Flappers: Book summary and reviews of Flappers by Judith Mackrell

Flappers

Six Women of a Dangerous Generation

by Judith Mackrell

Flappers by Judith Mackrell X
Flappers by Judith Mackrell
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2014
    512 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A new look at the movement that shattered the boundaries of conventional femininity

Glamorized, mythologized, and demonized, the women of the 1920s prefigured the 1960s in their determination to reinvent the way they lived. Judith Mackrell's Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation explores the ethos of that restless generation, starting with its first fashionable acts of rebellion before World War I and continuing to the Wall Street crash of 1929, discovering what exemplified the range and daring of the flapper spirit.

We meet Lady Diana Cooper, whose coterie included some of the most influential intellectuals and aristocrats of the time; Nancy Cunard, the steamship heiress; Tallulah Bankhead, the politically outspoken actress; Zelda Fitzgerald, whose tumultuous relationship with F. Scott was often tabloid fodder; Josephine Baker, the African American dancer, singer, and actress who relinquished her citizenship and moved to France; and Tamara de Lempicka, the Polish-born art deco painter. These women were far from typical flappers - they made themselves prominent among the artists, icons, and heroines of their age. Talented, reckless, and willful, with personalities that transcended their class and background, they rewrote their destinies in remarkable, entertaining, and tragic ways.

Nearly a century later, their stories continue to fascinate as we grapple with the contradictions they faced and match ourselves against the reach of their desires.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Through these marvelous portrayals, Mackrell reminds us why these women continue to fascinate and why their lives had such impact." - Publishers Weekly

"What these women shared most strongly were the glittering allure and tragic consequences of celebrity." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Judith Mackrell

Judith Mackrell has been one of Britain's leading dance critics since 1986, writing first for The Independent and currently for The Guardian. She broadcasts regularly on TV and radio and has written several critically acclaimed books on dance. Her first biography, Bloomsbury Ballerina, a portrait of the Russian ballerina Lydia Lopokova, was published 2008 and was short-listed for the Costa Biography Award. She lives in London with her family.

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