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Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show
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Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  11 reviews
'Striptease' tells the seedy and colourful story of a phenomenon at once rejected and embraced by the American public: always a target of disapproval, its popularity and ready market historically assured its survival.
Paperback, 438 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2004)
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The offical textbook of bump-and-grind. Covers everything from the ol'school brothel "flea act" to the rise of the "tit serenader." Consise but very clinically written. Truly a history book, not something to be bought with the intent of use for masturbation material.
My interest in striptease in the 1930s and my bigger interest in Gypsy Rose Lee is what made me pick up this book. I have a fascination with burlesque and the art of striptease during the Depression, and so I was happy to find a relatively cheap book (I picked this up in a second-hand book store) that was full of it.

Shteir doesn't disappoint. With over 80 pages of footnotes alone, she goes from the late nineteenth century right until The Pussycat Dolls of today. Her focus is primarily during th
In her introduction Rachel Shteir writes that “This book seeks to restore the world of striptease to history, to chart its geography and to recall its cultural and social representations.” As a professor in the Theater School at DePaul University she is well trained to deal with the last two of her intentions, less so on the first. “Striptease” is history that is written by someone who is not a historian so while it seems well researched it lacks a consistent methodological point of view. It is ...more
Although not very well fact-checked ("Blues in the Night" is credited to someone other than Harold Arlen, for instance, and there were other mistakes I caught here and there), this book is a fascinating foray into the history of burlesque striptease. It's very ambitions in terms of what it covers, and combines history with theory and ideas about feminine subjectivity. One thing I especially loved was her comment on how strippers, in order to be popular, always have to conjure up a sense of patho ...more
The Sheila
Shteirs makes a rather limp attempt to prove that burlesque was an empowering, rather than an exploitative institution, but seems to lose the thread of her argument partway through. I think this would have done better as a straight history, that Shteirs failed to come up with enough concrete evidence to make the effort worth her while, and only ended up clouding her narrative by trying to fit it to her thesis. Largely informative, though Shteirs is annoyingly vague in some places, or makes conne ...more
Historical read only--not masturbatory material at all. Interesting tidbits and trivia on the history of the art of stripping. It's a decent read but quite long as it IS a historical read.
Informative, but doesn't quite capture the aura of the time. Illustrations and biographical information are both a bit sparse.
Possibly the definitive history of one of America's characteristic art forms, strip-tease.
Jeanne T.
This is the one. Want to read a comprehensive history of burlesque in America? Read this.
Challen Clarke
A great introduction to burlesque and striptease.
interviewed the author
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