshua Zeitz

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I maybe should've lemmed this, but I was interested in the subject matter. The writing just wasn't that great. I mean it jumped from here to there and sometimes I didn't really see the link to the actual subject of the book. Also I maybe was more interested in the flappers as a culture phenomenon than the icons of the flapper era (I rather read biographies for that). It just never got into any depth and I also felt like the writer didn't really appreciate the people he was writing about. So, I want to read more about this particular subject, but not from this author. ( )
  RankkaApina | Feb 22, 2021 |
Dance over to my blog, Opinions of a Bookaholic, and check out my review! http://opinionsofabookaholic.blogspot.com/2013/08/flapper-joshua-zeitz.html ( )
  M_Sawtelle | Apr 6, 2016 |
This is one of my favorite nonfiction reads! The author does an excellent job of creating the significance and impact of this pivotal era. I was amazed to put together all of the significant changes that occurred in the twenties into one story. I think the author's use of real lives that were key to these changes made the story more real. Though very informative, it is actually a fun read! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This is one of my favorite nonfiction reads! The author does an excellent job of creating the significance and impact of this pivotal era. I was amazed to put together all of the significant changes that occurred in the twenties into one story. I think the author's use of real lives that were key to these changes made the story more real. Though very informative, it is actually a fun read! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I had to read this book for a book club and it took me all month to read it. It was so loaded with facts that it teetered on the edge of sounding like someone's dissertation. I would have liked more focus on the lives of the 4 women credited with the flapper mystic and less historical facts. The end of the book was actually the best part for me. ( )
  bamckay | Sep 30, 2012 |
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Blithely flinging aside the Victorian manners that kept her disapproving mother corseted, the New Woman of the 1920s puffed cigarettes, snuck gin, hiked her hemlines, danced the Charleston, and necked in roadsters. More important, she earned her own keep, controlled her own destiny, and secured liberties that modern women take for granted. Her newfound freedom heralded a radical change in American culture. Whisking us from the Alabama country club where Zelda Sayre first caught the eye of F. Scott Fitzgerald to Muncie, Indiana, where would-be flappers begged their mothers for silk stockings, to the Manhattan speakeasies where patrons partied till daybreak, historian Joshua Zeitz brings the era to exhilarating life. This is the story of America's first sexual revolution, its first merchants of cool, its first celebrities, and its most sparkling advertisement for the right to pursue happiness. The men and women who made the flapper were a diverse lot. There was Coco Chanel, the French orphan who redefined the feminine form and silhouette, helping to free women from the torturous corsets and crinolines that had served as tools of social control. Three thousand miles away, Lois Long, the daughter of a Connecticut clergyman, christened herself "Lipstick" and gave New Yorker readers a thrilling entrEe into Manhattan's extravagant Jazz Age nightlife. In California, where orange groves gave way to studio lots and fairytale mansions, three of America's first celebrities'Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, and Louise Brooks, Hollywood's great flapper triumvirate'fired the imaginations of millions of filmgoers. Dallas-born fashion artist Gordon Conway and Utah-born cartoonist John Held crafted magazine covers that captured the electricity of the social revolution sweeping the United States. Bruce Barton and Edward Bernays, pioneers of advertising and public relations, taught big business how to harness the dreams and anxieties of a newly industrial America'and a nation of consumers was born. Towering above all were Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, whose swift ascent and spectacular fall embodied the glamour and excess of the era that would come to an abrupt end on Black Tuesday, when the stock market collapsed and rendered the age of abundance and frivolity instantly obsolete. With its heady cocktail of storytelling and big ideas, Flapper is a dazzling look at the women who launched the first truly modern decade. From the Hardcover edition.

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