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American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century

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American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century Cover

ISBN13: 9781594489938
ISBN10: 1594489939
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The scandalous story of America's first supermodel, sex goddess, and modern celebrity, Evelyn Nesbit, the temptress at the center of Stanford White's famous murder, whose iconic life story reflected all the paradoxes of America's Gilded Age.

Known to millions before her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty. Women wanted to be her. Men just wanted her. When her life of fantasy became all too real, and her jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, killed her lover celebrity-architect Stanford White, builder of the Washington Square Arch and much of New York City she found herself at the center of the "Crime of the Century" and the popular courtroom drama that followed — a scandal that signaled the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

The story of Evelyn Nesbit is one of glamour, money, romance, sex, madness, and murder, and Paula Uruburu weaves all of these elements into an elegant narrative that reads like the best fiction — only it's all true. American Eve goes far beyond just literary biography; it paints a picture of America as it crossed from the Victorian era into the modern, foreshadowing so much of our contemporary culture today.

Review:

"Uruburu, an associate professor of English at Hofstra who has consulted for the History Channel, examines the notorious life of model and chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit (1885? — 1967), whose rise to stardom was as spectacular as her subsequent fall. Born in rural Pennsylvania, Florence Evelyn Nesbit was an 'exceedingly pretty infant' who by 15 had achieved success as an actress and model in New York City, where her blend of sultry sexuality and unspoiled purity attracted the eye of famed architect and playboy Stanford White. But Pittsburgh heir and sexual sadist Harry K. Thaw wanted Nesbit for himself and vowed to expose White's 'immoral' conduct with underage girls. Thaw went on to brutally rape and beat Nesbit, yet she agreed to marry him. Still consumed with jealousy, Thaw shot White to death in 1906, leading to a headline-grabbing trial. Uruburu's depiction of Nesbit's early life and career is richly detailed, but the book loses steam near the end and barely addresses Nesbit's post-trial tailspin into alcoholism. Still, readers will appreciate the parallels between Nesbit's 'It Girl' status and our own celebrity-obsessed culture. Photos. (May 1) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

In a now-famous essay, the journalist Janet Malcolm once characterized her profession as a game of "seduction and betrayal" in which the writer is the seducer and the subject the victim. "Every journalist," she observed, "is a kind of confidence man ... gaining (his subjects') trust and betraying them without remorse." Reading Paula Uruburu's "American Eve," I found myself wondering if the shoe isn't... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Uruburu...is a master of detail....American Eve is a real page turner." New York Times

Review:

"Paula Uruburu serves up an intriguing and meticulously researched slice of American history. Evelyn Nesbit typified the glorious excesses of the Gilded Age, and this story has everything: sex, deception, drama, and a lurid love triangle, all culminating in the crime of the century." Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul

Review:

"Of all the famous beauties of a hundred years ago, Evelyn Nesbit is the only one who would still turn heads today. Paula Uruburu's triumph is to fix this very modern-looking girl in her proper time and place, and also to describe the New York of the early 1900s so vividly that we feel we, too, could be strolling towards the 21st Street apartment where the teen was seduced by Stanford White — or sitting in Madison Square Garden on the fatal evening that White was shot dead." Mike Dash, author of Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century

Review:

"Paula Uruburu has given life to the tragic American story of the poor, beautiful nymph whose fate is so often entangled with extreme wealth and the powerful man." Martha McPhee, author of L'America and Gorgeous Lies

Review:

"In American Eve, a fascinating evocation of a woman and her times, Paula Uruburu does more than just tell the story of Evelyn Nesbit. Sex, money, scandal, celebrity, doom — the whole cocktail of America's obsessions is served up here in this intriguing, addictive book." Zachary Lazar, author of Sway

Review:

"Wonderfully absorbing....A lurid tabloid story of yore brought to fresh life and relevance with remarkable insight, verve and wisdom. Old New York is laid bare in all its decadence and the cult of pubescent beauty traced to its source, all with worldliness, wit, humor, compassion, and suspense. The result is a real page-turner." Philip Lopate, author of Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan and Writing New York

Review:

"Tragic now when a century ago it seemed merely scandalous, the story of Evelyn Nesbit is a gripping cautionary tale for those who believe Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are the first of their kind. How is it that after a century of feminism, young beautiful women still crash and burn for an eager public? Using newly available family sources, Paula Uruburu tells Evelyn Nesbit's story in all its darkness and terror." Honor Moore, author of The Bishop's Daughter

Review:

"In American Eve a beautiful young woman, a lecherous prince of New York, and an unstable husband show us how the national sport of media-fed scandal began. Before the story ends, one man is dead, another is locked away, and Paula Uruburu has given us a look at an age of excess that looks remarkably like our own. It is page turning history at its best." Michael D'Antonio, author of Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams

Review:

"[A] tale oft-told, but never as diligently and lovingly researched as here, an operatic story — not of celebrity or the American Dream but of sex, class and power." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"With generous quotes from Nesbit's own memoirs, and dozens of photographs and illustrations, American Eve is the most sympathetic and comprehensive history of Nesbit to date." Newsday

Review:

"Uruburu draws some valid comparisons between then and now in this tell-all biography of one of the first in a long line of tarnished 'It Girls'." Booklist

Synopsis:

The scandalous story of America’s first supermodel, sex goddess, and modern celebrity—Evelyn Nesbit.

By the time of her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was known to millions as the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty, and whose innocent sexuality was used to sell everything from chocolates to perfume. Women wanted to be her. Men just wanted her. But when Evelyn’s life of fantasy became all too real and her insanely jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, murdered her lover, New York City architect Stanford White, the most famous woman in the world became infamous as she found herself at the center of the “Crime of the Century” and a scandal that signaled the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

About the Author

Paula Uruburu is chair of the English Department at Hofstra University. Considered an expert on Evelyn Nesbit and the time period, she has been widely published and has appeared or consulted on A & E's Biography, PBS's History Detectives, and various series for the History Channel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

mary coleman, August 17, 2008 (view all comments by mary coleman)
"American Eve" is one of the few books about Evelyn Nesbit,a gorgeous creature who had a short but brilliant fame.She left her drab Pennsylvania hometown to make her way in New York.Her striking looks inspired well known artists to use her as their muse.She was the Original Gibson girl as well as posing for classical paintings and her image is still scattered around New York institutions and in the stained glass windows of churches.She grew bored with the tedium of posing for artists and became the darling of some of the early 20th century's best photographers .She attracted the interest of Flo Ziegfeld ,whose famous Follies glorified beautiful nubile girls,barely dressed in spangles and feathers.Teenaged Evelyn was pursued by architect Stanford While,a well known womanizer .The book claims White maintained a paternal interest in the teenaged Evelyn for several years before drugging and raping her in his Madison Square Garden penthouse.This requires a susension of belief because Evelyn was thriving in a decadent world where Sugar Daddies rewarded beauty with money,jewels and residences.In any case,Evelyn stayed with White and was kept in high style till he moved on to new showgirls.Evelyn had another admirer in the truly weird but rich Harry Thaw and hit the golddigger jackpot by marrying him despite his strange tendencies.She then made the foolish error of telling him of her seduction by White.The confession threw Harry into full loon mode,leading him to murder Thaw during a naughty Ziegfeld Follies show on the Madison Garden Rooftop theatre,an fitting spot as the building had been designed by lover White.The murder trial became a circus with gorgeous Evelyn in the witness chair detailing White's juicy pervesions.Husband Harry eventually was let off the hook and off to a high end mental institution.Evelyn however,was ruined when the public wanted none of her sullied self.She drifted along in vaudeville ,then faded from the scene.Her looks enabled her to avoid the dreary work available to young women of the time.For a time she had it all ,though, and "American Eve " is a wonderful glimpse into a gilded but decadent era.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594489938
Author:
Uruburu, Paula
Publisher:
Riverhead Trade
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Celebrities
Subject:
History
Subject:
Celebrities -- United States.
Subject:
Models (Persons) -- United States.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20090407
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.34x6.28x1.07 in. 1.44 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Biography » Historical
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American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century Used Hardcover
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Product details 400 pages Riverhead Hardcover - English 9781594489938 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Uruburu, an associate professor of English at Hofstra who has consulted for the History Channel, examines the notorious life of model and chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit (1885? — 1967), whose rise to stardom was as spectacular as her subsequent fall. Born in rural Pennsylvania, Florence Evelyn Nesbit was an 'exceedingly pretty infant' who by 15 had achieved success as an actress and model in New York City, where her blend of sultry sexuality and unspoiled purity attracted the eye of famed architect and playboy Stanford White. But Pittsburgh heir and sexual sadist Harry K. Thaw wanted Nesbit for himself and vowed to expose White's 'immoral' conduct with underage girls. Thaw went on to brutally rape and beat Nesbit, yet she agreed to marry him. Still consumed with jealousy, Thaw shot White to death in 1906, leading to a headline-grabbing trial. Uruburu's depiction of Nesbit's early life and career is richly detailed, but the book loses steam near the end and barely addresses Nesbit's post-trial tailspin into alcoholism. Still, readers will appreciate the parallels between Nesbit's 'It Girl' status and our own celebrity-obsessed culture. Photos. (May 1) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Uruburu...is a master of detail....American Eve is a real page turner."
"Review" by , "Paula Uruburu serves up an intriguing and meticulously researched slice of American history. Evelyn Nesbit typified the glorious excesses of the Gilded Age, and this story has everything: sex, deception, drama, and a lurid love triangle, all culminating in the crime of the century." Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul
"Review" by , "Of all the famous beauties of a hundred years ago, Evelyn Nesbit is the only one who would still turn heads today. Paula Uruburu's triumph is to fix this very modern-looking girl in her proper time and place, and also to describe the New York of the early 1900s so vividly that we feel we, too, could be strolling towards the 21st Street apartment where the teen was seduced by Stanford White — or sitting in Madison Square Garden on the fatal evening that White was shot dead." Mike Dash, author of Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century
"Review" by , "Paula Uruburu has given life to the tragic American story of the poor, beautiful nymph whose fate is so often entangled with extreme wealth and the powerful man."
"Review" by , "In American Eve, a fascinating evocation of a woman and her times, Paula Uruburu does more than just tell the story of Evelyn Nesbit. Sex, money, scandal, celebrity, doom — the whole cocktail of America's obsessions is served up here in this intriguing, addictive book."
"Review" by , "Wonderfully absorbing....A lurid tabloid story of yore brought to fresh life and relevance with remarkable insight, verve and wisdom. Old New York is laid bare in all its decadence and the cult of pubescent beauty traced to its source, all with worldliness, wit, humor, compassion, and suspense. The result is a real page-turner."
"Review" by , "Tragic now when a century ago it seemed merely scandalous, the story of Evelyn Nesbit is a gripping cautionary tale for those who believe Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are the first of their kind. How is it that after a century of feminism, young beautiful women still crash and burn for an eager public? Using newly available family sources, Paula Uruburu tells Evelyn Nesbit's story in all its darkness and terror."
"Review" by , "In American Eve a beautiful young woman, a lecherous prince of New York, and an unstable husband show us how the national sport of media-fed scandal began. Before the story ends, one man is dead, another is locked away, and Paula Uruburu has given us a look at an age of excess that looks remarkably like our own. It is page turning history at its best." Michael D'Antonio, author of Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams
"Review" by , "[A] tale oft-told, but never as diligently and lovingly researched as here, an operatic story — not of celebrity or the American Dream but of sex, class and power."
"Review" by , "With generous quotes from Nesbit's own memoirs, and dozens of photographs and illustrations, American Eve is the most sympathetic and comprehensive history of Nesbit to date."
"Review" by , "Uruburu draws some valid comparisons between then and now in this tell-all biography of one of the first in a long line of tarnished 'It Girls'."
"Synopsis" by ,
The scandalous story of America’s first supermodel, sex goddess, and modern celebrity—Evelyn Nesbit.

By the time of her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was known to millions as the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty, and whose innocent sexuality was used to sell everything from chocolates to perfume. Women wanted to be her. Men just wanted her. But when Evelyn’s life of fantasy became all too real and her insanely jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, murdered her lover, New York City architect Stanford White, the most famous woman in the world became infamous as she found herself at the center of the “Crime of the Century” and a scandal that signaled the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

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