Performing Menken: Adah Isaacs Menken and the Birth of American Celebrity

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Cambridge University Press, May 26, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 313 pages
Performing Menken uses the life experiences of controversial actress and poet Adah Isaacs Menken to examine the culture of the Civil War period and what Menken's choices reveal about her period. It explores the roots of the cult of celebrity that emerged from crucible of war. While discussing Menken's racial and ethnic claims and her performance of gender and sexuality, Performing Menken focuses on contemporary use of social categories to explain patterns in America's past and considers why such categories appear to remain important.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Playing Deborah
22
Playing the Pugilists Wife 18591860
50
Performing Mazeppa
91
Performing Menken
115
Among the Bohemians
138
Becoming Mazeppa
166
Becoming the Menken 18641866
200
Finale
231
Remembering and Rewriting Menken
258
Bibliography
287
Index
303
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