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The Jazz Age: A Checklist of Books

lulu This page is a checklist of useful and interesting books on the Jazz Age. It also represents some of the titles I have collected on the period. As my interests are largely in the culture and social history of the period, this bibliography reflects those concerns.

The period, as I define it, began with the end of World War I in 1918 - and ended with the beginning of the Depression 1929. In between was "The Jazz Age" - a time also referred to as the Roaring Twenties. It was a period of tremendous social change in the United States - as well as a time when "youth," (perhaps for the first time), began to play a prominant role in American culture. The Twenties were a turbulent time, one too often stereotyped as the age of wonderful nonsense, Flappers and bathtub gin. It was an age of disillusion and cynicism, prosperity and a revolution in the moral and sexual code. It was also the time that Louise Brooks - dancer, showgirl and film star - enjoyed her brief flirtation with fame.

This page is limited to books on the social and cultural history of the United States during the Jazz Age (and to a lesser degree - the interwar period). Individuals interested in additional information might also track down biographies of some of the cultural figures of the time - such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, or Anita Loos. Annotations for individual titles are offered when relevant or useful. This bibliography has been compiled by Thomas Gladysz.

Before The Jazz Age

Ellis, Edward Robb. Echoes of Distant Thunder. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1975.
--- life in the United States, 1914 - 1918; an examination of the home front during the Great War

Korn, Jerry. This Fabulous Century: 1910 - 1920. New York: Time Life Books, 1969.
--- worthwhile pictorial survey of the decade; part of a series of books covering the 20th century

The Jazz Age

Abels, Jules. In the Time of Silent Cal. New York: Putnam, 1969.
--- general interest, "retrospectiive history of the 1920's"

Allen, Frederick Lewis. Only Yesterday. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1931.
--- a classic, general interest study wwritten at the beginning of the Depression

Andrist, Robert. The American Heritage History of the 20's and 30's. New York: American Heritage, 1970.
--- heavily illustrated pictorial surveey of the era

Churchill, Allen. The Theatrical Twenties. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975.
--- an illustrated look at Broadway durring the 1920's; Louise Brooks is referenced and pictured

Cleaton, Irene and Allen. Books & Battles: American Literature, 1920 - 1930. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1937.
--- the literature and censorship battlles of the Jazz Age, from a perspective not so far removed

Cowley, Malcolm and Robert. Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age. New York: Scribners, 1966.
--- designed as a textbook for studentss, nevertheless a recommended anthology of period pieces

Cruden, Robert. Body and Soul: The Making of American Modernism. New York: Basic Books, 2000.
--- art, music and letters during the yyears 1919 - 1926

Douglas, Ann. Terrible Honesty. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995.
--- a look at cultural life in Manhattaan in the 1920's; Louise Brooks is referenced

Drennen, Robert E.. The Algonquin Wits. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel, 1968.
--- a collection of bon mots, witty wissecracks, epigrams and gags

Dumenil, Lynn and Foner, Eric. The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s. New York: Hill & Wang, 1995.

Fass, Paula S. The Damned and the Beautiful. New York: Oxford, 1977.
--- a study of youth and their growing importance in American culture during the 1920's

Gains, James R. Wit's End: Days and Nights of the Algonquin Round Table. New York: Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich, 1977.
--- heavily illustrated look at the wriiters, actors and socialites who embodied the era

Greene, Laurence. The Era of Wonderful Nonsense. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1939.
--- a "casebook of the Twenties&quuot; and a perspective not so far removed from its source

Harvey, R. C. Cartoons of the Roaring Twenties. Seattle, Washington: Fantagraphics Books, 1991.
--- volume one of this collection of caartoons from magazines and newspapers

Harvey, R. C. Cartoons of the Roaring Twenties, vol 2. Seattle, Washington: Fantagraphics Books, 1991.
--- volume two of this collection of caartoons from magazines and newspapers

Higashi, Sumiko. Virgins, Vamps and Flappers. St. Albans, Vermont: Eden Press Women's Publications, 1978.
--- critical study of the American sileent movie heroine; Louise Brooks is discussed

Hodapp, William. The Pleasures of the Jazz Age. New York: Farrar, Straus and Co., 1948.
--- fine anthology of writings - literaature and journalism - of the era

Hoffman, Frederick J. The Twenties. New York: Collier, 1962.
--- critical study of the literature off the decade

Hutchens, John K. The American Twenties: A Literary Panorama. New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1952.
--- anthology of literature from the 19920's

Latham, Angela J. Posing a Threat. Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan Unversity Press, 2000.
--- a look at "flappers, chorus giirls and other brazen performers of the American 1920's"

Leinwand, Gerald. 1927: High Tide of the 1920s. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001.

Leighton, Isabel. The Aspirin Age 1919 - 1941. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1949.
--- anthology of writings on the interwwar period by the likes of Wallace Stegner, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, Irving Stone, etc . . . .

Korn, Jerry. This Fabulous Century: 1920 - 1930. New York: Time Life Books, 1969.
--- worthwhile pictorial survey of the decade; part of a series of books covering the 20th century

Miller, Bettina. From Flappers to Flivvers . . .. Greendale, Wisconsin: Reminisce Books, 1995.
--- a collection of hundreds of personaal memories and photos from the time

Mordden, Ethan. That Jazz! An Idiosyncratic Social History of the American Twenties. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1978.

Perrett, Geoffrey. America in the Twenties. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982.

Reynolds, Francis J. Marvels of 1924. New York: International Magazine Company, 1925.
--- contemporary perspective on one yeaar in the 1920's

Robbins, Daniel. The Jazz Age. Providence, Rhode Island: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1968.
--- exhibit catalog; the Jazz Age as seeen through the eyes of Ralph Barton, Miguel Corvarrubias and John Held, Jr.

Rogers, Agnes and Allen, Frederick Lewis. I Remember Distinctly. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947.
--- a pictorial survey; a "family album of the American people in the years of peace: 1918 to Pearl Harbor"

Sann, Paul. The Lawless Decade. New York: Bonanza Books, 1957.
--- pictorial survey of the time

Shannon, David A. Between the War: America 1919 - 1941. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.
--- useful, interesting textbook

Sklar, Robert. The Plastic Age: 1917 - 1930. New York: George Braziller, 1970.
--- anthology of text and images from tthe era; Louise Brooks is mentioned

Stern, Robert, Gilmartin, Gregory, and Mellins, Thomas. New York 1930. New York: Rizzoli, 1987.
--- architecture and urbanism between tthe two World Wars; relevant is the material (images, text) on the theaters, apartments, shops, restuarants, etc.... of the city

Stevenson, Elizabeth. Babbits & Bohemians: The American 1920's. New York: Macmillian, 1967.

Stokes, Horace Winston. Mirrors of the Year. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1928.
--- "a national revue of the outsttanding figures, trends and events of 1927 - 1928"

Studlar, Gaylyn. This Mad Masquerade. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.
--- academic study of stardom and mascuulinity in the Jazz Age

Sullivan, Mark. The Twenties. New York: Scribners, 1935.
--- compilation of newspaper and magaziine clippings; volume six of this multi-volume history of the United States

Walker, Stanley. The Night Club Era. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1933.
--- an account of the people and placess that defined New York's night life during the Jazz Age

Watson, Steve. The Harlem Renaissance. New York: Pantheon, 1995.
--- superb study of the "hub of Affrican-American Culture, 1920 - 1930"

Translation via
line break on the Louise Brooks Studies website


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