Striptease : The Untold History of the Girlie Show: The Untold History of the Girlie Show (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Nov 1, 2004 - Performing Arts - 448 pages
4 Reviews
The fascinating, untold story of the history of undressing: over fifty years of taking it off. Striptease combined sexual display and parody, cool eros and wisecracking Bacchanalian humor. Striptease could be savage, patriotic, irreverent, vulgar, sophisticated, sentimental, and subversive--sometimes, all at once. In this vital cultural history, Rachel Shteir traces the ribald art from its nineteenth century vaudeville roots, through its long and controversial career, to its decline during the liberated 1960s. The book argues that striptease is an American form of popular entertainment--maybe the most American form of popular entertainment. Based on exhaustive research and filled with rare photographs and period illustrations, Striptease recreates the combustible mixture of license, independence, and sexual curiosity that allowed strippers to thrive for nearly a century. Shteir brings to life striptease's Golden Age, the years between the Jazz Age and the Sexual Revolution, when strippers performed around the country, in burlesque theatres, nightclubs, vaudeville houses, carnivals, fairs, and even in glorious palaces on the Great White Way. Taking us behind the scenes, Rachel Shteir introduces us to a diverse cast of characters that collided on the burlesque stage, from tight-laced political reformers and flamboyant impresarios, to drag queens, shimmy girls, cootch dancers, tit serenaders, and even girls next door, lured into the profession by big-city aspirations. Throughout the book, readers will find essential profiles of famed performers, including Gypsy Rose Lee, "the Literary Stripper"; Lili St. Cyr, the 1950s mistress of exotic striptease; and Blaze Starr, the "human heat wave," who literally set the stage on fire. Striptease is an insightful and entertaining portrait of an art form at once reviled and embraced by the American public. Blending careful research and vivid narration, Rachel Shteir captures striptease's combination of sham and seduction while illuminating its surprisingly persistent hold on the American imagination.

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Review: Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show

User Review  - Max - Goodreads

Historical read only--not masturbatory material at all. Interesting tidbits and trivia on the history of the art of stripping. It's a decent read but quite long as it IS a historical read. Read full review

Review: Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show

User Review  - Dfordoom - Goodreads

Possibly the definitive history of one of America's characteristic art forms, strip-tease. Read full review


The Invention of Modern Striptease
The Golden Age of Striptease
Striptease Goes to War
After the War
Sexual Revolutions

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Page 13 - Bowery, pack'd from ceiling to pit with its audience mainly of alert, well dress'd, full-blooded young and middle-aged men, the best average of American-born mechanics —the emotional nature of the whole mass arous'd by the power and magnetism of as mighty mimes as ever trod the stage— the whole crowded auditorium, and what seeth'd in it, and flush'd from its faces and eyes, to me as much a part of the show as any...
Page 29 - ... and upwards. Clothed in the dress of an honest woman, she is worth nothing to a manager. Stripped as naked as she dare — and it seems there is little left when so much is done — she becomes a prize to her manager, who knows that crowds will rush to see her, and who pays her a salary accordThere are certain accomplishments which render the Nude Woman "more valuable to managers in the degree that she possesses them.
Page 29 - Commonly, however, the members of these burlesque troupes, though they were not like men, were in most things as unlike women, and seemed creatures of a kind of alien sex, parodying both. It was certainly a shocking thing to look at them with their horrible prettiness, their archness in which was no charm, their grace which put to shame.

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