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Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show Paperback – December 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
"The first serious history of the form...could prove to be a landmark work.... Meticulous."-- Francine Du Plessix Gray, The New Yorker
"Fascinating and well-researched.... Rachel Shteir's accomplished book leaves one longing for the mystery of a white mink merkin from Harry Bosen's New York Costume Shop in Chicago, or the charm of Lili St. Cyr's roaming radium gadget.... Striptease is a genuine contribution to the history of American culture."--Toni Bentley, The New Republic
"Offers fascinating details about stripper subculture, past and present, and includes numerous photographs of and quotes from stripping's famous practitioners, such as Gypsy Rose Lee.... Shteir's discussions of the ways that striptease informed American culture and her careful descriptions of the women and their milieu are bright moments."--Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
On page 287, author Shteir tells us, "For example, in A Night At the Follies (1956), a murder provides an excuse to see undressed women backstage." There is no murder nor any other plot and no visits backstage -- it simply films an actual burlesque show.
On page 287 - 288, stripper Tempest Storm in A Night In Hollywood is described as "guiding audiences through an evening of burlesque striptease, comedy, ragtime and jazz music, and stripping." Storm doesn't guide anybody through anything. She does not appear until the very end of the show, as was the custom for the star, and dances for eight minutes without one audible word.
On page 288, describing female impersonator Vicki Lynn's act in Varietease, "In the last moments, Lynn takes off the wig to reveal her bald head." Actually Lynn has a full head of hair, without any sign of baldness.
On page 289, turning to mainstream movies, Shteir comments on the 1958 hit The Naked and the Dead, and stripper Lili St. Cyr's role. She tells us the movie "pumped up the sex and violence considerably, partly by casting St. Cyr to play Croft's wife." Wrong. Sergeant Croft's wife was played by Barbara Nichols. Lili St. Cyr played Private Wilson's girlfriend, and she was only in the film for two minutes. Shteir does not mention the brevity of St. Cyr's role, but tells us, "St. Cyr plays a selfish, cold, neurotic, sexually omnivorous stripper - a cartoon of a woman." Wrong, wrong, wrong. The only thing right is that St. Cyr played a stripper.Read more ›
P 235: "I didn't want to stand behind the counter and serve people, explained Rose La Rose, who before her death in 1957 owned several burlesque theaters in Toledo, Ohio."
However on page 241 the author writes, in 1960 Rose became a pornographer.
Now if Rose died in 1957, as the author states, how can she become a pornographer in 1960? It's well known among burlesque historians that Rose owned two different theatres in Toledo, not SEVERAL, and that she died in the summer of 1972.
Page 238: Tex Guinan? I assume the author means Texas Guinan...
Page 240, she writes: "Buddy Wade's tap shoes caught fire, the sparks ignited her costume, and she burned to death one night at the Old Howard in Boston.Read more ›
When I saw the first review on this book, in the Washington Post, I sent in my comments ... which were printed. (Text below.) If anything, my attitude has become more 'fixed' regarding Professor Shteir's book:
Rather than something by a professor expounding upon the 'societal implications of the strip tease', (BORING) I suggest you run reviews on books that were written by people who had actually been there (i.e.: 'Gypsy', recently re-issued) or people who've interviewed the folks that were in Burlesque. Many 'old timers', unfortunately, have passed on and these writings may well be their last impressions of 'the good old days'.
Jane Briggmen recently released "Burlesque, Legendary Stars of the Stage". Many of the people she interviewed are no longer with us. She has just finished "Burlesque, Book II" which will be published in the near future. The second book portrays many of the 'younger' acts (people still alive, but getting on in years ... like myself). She also heads up the 'Golden Days of
Burlesque Historical Society' and is in the process of amassing a very large collection of Burlesque memorabilia that will be given to an accredited University for preservation, in the future:
[...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I specifically bought this book because I knew it has some great and in-depth history. It even has all the words to Gypsy Rose Lee's performance of A Stripteaser's Education.Published 12 months ago by Pamela C
For any interested in the art of striptease, please don't waste your time with this book. It is trite and heady and there are many better books out there on the subject such as... Read morePublished on February 17, 2013 by Terrence Shulman
I needed this book for my thesis research and the seller got it to me in a very timely manner. Also, didn't realize it was a library binding but now I don't have to worry about it... Read morePublished on July 18, 2012 by Hank The Cowdog
Striptease is a great book that gives the history of this art form and the people who performed over the years. Read morePublished on July 29, 2010 by LakeKids
This book really started my serious fascination with Burlesque Striptease. It truly deserves status as an art form. Read morePublished on November 21, 2005 by C.G. Gambit
Shteir's thorough research is fleshed-out by her concise writing and moderate tone. This is a scholarly but entertaining review of how show-business from the early 19th century to... Read morePublished on October 18, 2005 by L. Cook
This was probably the worse book I have ever had the misfortune to examine. Did the author check anything she wrote in the book, or did she just blindly copy her "National... Read morePublished on June 4, 2005 by Donis LaSalle
Being in Burlesque was fascinating. There were always new adventures, new friends and the glamor. This book, as well as being filled with errors, trivializes this wonderful... Read morePublished on March 7, 2005 by Amie Amar