Get Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America PDF

By Althea McDowell Altemus,Robin F. Bachin

Sharp, creative, and with a method all her personal, Althea Altemus embodied the spirit of the self sustaining operating girl of the Jazz Age. In her memoir, Big Bosses, she vividly recounts her lifestyles as a secretary for fashionable (but thinly disguised) employers in Chicago, Miami, and ny through the past due adolescents and Twenties. along her we rub elbows with motion picture stars, artists, and high-profile businessmen, and event lavish property events that typically defied the legislation of Prohibition.

Beginning together with her employment as a personal secretary to James Deering of foreign Harvester, whom she describes as “probably the world’s oldest and wealthiest bachelor playboy,” Altemus tells us a lot approximately excessive society through the time, taking us inside of Deering’s glamorous Miami property, Vizcaya, an Italianate mansion priceless of Gatsby himself. Later, we meet her different outstanding employers, together with Samuel Insull, president of Chicago Edison; manhattan banker S. W. Straus; and genuine property developer Fred F. French. We cinch up our trenchcoats and head out sleuthing in Chicago, employed via the spouse of a large boss to determine how he spends his evenings (with, it seems, a mistress hidden in an house inside of his workplace, no less). Altemus used to be additionally a suffering unmarried mom, a truth she needed to retain mystery from her employers, and she or he unearths the problems of being a operating lady on the time via glimpses into women’s residences, their friendships, and the dangers—sexual and otherwise—that she and others confronted. all through, Altemus entertains with a tart and self-aware voice that mixes the information of an insider with the wit and readability of somebody at the fringe.

Anchored via vast annotation and an afterword from historian Robin F. Bachin, which contextualizes Altemus’s narrative, Big Bosses presents a specific peek contained in the pleasure, extravagances, and the demanding situations of being a operating lady roaring during the ’20s.

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Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America by Althea McDowell Altemus,Robin F. Bachin


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