Colleen's Reviews > American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century

American Eve by Paula Uruburu
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Feb 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Read from February 06, 2010 to August 15, 2011

A sympathetic and ultimately beautiful book of turn of the century beauty Evelyn Nesbit.

Things I learned about how this love triangle impacted modern culture:

1) she was the first pin-up -- arguably first super model too
2) first sequestered trial
3) first use of term playboy
4) could make a strong case--and I think the author does--that this scandal kickstarted off the twentieth century

Was interesting looking at photos of Nesbit at how timeless her looks/appeal are. With maybe a change of clothing, she would not have been out of place from Vogue ads in the 60s or Calvin Klein.

What I didn't like was few and far between: there were a couple of occasions where I thought things were overhyped or too many obvious references to the trouble looming ahead. And I would have liked a brief synopsis of what happened to Thaw at the end. Nesbit got much more a recap (like I know he was rearrested later for whipping some boy, so he continued to get in trouble). Would have also been nice to read some on what happened to Mrs. Stanford White. Seems like the book did a very good job detailing the powerless of women in turn of the century America--Nesbit really had no way of averting what happened; her mother ducked out at first possible moment; so I think having the wife that looked the other way in exchange for an easy life (though who knows, maybe she had no clue and really loved White) would have been an interesting third aspect.
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Reading Progress

02/06/2010 page 50
12.95% "So far meh...hopefully things turn around"

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