1920s

Three-time National Book Award Finalist Steve Sheinkin will be having a release party for his new book, “Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America” at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York on Tuesday, September 24 at 6 p.m.

"Born to Fly” is the story of the fearless women pilots who aimed for the skies and beyond. Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Air Derby, the first women's air race across the U.S.

Troy Foundry Theatre has commissioned Die-Cast of Philadelphia for the co-creation of a new site-specific immersive performance piece, unfolding the underground subculture of alcohol and speakeasies in Troy, NY during Prohibition. The company will take residency at Collar Works in Troy for the development and performance of the new work, “The Prohibition Project.”

In a country divided, there is a battle being waged over who gets to be called an American. Workers are striking, immigrants are coming and the Democratic Party has too many candidates for the upcoming convention. It is the end of the Roaring 1920s and everyone knows the world is about to change. But whose change will win out?

We are joined by Troy Foundry Theatre Executive Director David Girard, Producing Executive Directory Emily Curro, co-founder of Die-Cast theatre in Philadelphia, Director and co-creator of The Prohibition Project Brenna Geffers, and company member of Die-Cast and cast member of The Prohibition Project, Ross Beschler.

 

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, NY is presenting the exhibition Circus Circus through October 16th featuring paintings of the American circus by artists from the 1920s and 1930s alongside circus-themed marketing materials used by the Beech-Nut Packaging Company in the 1930s.

 

The circus coming to town was a highly anticipated event in small towns across America, and many artists in the twenties and thirties painted the spectacle of the parade as the circus arrived, and the excitement under the big top. The exhibition includes paintings by Jon Corbino, Ogden Pleissner and Everett Shinn.

 

Images of circus cars, animals and acrobats were also used to market food products during the 1930s. The Beech-Nut Packing Company was one of the companies to use the excitement and nostalgia of the circus to sell its products. They created magazine ads with clowns and circus animals to sell their gum.

 

This circus-themed marketing campaign culminated in the creation of Beech-Nut miniature circuses that traveled across the country in busses, and a miniature circus was displayed in their pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

To tell us more about the exhibit we welcome Art Historian Karal Ann Marling and Museum Director and Curator Diane Forsberg.

  Herbert Clark Hoover was the thirty-first President of the United States. He served one term, from 1929 to 1933. Often considered placid, passive, unsympathetic, and even paralyzed by national events, Hoover faced an uphill battle in the face of the Great Depression.

Many historians dismiss him as merely ineffective. But in Herbert Hoover in the White House,Charles Rappleye draws on rare and intimate sources—memoirs and diaries and thousands of documents kept by members of his cabinet and close advisors—to reveal a very different figure than the one often portrayed. The real Hoover, argues Rappleye, just lacked the tools of leadership.

  Prohibition has long been portrayed as a “noble experiment” that failed, a newsreel story of glamorous gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. In The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, Lisa McGirr dismantles this cherished myth to reveal a much more significant history.

Prohibition was the seedbed for a pivotal expansion of the federal government, the genesis of our contemporary penal state and shows how the war on alcohol was waged disproportionately in African American, immigrant, and poor white communities. Alongside Jim Crow and other discriminatory laws, Prohibition brought coercion into everyday life and even into private homes. Its targets coalesced into an electoral base of urban, working-class voters that propelled FDR to the White House.

  Julian Rose is only fifteen when he leaves his family and Germany for a new life in 1920s America. Lonely at first, he eventually finds his way—first by joining up with Longy Zwillman and becoming one of the preeminent bootleggers on the East Coast, and later by amassing a fortune in real estate.

Kendall Wakefield is a free-spirited college senior who longs to become a painter. Her mother, the daughter of a slave and founder of an African-American college in South Florida, is determined to find a suitable match for her only daughter.

One evening in 1938, Mrs. Wakefield hosts a dinner that reunites Julian with his parents—who have been rescued from Hitler’s Germany by the college—and brings him together with Kendall for the first time.

  Is there life after death? That question has been for posed all of human history, but for the early twentieth century after millions of lives have been sacrificed on the battlefields of World War I and the Spanish Flu Epidemic, the search for an answer would reach new heights. As the bereaved desperately sought ways to connect with their dead loved ones, psychics and spirit mediums emerged from the shadows to offer hope and solace.

  Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta Bingham was offered the helm of a publishing empire. Instead, she ripped through the Jazz Age like an F. Scott Fitzgerald character: intoxicating and intoxicated, selfish and shameless, seductive and brilliant, endearing and often terribly troubled.

In New York, Louisville, and London, she drove both men and women wild with desire, and her youth blazed with sex. But her love affairs with women made her the subject of derision and caused a doctor to try to cure her queerness. After the speed and pleasure of her early days, the toxicity of judgment from others coupled with her own anxieties resulted in years of addiction and breakdowns.

Emily Bingham, the great-niece of Henrietta Bingham, writes about her life in Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham.

    

  Ann Hood’s 13th novel is The Obituary Writer.

The story goes back and forth in time between 1919 San Francisco, when obituary writer Vivien Lowe searches for the man she lost in the Great Earthquake of 1906, and 1961 Washington, DC, when Claire, a young wife and mother, struggles to decide whether to follow the man she loves or stay in her secure marriage.