By Joshua Zeitz
Blithely flinging apart the Victorian manners that saved her disapproving mom corseted, the hot girl of the Twenties puffed cigarettes, snuck gin, hiked her hemlines, danced the Charleston, and necked in roadsters. extra vital, she earned her personal retain, managed her personal future, and secured liberties that glossy girls take with no consideration. Her newfound freedom heralded an intensive swap in American culture.
Whisking us from the Alabama state 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 long island speakeasies the place buyers partied until eventually dawn, 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 correct 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, aiding to unfastened ladies 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 exhilarating entrée into Manhattan’s extravagant Jazz Age nightlife.
In California, the place orange groves gave option 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 style 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 advertisements and public family, taught colossal enterprise how you can harness the desires and anxieties of a newly commercial America—and a country of shoppers used to be born.
Towering primarily have been Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, whose rapid ascent and striking fall embodied the glamour and far more than the period that may come to an abrupt finish on Black Tuesday, whilst the inventory marketplace collapsed and rendered the age of abundance and frivolity immediately obsolete.
With its heady cocktail of storytelling and large principles, Flapper is a blinding examine the ladies who introduced the 1st actually smooth decade.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional resources for Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern
And Cleveland was liberal. " But the Victorians were fighting a losing battle, and the most perceptive among them knew it. By the time Scott Fitzgerald left Zelda Sayre for New York in early 1919-well before the heyday of the Jazz Age-- millions of American daughters were already hiking up their skirts, wearing makeup, bobbing their hair, and partaking of heretofore forbidden delights like alcohol, cigarettes, and mixed-sex dancing. Not everyone found fault with the emerging New Woman. In the immediate prewar years, she was feted in such popular songs as "A Dangerous Girl" and serenaded with lines like "You dare me, you scare me, and still I like you more each day.?
By later standards, Fitzgerald's expose of the flapper was tame. But it was provocative enough for its time. "None of the Victorian mothers . . had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed," opened an oft quoted chapter. "8 In this new and startling environment, virtually any girl could be found "deep in an atmosphere of jungle music and the questioning of moral codes. " They wear "hand-knit, sleeveless" jerseys-which Amory aptly dubs "petting-shirts"-that offer easy access to the forbidden regions of their bodies.
Scott's female characters smoked, rouged their cheeks and lips, cut their hair short, and took swigs from the hip flasks of their world-weary boyfriends. 16 In this regard, he was the beneficiary of considerable dumb luck. 17 Magazines like The Atlantic Monthly pondered whether the "Younger Generation [Is] in Peril," while popular tracts like George Coe's What Ails Our Youth? and Ben Lindsey's The Revolt of Modem Youth became essential reading for anyone who wanted to be in the know. In part, this fascination with teenagers and twenty somethings stemmed from long-term trends.