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