In honor of the 100th anniversary of Vanity Fair magazine, B ohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells celebrates the publication s astonishing early catalogue of writers, with works by Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, P. Read more...
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Publisher: Penguin Books$18.00
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Vanity Fair magazine, Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swellscelebrates the publication s astonishing early catalogue of writers, with works by Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, P. G. Wodehouse, Jean Cocteau, Colette, Gertrude Stein, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sherwood Anderson, Robert Benchley, Langston Hughes and many others. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter introduces these fabulous pieces written between 1913 and 1936, when the magazine published a murderers row of the world s leading literary lights.
Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells features great writers on great topics, including F. Scott Fitzgerald on what a magazine should be, Clarence Darrow on equality, D. H. Lawrence on women, e.e. cummings on Calvin Coolidge, John Maynard Keynes on the collapse in money value, Thomas Mann on how films move the human heart, Alexander Woollcott on Harpo Marx, Carl Sandburg on Charlie Chaplin, Djuna Barnes on James Joyce, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., on Joan Crawford, and Dorothy Parker on a host of topics ranging from why she hates actresses to why she hasn t married.
These essays reflect the rich period of their creation while simultaneously addressing topics that would be recognizable in the magazine today, such as how women should navigate work and home life; our destructive fascination with the entertainment industry and with professional sports; the collapse of public faith in the financial industry; and, as Aldous Huxley asks herein, What, Exactly, Is Modern?
Offering readers an inebriating swig from that great cocktail shaker of the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, the age of Gatsby, Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells showcases unforgettable writers in search of how to live well in a changing era.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Billing itself as the “modern magazine” of the Jazz Age, Vanity Fair showcased writers as varied as Dorothy Parker and John Maynard Keynes in its early days. This fantastic anthology goes from 1913 to 1936 and features 72 essays, poems, and profiles, with very few duds. The topics covered include art, sports, drugs, and New York nightlife, as well as suffrage and Prohibition. The essays convey the era’s mood; the aftermath of the stock market crash registers particularly vividly. Meanwhile, the celebrity profiles, of the likes of Joan Crawford, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, come across as snappy time capsules of contemporary pop culture’s prehistory. The arch tone of the magazine’s humor is conveyed by Stephen Leacock’s “Are the Rich Happy?”, e.e. cummings’s “When Calvin Coolidge Laughed,” and Noël Coward’s parody “Memoirs of Court Favorites.” The chronological arrangement of selections results in some serendipitous juxtapositions—for instance, Walter Lippmann’s prescient essay on publicity is followed by columnist Walter Winchell’s “Primer on Broadway Slang.” At its best, as in Sherwood Anderson’s piece on the U.S. sesquicentennial, “Hello, Big Boy,” and Aldous Huxley’s striking “What, Exactly, Is Modern?” this volume epitomizes the idea of modernity in American cultural life before the Second World War. (Nov.)