The Invention of the Flapper
Reaktion Books 2017
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in British StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network October 2, 2017 Kyle McMillen
What are your impressions when you think of the flapper? Who is she in your mind? When and where does she exist?
In her new book Lost Girls: The Invention of the Flapper (Reaktion Books, 2017), Linda Simon tracks the historical narrative surrounding the flapper from the late-nineteenth century into the early decades of the twentieth century. Using sources from popular culture and from people of the time, Simon asserts that the image of the flapper did not appear out of a single historical moment but rather was invented over the decades. The flapper did not limit its impact to fashion and women’s attitudes, but also intersected with debates about race, immigration, politics, and the like. Simon’s book is an excellent and very accessible narrative on the flapper and will be of interest to anyone fascinated with gender and the history of the late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century.
Linda Simon is professor emerita of English at Skidmore College.