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Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee


Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee Cover

ISBN13: 9780195368031
ISBN10: 0195368037
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whenever stripper Gypsy Rose Lee encountered public criticism, she spoke frankly in her own defense. "Thousands have seen me at my — ah — best; and thousands have made no objections."

Noralee Frankel's lively biography, Stripping Gypsy, the first ever published about the highly mythologized Gypsy, examines the struggles Lee faced in making a lucrative and unconventional career for herself while maintaining a sense of dignity and social value. Frankel shows that the famous Miss Lee was an enigma, clearly struggling with her choices and her desire to be respected and legitimized. Those who know Gypsy Rose Lee only from the musical and film based on her rise to stardom will be surprised by what they uncover in Stripping Gypsy. In all ways, Lee trafficked in the incongruous: she was at once sex object, intellectual, and activist. In addition to her highly successful strip-tease act and film career, she published two mystery novels and a memoir, wrote two plays, and showed her original artwork in famed Modern Art-impresario Peggy Guggenheim's gallery. Lee also gained notoriety for her participation in liberal politics. As photographer Arnold Newman said, "She was a lady, a brilliant, bright woman who was the friend of many writers and intellectuals." Though she wasn't above using her femininity to full advantage, Lee aspired to much more than admiration for her physical beauty.

Frankel places Lee's life in social and political context while detailing a fascinating entertainment career, in which Lee created and recreated her own identity to fit changing times. Frankel's biography transcends the sensationalism of stripping and asks the public to see the woman beneath the costume, a woman who always kept a little of herself shrouded in mystery.

About the Author

Noralee Frankel is the Assistant Director, Women, Minorities, and Teaching at the American Historical Association. Her books include Freedom's Women: Black Women and Families in Civil War Era Mississippi and Break Those Chains at Last: African Americans, 1860-1880 (OUP, 1996). She lives in the Washington, D.C, area.

Table of Contents


Getting Started (1911-28)

2. The Burlesque Stage (1920-1931)

3. Sophisticated Stripper (1933-1936)

4. Follies with Girlfriends (1936-1937)

5. To Hell with Louise Hovick (1937-1938)

6. Failure as a Dutiful Wife (1937-1939)

7. Rarely a Dutiful Daughter (1936-1943)

8. Finding the Body (1940-1943)

9. Cultured Stripper (1933-1943)

10. Stripping for Social Causes (1937-1944)

11. World's Fair Stripper (1940-1941)

12. The Naked Genius (1942-1943)

13. Motherhood (1944-1948)

14. On the Carnival Circuit (1949)

15. Nothing to Conceal (1950)

16. Strip Around the World (1950-1954)

17. Back Home (1952-1956)

18. Immorality in Book and Song (1957-1962)

19. The Most Famous Former Stripper in the World (1956-1960)

20. Aging Gracefully in Public (1961-1970)

21. Reconciliation (!967-1970)

Epilogue: Gone Fishing

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cecileklay, August 14, 2009 (view all comments by cecileklay)
I always knew Gypsy Rose Lee was an interesting person, but I had no idea just how fascinating she really was until I read this well-research and fascinating biography. With a career that stretched from vaudeville to TV, highly popular for decades, Gypsy sets a high bar for future performers to best. Moreover, she was politically active, black-balled by censors, wrote a couple of novels and lived life totally on her own terms.
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Product Details

The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee
Oxford University Press
Frankel, Noralee
null, Noralee
United States - 20th Century
Popular Culture - General
United states
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Stripteasers - United States
Lee, Gypsy Rose
History, American | Women
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
16 halftones
6.1 x 9.3 x 1.2 in 1.344 lb

Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Vaudeville and Burlesque
» Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
» Biography » Women
» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
» Religion » Comparative Religion » General
» Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee
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Product details 320 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195368031 Reviews:
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