GREAT BOOKLIST REVIEW OF SALLY RAND AMERICAN SEX SYMBOL

Nov 6, 2020 by

GREAT BOOKLIST REVIEW OF SALLY RAND AMERICAN SEX SYMBOL

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Issue: November 1, 2020
Sally Rand: American Sex Symbol.
By William Hazelgrove
Nov. 2020. 270p. illus. Globe Pequot, $26 (9781493038596). 792.02
She was born Helen Beck in 1904. She got her famous new surname from film director Cecil B.
DeMille, who called her Rand after the well-known road atlas. She achieved global stardom by
staging an erotic fan dance at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. She created her own life story, in
bits and pieces, much of it the product of her vivid imagination. Sally Rand was not the world’s
first sex symbol, not by a long shot, but she was one of the twentieth century’s most famous
women to fill that role. Here, the author of several other works of Americana, including Henry
Knox’s Noble Train (2020), tackles the challenge of sifting through the scattered nuggets of
Rand’s biography and separating truth from fiction. This isn’t so much celebrity biography as it is
an investigation into a famous (and famously controversial) life. Hazelgrove is the perfect writer
to take on such a project, having shown in his previous books that he’s unafraid of asking difficult
questions and busting a few myths. A well-drawn portrait of a famous lady and of the times in
which she lived.
— David Pitt

Sally Rand American Sex Symbol

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Born in Richmond, Virginia, and carted back and forth between Virginia and Baltimore, I blame my rootless, restless personality on my father. He was and is a traveling salesman with a keen gift of gab, great wit, a ready joke, and could sell white tennis shoes to coal miners. [read more...]

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