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

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

by Joshua Zeitz
4.5 13

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Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua Zeitz¿s brisk style and pacing in Flapper was akin to a box of chocolates. Each chapter was random, some better than others, and bound together solely by its packaging. The author spends an exorbitant amount of time defining `flapper¿, but by the book¿s end, the definition is just as muddled as it was at the premise. Was she Zelda Fitzgerald or the product of Zelda¿s husband¿s lucrative imagination? Was she the created by ad executives or fashion conscious mind such as Coco Chanel? Not until page 265 did Zeitz finally state what I really wanted this book to be about. ¿Every woman of that generation, it seemed, no matter her background or means, wanted to be a flapper.¿ Ah-ha! Give me examples of women, not just Hollywood starlets, coveting or embracing the ideals of this modern woman. I did not get this and my mind kept wandering back to Zeitz¿s chapter on ad agencies. Perhaps Zeitz too was selling a dream. And like any good ad ¿ more often than not - doesn¿t always live up the reality.
carterj98 More than 1 year ago
Few social histories are anything like as good as this one. The nearest to it is Frederick Lewis Allen's "Only Yesterday," but "Flapper" should introduce thousands of readers to a period in American history when things changed--really changed. Zelda Fitzgerald may have been the first flapper, her wild-child exuberance captured in her husband's novels, and she is Zeitz's first example. But he goes on to describe silent movie stars like Clara Bow, New Yorker writer Lois Long, designer Coco Chanel, and a host of other figures who led the nation out of its era of Victorian morality and corseted women into our modern age. Things changed radically in the 1920s, and flappers, riding in automobiles, hanging out in bars, wearing their short dresses and cutting off their curls, served as examples for women everywhere to emancipate themselves from the sway of horrified moralists--and their mothers and fathers. Moreover, Zeitz writes beautifully, and his extensive research makes his work authoritative. I had a hard time dropping this book to take care of the ordinary things of life, and read nothing else until I finished it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only is Flapper one of the most readable histories I've read, it's also one of the most well-rounded. Drawing from a huge variety of primary and secondary sources, Zeitz manages to paint a full-bodied social and cultural portrait of womanhood in the 1920s. In finishing the book, the reader has a strong idea of the issues (including body image, sexuality, feminism, and traditional gender roles) that women in the Jazz Age faced. Additionally, through Zeitz's use of biographical information on so many of the public figures of the era, including effective use of direct quotes that allow us to hear the voices of the time, the reader gets a great sense of who people were talking about in the 1920s and why.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved 'Flapper.' I am not a twenties buff, but I do have an interest in Women's Studies, which is what first attracted me to this story. Zeitz covers a range of topics, from the Fitzgeralds and their escapades, to the birth of modern advertising and our consumer culture. The subjects are linked only by their actions in the 1920s, but I didn't have a problem with the connections. I found the book to be a quick and enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
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Good summary on 1920's women Author writes about different stories of women throughout the 1920's and discusses how the flapper came to dispose of the Victorian era woman. There are lots of details about their chosen lifestyles, such as clothing, consumer goods relating to the advertising boom, and the new risque independent woman. Focuses on woman celebrities that were popular during the flapper trend. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in knowing more about  women's lifestyles during the 1920's and why they chose to wear certain garments or buy certain goods. 
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