Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the by Joshua Zeitz

By Joshua Zeitz

Blithely flinging apart the Victorian manners that saved her disapproving mom corseted, the recent lady of the Nineteen Twenties puffed cigarettes, snuck gin, hiked her hemlines, danced the Charleston, and necked in roadsters. extra vital, she earned her personal preserve, managed her personal future, and secured liberties that glossy ladies take without any consideration. Her newfound freedom heralded a thorough switch in American culture.

Whisking us from the Alabama nation membership the place Zelda Sayre first stuck the attention of F. Scott Fitzgerald to Muncie, Indiana, the place would-be flappers begged their moms for silk stockings, to the ny speakeasies the place buyers partied until eventually first light, historian Joshua Zeitz brings the period to exhilarating lifestyles. this is often the tale of America’s first sexual revolution, its first retailers of cool, its first celebrities, and its such a lot gleaming commercial for the suitable to pursue happiness.

The women and men who made the flapper have been a various lot.

There used to be Coco Chanel, the French orphan who redefined the female shape and silhouette, supporting to loose girls from the torturous corsets and crinolines that had served as instruments of social keep watch over.

Three thousand miles away, Lois lengthy, the daughter of a Connecticut clergyman, christened herself “Lipstick” and gave New Yorker readers an exciting entrée into Manhattan’s extravagant Jazz Age nightlife.

In California, the place orange groves gave method to studio plenty and fairytale mansions, 3 of America’s first celebrities—Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, and Louise Brooks, Hollywood’s nice flapper triumvirate—fired the imaginations of hundreds of thousands of filmgoers.

Dallas-born type artist Gordon Conway and Utah-born cartoonist John Held crafted journal covers that captured the electrical energy of the social revolution sweeping the United States.

Bruce Barton and Edward Bernays, pioneers of ads and public relatives, taught large company the best way to harness the goals and anxieties of a newly business America—and a kingdom of customers used to be born.

Towering principally have been Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, whose fast ascent and superb fall embodied the glamour and way over the period that will come to an abrupt finish on Black Tuesday, while the inventory marketplace collapsed and rendered the age of abundance and frivolity immediately obsolete.

With its heady cocktail of storytelling and large rules, Flapper is a stunning examine the ladies who introduced the 1st actually glossy decade.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The car was "an incredible engine of escape," as Dorothy Bromley and Florence Britten observed in their 1938 tract, Youth and Sex. It meant that young couples could be "off and away, out of reach of parental controI. 1 9 A youth now . . has a refuge . . complete privacy. " Not that teenage boys were the only ones titillated by automotive possibilities. " Of that total, nineteen had been apprehended in parked cars. " To this challenge, a quick­ witted boy replied, "Speed! 21 As late as 1907, Harper's Bazaar could still find a captive audience for articles like "Etiquette for Men," which considered in minute detail the protocols of Victorian courtship.

I must leave nowI6," she closed a short dispatch, "or my date (awful boob) will come before I can escape-" On another occasion, she wrote that "yesterday Bill LeGrand and J17 drove his car to Auburn and came back with ten boys to liven things up-Of course [sic], the day was vastly exciting-and the night more so--Thanks to a jazz band that's been performing at Mays between Keith shows. " Still another letter explained that " 'Red' said last night that I was the pinkest-whitest person he ever saw, so I went to sleep in his lap.

He has very thoughtfully contributed a letter to you to the general mix-up. It went to him, with his pin. I'm so sorry, Scott . . " Scott's reaction to Perry's letter is lost to the ages, but it probably wasn't a happy one. And he wouldn't have enjoyed knowing that another member of the weekend party had walked in on Perry and Zelda at the fraternity house, both drunk beyond recognition and smashing Victrola records over each other's heads. 24 In June, Scott paid a third visit to Montgomery to pressure Zelda into marrying him.

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