From Mae to Madonna: Women Entertainers in Twentieth-Century America

Overview

Entertainers were the first group of successful women to capture the public eye, taking to the stage in vaudeville and film and redefining their place in society. June Sochen introduces the white, African American, and Latina women who danced on Broadway, fell on bananas in silent films, and wisecracked in smoky clubs, as well as the modern icons of today's movies and popular music. Sochen considers such women as Mae West, Bette Davis, Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball, and Mary Tyler Moore to discover what show ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $26.53   
  • New (4) from $26.53   
  • Used (3) from $29.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Entertainers were the first group of successful women to capture the public eye, taking to the stage in vaudeville and film and redefining their place in society. June Sochen introduces the white, African American, and Latina women who danced on Broadway, fell on bananas in silent films, and wisecracked in smoky clubs, as well as the modern icons of today's movies and popular music. Sochen considers such women as Mae West, Bette Davis, Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball, and Mary Tyler Moore to discover what show business did for them and what they did for the world of entertainment. She uses the life of 30s and 40s Latina star Lupe Velez as a case study of the roles available to Latinas in popular culture. She then contrasts her story with that of the African American action star Pam Grier to demonstrate the old and new ways minority women are portrayed in popular culture. From Mae to Madonna places each woman within the context of her time and talks about her relationship with dominant female stereotypes. Sochen discusses women's roles as Mary, Eve, and Lilith and asks thought-provoking questions. Why did the Depression give women movie stars so many important roles while the so-called feminist 1970s did not? Why has television been a congenial venue for women comics while film has not? In examining how entertainers worked within or transformed particular genres and how their personal and public lives affected their careers, From Mae to Madonna casts the spotlight on a series of remarkable women and their dramatic effect on America's popular culture.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sochen opines that, as an entity, female entertainers were the first women to capture the public eye." — American Historical Review

"For anyone interested in the changing role of women in the mass media, From Mae to Madonna offers a fascinating account of how much and how little things have changed." — Douglas Gomery

"A broad survey of images of women in commercial entertainment, looking beyond simply cinema to vaudeville, nightclubs, radio, television, and popular music." — Journal of American History

"Strives to reach a more nuanced comprehension of women in popular culture. She calls attention to the importance of seeing popular culture as a category of inquiry and demonstrates how placing women performers within their historical contexts offers significant understanding of American women's experiences." — Journal of Women's History

"Examine[s] the historical impact of women in the entertainment industry, offering perceptive comments about American culture in the process." — Library Journal

"Sochen describes the ways women escaped the banal and stereotypical, the ways in which they led insurrections against social and sexual restrictions. Behind 'nice girl' and 'bad girl' images, women on stage deployed their resources against the lines of perfect decorum." — Lillian Schlissel, CUNY

Winter K. Miller
...[A] basic introduction to modern female performers. It covers enough ground to be interestingbut is too broad... —The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
These two volumes examine the historical impact of women in the entertainment industry, offering perceptive comments about American culture in the process. Sochen history, Northeastern Illinois Univ. divides performers into various groups: black women vaudevillians, bawdy women entertainers, the entertainer as reformer, child stars, and women comics, to name a few. She examines a potpourri of stars within these contexts, including the details of their careers, the obstacles they encountered, their personal histories, their impact on the public, and their relevance to the eras in which they performed. Many were symbolic of Eve the seductress, Mary sweet and innocent, or Lillith the career woman, while others violated these conventional female boundaries. Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ethel Waters, Mae West, Eva Tanguay, Shirley Temple, Dinah Shore, and Roseanne Barr are among those discussed. Popular entertainment collections should find this work useful. Rank Ladies, on the other hand, focuses more exclusively on women in vaudeville, discussing their history, specialties, difficulties, and triumphs as well as their place in society in the early part of this century. Women performers gradually introduced more complex elements to the vaudeville stage--e.g., classical music, satire, theatrical adaptations, and inventive material--that challenged previous standards. Curiously, this produced a mix that was at once successful, provocative, and threatening, changing the composition of audiences, the philosophies of theater managers, the texture of the vaudeville art form, and the nature of the entertainers' work environment. Kibler Ctr. for Women's Studies, Australian National Univ. has done an impressive job not only of researching her subject but also of fluidly weaving it into a valuable and entertaining narrative from which she draws perceptive insights and conclusions on the culture of the time that are relevant in any age. For scholarly audiences and those interested in early 20th century American culture.--Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Winter K. Miller
...[A] basic introduction to modern female performers. It covers enough ground to be interesting, but is too broad...
The New York Times Book Review
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813191997
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 3/14/2008
  • Series: None Ser.
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)