Flapper and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$11.63
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $3.37 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern Paperback – February 6, 2007


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.63
$7.51 $1.95


Frequently Bought Together

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern + Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul
Price for both: $22.74

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400080541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080540
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is an entertaining, well-researched and charmingly illustrated dissection of the 1920s flapper, who flouted conventions and epitomized the naughtiness of the Jazz Age as she "bobbed her hair, smoked cigarettes, drank gin, sported short skirts, and passed her evenings in steamy jazz clubs." Cambridge historian Zeitz identifies F. Scott Fitzgerald as "the premier analyst," and his muse and wife, Zelda, "the prototype" of the American flapper. Others who invented aspects of the flapper mystique were New Yorker writer Lois Long, who gave readers a vicarious peek into the humorous late-night adventures of the New Woman; designer Coco Chanel, whose androgynous fashions redefined feminine sexuality as they blurred the line between men's and women's roles in society; fashion artist Gordon Conway, whose willowy and aloof flappers were seen by millions of American and European magazine readers; and Clara Bow, who breathed life into the flapper on the silver screen. The Klan, Zeitz relates, denounced flappers as evils of the modern age, and advertisers exploited the social anxieties of would-be flappers by appealing to the conformist at the heart of this controversial figure. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This lively history looks at the Jazz Age through its greatest symbol, the flapper. A far cry from the staid Victorian angel of the house, flappers wore their hair short, dared to show their legs, drank, smoked, and cavorted with young men. Alhough he didn't invent the flapper as many suppose, F. Scott Fitzgerald did bring the modern woman into the public eye in his debut novel, This Side of Paradise. Zeitz explores the lives of the women who have come to personify the flapper ideal: Zelda Sayre, the southern belle who married Fitzgerald and became his muse; Lois Long, the sharp-tongued New Yorker columnist whose nightlife was often the subject of her writing; Coco Chanel, the elegant designer who carefully crafted her own backstory; and the actresses Colleen Moore, Clara Bow, and Louise Brooks, who brought the flapper to the silver screen only to be left in the dust when the following decade ushered in a less sexually confident feminine ideal. Zeitz's energetic writing does his subject justice, bringing to life the wild coed parties; the colorful, glitzy fashion; and the general energy and enthusiasm with which the decade embraced modernity. An essential exploration of the women Zeitz deems "the first thoroughly modern American[s]." Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Josh Zeitz has taught American history and politics at Cambridge University, Harvard University, and Princeton University. He is the author of several books on American political and social history and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Dissent, and American Heritage. A former congressional campaign aide and gubernatorial policy advisor and speechwriter, Zeitz lives with his wife and two daughters in Hoboken, NJ. Follow him on twitter @joshuamzeitz and his personal webpage joshzeitz.co

Customer Reviews

Very well written and researched.
Laura Jackson
The author did a fine job in telling the story of this subject, and I'm sure you will find it an interesting book to read on this time period.
Bill Emblom
An absolute must read for anyone with an interest in this fascinating chapter in American and world history.
Sweet Tea

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Trask on March 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Flapper is a rare treat for history buffs: a thoroughly accessible piece of history that both sheds new light on familiar topics and uncovers new facts most readers might otherwise not have encountered. Zeitz wisely chooses to tell the story of the flapper by focusing on four women who helped launch the phenomenon: writer and socialite Zelda Fitzgerald (nee Sayres), designer Coco Chanel, columnist Lois Long, and actress Louise Brooks. Zeitz tells these stories well, deftly sifting through the piles of extant material on Fitzgerald and Chanel, and generating an impressive amount of biographical information on the lesser-known Long and Brooks. Zeitz is equally adept when discussing the larger trends that shaped (and were shaped by) the flapper. In particular, his description of how dating arose in the United States showcases his talents at their strongest, and reads like the better parts of a Garry Wills book. Sound research, clear argument, interesting subject matter, and writing that, sentence by sentence, puts the reader right in the mood of the times make this great reading for historians and general readers alike. Social history should always be this good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By S.R.W. Phillips on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely fascinating. I often read literature about feminism and women, but hadn't ever read much about the 1920s. Although this book does center on F. Scott Fitzgerald for the first one-third or so, most of it deals with women of the so-called "flapper" era.

Something that took me by surprise was the detail the author goes into regarding fashion of the day. The surprising part was that I found it fascinating! I'm not a big fashion buff, but think the idea of cultural critique via fashion is a very interesting one.

The book is divided into thirds, with the first one-third being about, as I said, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, the "quintessential flapper couple," as well as various prominent figures of this era, including Lois Long, a writer for the fledgling "New Yorker"--which, interestingly, was not always as highbrow as it is now. These people had lives which could (and probably do) all fill books individually, so some of the mini-biographies feel a bit superficial, but I'm sure a book that was exhaustive would be several hundred pages long. The second portion of the book is devoted to fashion, and the final one-third of the book is dedicated to the films of the era. An epilogue describes the eventual fates of each of the book's main players.

This is definitely a book well worth reading, but it has a couple of flaws. It does get dry in some portions, and you have to just "power through" to get back to the interesting parts. Obviously, these will vary from reader to reader, as I'm sure not all people would be as interested in the fashion portion as I was. One other fundamental problem, though, is that this could be subtitled "A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the WHITE Women Who Made America Modern.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By KindleAddict on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading the reviews of several books covering the Roaring 20s. I needed not just facts and figures, but the feel of the era, since I was researching for a short fiction story set then. Joshua Zeitz did it all, covering both individual experiences as well as the essence of the time.

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern is well worth the price. It's packed with solid research as is also highly entertaining.

Get a wiggle on and go buy it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By LA VINE VOICE on July 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! The author apparently immersed himself in the subject -- and eloquently communicates what he learned. It's a fascinating topic, and the author uses quotes, interviews, and other research to make it come alive. It will almost make you an instant expert on flappers in the 1920s as it covers literature, fashion, advertising, sociology, psychology, film, and much more. The author also focuses on iconic men and women, including Zelda Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks, Clara Bow, Lois Long, John Held, and Gordon Conway, and effectively profiles their lives and careers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on September 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely fabulous and was hard to put down. More than just another book about the flappers, it tells a thorough comprehensive story about American culture and society in the 1920s, from so many angles, pertinent to both women and society as a whole--clothing, advertising, cars, smoking, dating, sex, drinking, the movies, literature, feminism, higher education, racism, the haves and have-nots, and illustrators. Along the way we also read about vivid personalities of the era, such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Clara Bow, Lois Long, Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks, John Held, Jr., Bruce Barton, Coco Chanel, and Gordon Conway (a woman, in spite of the masculine name). It also chronicles the events and social forces in the decades prior to the Twenties, showing how all of these things came together and ultimately led up to the first truly modern era, an era that actually began around the time of WWI, not when the Twenties began, as many people might think. Things such as women wearing more comfortable and revealing clothing, young people going on dates and even having premarital sex instead of having closely-chaperoned "courtships," and pop culture and advertisements assuming great importance in how people saw and created their sense of reality just intensified and became more prominent as the Twenties began. These changes in society and women didn't take place in a vacuum or happen overnight.

As a woman and a feminist, I'm eternally grateful to these women for what they did, and for the struggles and sacrifices of the generations that came before them.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?