Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mae West: June in June

"MAE WEST was not a social activist," wrote June Sochen, "an organizer, nor a member of any women's group. The only group she belonged to was the Mae West Fan Club. She was an American pioneer: She created herself, became a rugged individualist, and permanently imprinted her image on the American imagination."
• • Since it is the month of June, it's a good time to mention two of June Sochen's titles:
• • "From Mae to Madonna: Women Entertainers in Twentieth-Century America" [published: March 1999]
• • "Mae West: She Who Laughs, Lasts" (American Biographical History Series) [published by Harlan Davidson: January 1992; 153 pages]
• • The 1992 book's flap copy notes: Written by a foremost authority on popular culture, "Mae West: She Who Laughs, Lasts" is a biographical study of a very popular, even legendary, 20th-century figure that places her in the larger context of the changing times spanned by her fifty-year career. West's life and work offer information and insight into women's history as well as the history of popular culture. Her experiences as an independent woman with bold views of women's sexuality were a kind of barometer of America's changing values. Financially independent and generally unattached, she offered women an unusual model for life. Her celebrity status gave her public exposure beyond the expectations or desires of most entertainers. Her struggle with censorship provided a continuing public stage for her as an individual of indomitable will. As a writer and performer, Mae West was well ahead of her time.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
none • •

Mae West.

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