Flapper: A Book(!)

Flapper BookLast week I started reading Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, & the Women Who Made America Mondern. I’m about a third of the way in, and totally hooked. I’ve always been fascinated with the 1920s—and flappers in particular (hmmm… you don’t say?)—but I never knew* there was such an interesting, well-researched book out there about the the female rebels of that decade.

Flapper takes a detailed look at a handful of the key players who either helped start the flapper revolution or helped to make it a widespread phenomenon—F. Scott Fitzgerald & Zelda Sayre, Dorothy Parker, Lois Long, Coco Chanel, Colleen Moore, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Anna May Wong, to name a few—and it also goes into the political, social, and technological changes that happened to make the 1920s the perfect decade for this type of shift in women’s thinking and behavior.

Even things like the invention of telephones and automobiles, urban industrialization, the de-skilling of jobs, and unequal wages between men & women had big roles in the birth of the flapper—and often in ways I would have never suspected.

Anyway, I’m really excited to finish the book over spring break. I’m impressed with myself that I’ve read as much as I have given the fact that the end of the quarter at school is approaching faster by the second, and I’m up to my ears in homework. I’m grateful I ride the train to and from school each day—it’s the perfect time to sneak in a chapter or two!

* I was relieved when I turned to the title page and discovered the book was first published in only 2006. That’s still a relatively new book, and thus, I don’t feel completely horrible about my ignorance of this book’s existence up until this point.

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