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

With a public library that houses a super children's department right around the corner from me, it should be no surprise that I find myself there on a regular basis. A truly calming environment for both mum and kiddies alike, I always take advantage of my children's temporarily subdued nature to explore the new selections that my trusted librarian has put in the spotlight. One such gem was a book I just finished recently, Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern
Initially smitten with the fashion of the period, I was delightfully entertained by the saucy stories, amusing anecdotes and enlightening history held in this book!

Written by Joshua Zeitz, a lecturer on American history and a fellow of Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge, Flapper traces the transformation of the 'New Woman' from demure Victorian mouse to vivacious flapper who waved away past conventions like she did her many admirers and dance partners. Through the personal stories of those that lived the liberation, women like Coco Chanel, Lois Long, Louise Brooks, and of course the original American flapper, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, Mr. Zeitz weaves a vibrant account of the birth and eventual demise of the scandalous flapper who smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, bobbed her hair, dated frequently and horror of all horrors, worked outside the home, granting her an independence not known to women before this pivotal chapter in the equality movement. Mr. Zeitz's illuminating walk through pre- and post-war 'her'story regales us with tales of the modern female in the roaring twenties, a woman not bound by the limitations that had previously held her at bay. This well-researched and infinitely entertaining tome is definitely a must-read for anyone who finds themselves a fan of Fitzgerald, the Charleston, bobbed hair, and the Jazz Age!
An absolute 4 out of 4!!


  1. Sounds like a great book...how funny, my daughter was a Flapper for Halloween, shes been obsessed with Flappers since:)

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  2. Should be a fascinating read. I've always found the Roaring Twenties to be a very interesting decade. And I just checked and my library has it available!

  3. This book seems right up my alley. I have always admired the tenacity of the flapper, as she blazed forth with independence either horrifying or secretly delighting her Victorian mothers/grandmothers.

    Thanks for the tip!