Cover image for Posing a threat : flappers, chorus girls, and other brazen performers of the American 1920s
Title:
Posing a threat : flappers, chorus girls, and other brazen performers of the American 1920s
Author:
Latham, Angela J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hanover, NH : Published by University Press of New England [for] Wesleyan University Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
xi, 203 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780819564009

9780819564016
Format :
Book

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HQ1420 .L38 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Examines the ways in which American women in the 1920s transformed their lives through performance and fashion.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Latham turns a scholar's eye to an age when women courted outrage with each new fashion and creates a revealing, entertaining cultural history that reminds us that every age finds something scandalous in the behavior of the young, and that pornography, if sought, can always be found. Although exerting considerable voyeuristic appeal, the book is seriously, not luridly, written (this slows any reading for thrills) and appeals primarily to serious interest in the portrayal of women and sex in American culture. If the flapper emerges as the erotic icon of the '20s, the illustrations from vintage magazines underscore the subtlety and fluidity with which fashion trends permeated '20s society, helping establish and validating concomitant changes in women's roles and depictions of women. Latham's analysis, casting the seemingly superficial phenomena of fashion and advertising as agents of cultural change, explains the effects of the risquepublic image of young women defined by the flapper image. --Mike Tribby


Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Starting Points
What We have Been Told
Coming to Terms
2 Fashionable Discourse
1920's Fashion in Perspective
Dame Fashion as Tyrant
A High Price to Pay
Fashion and Morality
Fashion and Health
Conclusions
3 Fashionable Display and the Problem of Bathing Costumes
"Annette Kellermans": A Line in the Sand
The Profitable Decency Dilemma
Performed Resistance: The arrest of Louise Rosine
Subversive Stories : Mae West
Subversive Stories : "Mrs. Brown"
Conclusions
4 The Right to Bare: Containing and Encoding American Women in the Popular Theater
The Beauty Clause
Clashing Contingencies: An Analysis of Leg Shows
Chorus Girls: Legends in Their Own Time
Decoding the Debates
5 The Transgressions of Ladies' Night
Getting the Joke: An Analysis of Ladies' Night
The Legal Censorship of Ladies' Night
Conclusions
Afterword
Notes
Bibliography
Index