Resources on the Flapper

[Ed. Note: Since we received two similar queries fairly close together they both are displayed here and the biblios have been combined.]

Query From Darlene Hansen 26 Mar 1999

I am a first year women's studies student (and new H-Net subscriber) and am looking for suggestions for research (websites/essays/excerpts) for the following essay question: To what extent did the image of the flapper represent a new view of women's sexuality in the U.S? (That is, what view of women's sexuality did the flapper project, how new was that view and what aspects did the flapper fail to represent?

I have done readings for this class from the following books: Kathryn Kish Sklar & Thomas Dublin:_Women and Power in American History_; Susan Ware: _Cheap Amusements_; Rosalind Rosenberg: _Divided Lives_; and Virginia Scharff: _Taking The Wheel_. I'm interested if anyone has any other recommendations. Thank you.

2nd Query From Angela Schlater 22 April 1999

Dear H-Women:

I am a PhD Candidate at Loyola University, Chicago and am looking for sources on "The Flapper" for an historiographical essay. The sources I have located thus far are below. If I am missing an important work that discusses The Flapper, or women in the 1920s, please send me the citation. Sincerely.


The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. May 1929,issue devoted to women.

Banner, Lois W. American Beauty. New York: Knopf, 1983.

Berkin, Carol Ruth. "Not Separate, Not Equal" in Women of America: A History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979. 273-288. Edited by Carol Ruth Berkin and Mary Beth Norton.

Brown, Dorothy. Setting a course: American women in the 1920s.

Burton, William L. "Murder, Booze and sex: three perspectives on the roaring twenties" The Midwest Quarterly 31(Spring 90) 374-95.

Carmack, Noel A. "Before the Flapper: The Utah beginnings of John Held, Jr." Utah Historical Quarterly 1998 66 (4) 292-319.

Carter Jr., John. "These Wild Young People: By One of Them." Atlantic Monthly CXXVI (1920).

Chafe, William H. The Paradox of Change: American Women in the 20th Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Coben, Stanley. Rebellion Against Victorianism: The Impetus for Cultural Change in 1920s America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Davis, Ronald L., Ed. The Social and Cultural Life of the 1920s. (1972)

Fass, Paula _The Damned and Beautiful_

Fitzgerald, Zelda. "Eulogy on the Flapper" in The Collected Writings, edited by Matthew J. Bruccol. New York: Collier, 1991. Pp. 391

Gadlin, Howard. "Private Lives and Public Order: A Critical View of the History of Intimate Relations in the U.S." Massachusetts Review 1976 17(2) 304-330.

Hall, G. Stanley. "Flapper Americana Novissima" Atlantic Monthly CXXIX (1922)

Hamilton, Mary Agnes. "Nothing Shocks Me." Harper's CLV (1927).

Lemons, Stanley. The Female Citizen: Social Feminism in the 1920s. (1975)

Lewis, Frederick Allen. Only Yesterday: An informal History of the 1920s.,New York: Harper & Row, 1964, reprint.

Leuchtenburg, William Edward. The perils of prosperity, 1914-1932. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Lowe, Margaret A. "The Mind Body Problem: College Women's Attitudes Toward Their Bodies, 1875-1930" Dissertation tracking number AAG9709623 DAI Vol. 57-102A, Page 4566, 329 pages total.

McGovern, James R. "The American Woman's pre-World War I freedom in manners and morals" JOAH 1968 55 (2) 315-333

Mowry, George, Ed. The Twenties, Fords, Flappers and Fanatics. (1963)

Raub, Patricia. "A New Woman or an Old-Fashioned Girl? The Portrayal of the Heroine in Popular Women's Novels of the Twenties." American Studies 1994 35(1): 109-130.

Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. "The New Woman as Androgyne: Social Disorder and Gender Crisis, 1870-1936" in Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America, edited by Carrol Smith-Rosenberg. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Spurlock, John C. and Cynthia A. Magistro, Eds. _The Transformation of American Women's Emotional Culture_(1998)

West, June B. "The New Woman" 20th Century Literature 1(July 1955).

White, Kevin Francis. "The Flapper's Boyfriend: The Revolution in Morals and the Emergence of the male heterosexuality in Modern America 1910-1930. Dissertation, Ohio State U. 1990, 441 pp. DAI 1991 50(7), 2501-A DA 9031176

Yellis, Kevin. "Prosperity's Child: Some Thoughts on the Flapper" American Quarterly 21 (1969) 44


Website suggestions:

Comment: Has anyone considered comparing the American Flapper experience with the European? Do the arguments made by Lou (Mary Louise) Roberts in _Civilization Without Sexes_ have any applicability for the U.S. experience? Also, what about a generational analysis...after all, the daughters of the flappers would be the housewives of the fifties!

Bud Burkhard