Blithely flinging aside the Victorian manners that kept her disapproving mother corseted, the New Woman of the 1920s puffed cigarettes, snuck gin, hiked her hemlines, danced the Charleston, and necked in roadsters. More important, she earned her own keep, controlled her own destiny, and secured liberties that modern women take for granted. Her newfound freedom heralded a radical change in American culture. Whisking us from the Alabama country club where Zelda Sayre first caught the eye of F. Scott Fitzgerald to Muncie, Indiana, where would-be flappers begged their mothers for silk stockings, to the Manhattan speakeasies where patrons partied till daybreak, historian Joshua Zeitz brings the era to exhilarating life. This is the story of America’s first sexual revolution, its first merchants of cool, its first celebrities, and its most sparkling advertisement for the right to pursue happiness. With its heady cocktail of storytelling and big ideas, Flapper is a dazzling look at the women who launched the first truly modern decade.
The focus of this study is Britain in the decade 1918-1928, described as the "era of the flapper." It is Melman's purpose to understand the origins and social meaning of the "polyphonic debate" on the nature of women that characterized these years. To this end, she examines "two reciprocating communication systems," the press and the public, consisting of the publishers, writers, and readers of the new mass-circulation newspapers, popular novels, and pulp magazines. In addition to the traditional literary exegesis of specific novels, Melman includes interesting analyses of such genres as the "desert" and "empire" romances, and the class-based "Girl's Weeklies." Using F. Braudel's differentiation among kinds of historical time, the author argues that "popular discourse and new notions about the young female" were "short term," possible only in the context of "changes in structures of material life and the textures of popular culture," combined with the emergence of modern, mass-based fiction and journalism.
During the 1920s, sound revolutionized the motion picture industry and cinema continued as one of the most significant and popular forms of mass entertainment in the world. Film studios were transformed into major corporations, hiring a host of craftsmen and technicians including cinematographers, editors, screenwriters, and set designers. The birth of the star system supported the meteoric rise and celebrity status of actors including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, and Rudolph Valentino while black performers (relegated to "race films") appeared infrequently in mainstream movies. The classic Hollywood film style was perfected and significant film genres were established: the melodrama, western, historical epic, and romantic comedy, along with slapstick, science fiction, and fantasy. In ten original essays, American Cinema of the 1920s examines the film industry's continued growth and prosperity while focusing on important themes of the era.
The Decline of Sentiment seeks to characterize the radical shifts in taste that transformed American film in the jazz age. Based upon extensive reading of trade papers and the popular press of the day, Lea Jacobs documents the films and film genres that were considered old-fashioned, as well as those dubbed innovative and up-to-date, and looks closely at the works of filmmakers such as Erich von Stroheim, Charlie Chaplin, Ernst Lubitsch, and Monta Bell, among many others. Her analysis#151;focusing on the influence of literary naturalism on the cinema, the emergence of sophisticated comedy, and the progressive alteration of the male adventure story and the seduction plot#151;is a comprehensive account of the modernization of classical Hollywood film style and narrative form.
In this multidisciplinary study, Amy Koritz examines the drama, dance, and literature of the 1920s, focusing on how artists used these different media to engage three major concurrent shifts in economic and social organization: the emergence of rationalized work processes and expert professionalism; the advent of mass markets and the consequent necessity of consumerism as a behavior and ideology; and the urbanization of the population, in concert with the invention of urban planning and the recognition of specifically urban subjectivities. Koritz analyzes plays by Eugene O'Neill, Elmer Rice, Sophie Treadwell, and Rachel Crothers; popular dance forms of the 1920s and the modern dance and choreography of Martha Graham; and literature by Anzia Yezierska, John Dos Passos, and Lewis Mumford.
The 1920s represented a turning point in the history of the Broadway musical, breaking with the vaudeville traditions of the early twentieth century to anticipate the more complex, sophisticated musicals of today. Composers Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and their contemporaries revitalized the musical with the sound of jazz and other new influences. Productions became more elaborate, with dazzling sets, tumultuous choreography, and staging tricks, all woven into tightly constructed story lines. These dramatic changes of the 1920s ushered in the "golden age" of the American musical theater. Ethan Mordden captures the excitement and the atmosphere of Broadway during the 1920s in Make Believe. In captivating, lively prose, Mordden describes in superb detail the stars, the songs, the jokes--the sheer fun of this era. Here are shows great, interesting, or even bizarre-- Sally , The Student Prince, Rose-Marie, Lady, Be Good!, No, No, Nannette, Rainbow, Good News!, Ziegfeld Follies, The "Coconuts", The 5 Oclock Girl, Blossom Time, Whoopee.