Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Review American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century by Paula Uruburu

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (April 7, 2009)

Young Evelyn Nesbit was raised in poverty and brought to New York City by a really horrible mother who left her to become a millionaire's mistress and later another's wife. The decadence of the era where the young model and showgirl became the face of womanhood for her generation led to a tragedy and media circus.
This was an interesting book in many ways. It is a period of American history I know little about for one. Though I have heard of Stanford White and his architectural accomplishments, I had not heard of his proclivities for young showgirls or that he was murdered. The entire subculture was conveyed very well by the author and she definitely brought life to the players for me. At many times I was outraged or saddened by the events in Evelyn's life.
I found the story compelling and feel I learned something in the process. Recommend.

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