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The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York (Mortalis)

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The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York (Mortalis) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On January 5, 1924, a well-dressed young woman, accompanied by a male companion, walked into a Brooklyn grocery, pulled a “baby automatic” from the pocket of her fur coat, emptied the cash register, and escaped into the night. Dubbed “the Bobbed Haired Bandit” by the press, the petite thief continued her escapades in the months that followed, pulling off increasingly spectacular robberies, writing taunting notes to police officials, and eluding the biggest manhunt in New York City history. When laundress Celia Cooney was finally caught in Florida and brought back to New York, media attention grew to a fever pitch. Crowds gathered at the courts and jails where she appeared, the public clamored to know her story, and newspapers and magazines nationwide obliged by publishing sensational front-page articles.

Celia Cooney was a celebrity, a symbol of the lawlessness of Prohibition-era New York City, a cultural icon of the Jazz Age. The Bobbed Haired Bandit captures what William Randolph Hearsts newspaper called “the strangest, weirdest, most dramatic, most tragic human interest story ever told.”

A wild ride . . . a thumping good read . . . Its true crime, its top-notch American history, its flat-out fun-grab it.”

-Caleb Carr, author of The Alienist

“Riveting . . . an absolute winner.”

-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“With crisp prose and a lively selection of newspaper photographs, headlines, cartoons, and excerpts, authors Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Mattson tell a story of an outlaw couple and, through them, the story of an era.”

-The Boston Globe

“A phenomenally complete work of historical literature: gripping, suspenseful, fast-moving, kaleidoscopic, gimlet-eyed, analytic, penetrating, sympathetic, and oddly tender.”

-Luc Sante, author of Low Life

“Fascinating . . . [a] historical account that reads like Doctorow.”

-Crimespree Magazine

“Brings alive the darker side of flapper-era Manhattan.”

-Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Ripped straight from the headlines of the Jazz Age, The Bobbed-Haired Bandit is a tale of flappers and fast cars, of sex and morality. In the spring of 1924, a poor, 19-year-old laundress from Brooklyn robbed a string of New York grocery stores with a baby automatic, a fur coat, and a fashionable bobbed hairdo. Celia Cooney's crimes made national news, with the likes of Ring Lardner and Walter Lippman writing about her exploits for enthralled readers. The Bobbed-Haired Bandit brings to life a world of great wealth and poverty, of Prohibition and class conflict. With her husband Ed at their side, Celia raised herself from a life of drudgery to become a celebrity in her own pulp-fiction novel, a role she consciously cultivated. She also launched the largest manhunt in New York City's history, humiliating the police with daring crimes and taunting notes. Sifting through conflicting accounts, Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Mattson show how Celia's story was used to explain the world, to wage cultural battles, to further political interest, and above all, to sell newspapers. To progressives, she was an example of what happens when a community doesn't protect its children. To conservatives, she symbolized a permissive society that gave too much freedom to the young, poor, and female. These competing stories distill the tensions of the time. In a gripping account that reads like a detective serial. Duncombe and Mattson have culled newspaper reports, court records, interviews with Celia's sons, and even popular songs and jokes to capture what William Randolph Hearst's newspaper called the strangest, weirdest, most dramatic, most tragic, human interest story every told.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812977356
Author:
Duncombe, Stephen
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Mattson
Author:
Mattson, Andrew
Subject:
General
Subject:
Other Miscellaneous Crimes
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
Brigands and robbers
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Cooney, Celia
Subject:
Cooney, Edward
Subject:
General True Crime
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Mortalis
Publication Date:
20070431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.00x5.24x.93 in. .64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York (Mortalis) New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812977356 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Ripped straight from the headlines of the Jazz Age, The Bobbed-Haired Bandit is a tale of flappers and fast cars, of sex and morality. In the spring of 1924, a poor, 19-year-old laundress from Brooklyn robbed a string of New York grocery stores with a baby automatic, a fur coat, and a fashionable bobbed hairdo. Celia Cooney's crimes made national news, with the likes of Ring Lardner and Walter Lippman writing about her exploits for enthralled readers. The Bobbed-Haired Bandit brings to life a world of great wealth and poverty, of Prohibition and class conflict. With her husband Ed at their side, Celia raised herself from a life of drudgery to become a celebrity in her own pulp-fiction novel, a role she consciously cultivated. She also launched the largest manhunt in New York City's history, humiliating the police with daring crimes and taunting notes. Sifting through conflicting accounts, Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Mattson show how Celia's story was used to explain the world, to wage cultural battles, to further political interest, and above all, to sell newspapers. To progressives, she was an example of what happens when a community doesn't protect its children. To conservatives, she symbolized a permissive society that gave too much freedom to the young, poor, and female. These competing stories distill the tensions of the time. In a gripping account that reads like a detective serial. Duncombe and Mattson have culled newspaper reports, court records, interviews with Celia's sons, and even popular songs and jokes to capture what William Randolph Hearst's newspaper called the strangest, weirdest, most dramatic, most tragic, human interest story every told.
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