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An Odd Book

An Odd Book

1100 руб.
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Odd McIntyre’s life is a fascinating story of how a shy high school dropout found fame and fortune writing about pop culture from New York during the Roaring Twenties. It’s also a story of camaraderie and friendship between some of the most popular writers, musicians, artists and entertainers of the first decades of the twentieth century. It’s a story of having the best of everything money can buy, while simultaneously suffering from an undiagnosed illness that resulted in severe physical and mental disabilities. But more than anything, Odd’s story is about the power of the written word to, as he put it, “entertain people a little each day.” Thanks to the thousands of articles and columns Odd wrote during his lifetime, we have a unique view of popular culture during one of the most exciting times of change and innovation in history. Odd wrote more, made more money, and had more readers than any other columnist in his era. When the world was hungry for newspapers and magazines, and radio and movies were in their infancy, he carefully managed his public persona to become a media superstar.

His rise to stardom is even more remarkable when you learn he was fighting a disease that wasn’t yet understood. Trying to hide the symptoms of what was likely pernicious anemia, he struggled with an undiagnosed disorder that caused impaired concentration, great physical weakness, insomnia, severe depression, panic attacks, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Raised by his grandmother in Gallipolis, Ohio after the early death of his mother, he learned to use the deep connection he felt with small-town America, as he wrote about his experiences living a glamorous life of urban sophistication in New York. This allowed him to successfully bridge two profoundly different cultures while working in a period of great innovation in communication, politics, art, and entertainment, as the world was shifting from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era. New technologies and methods of communication were being quickly adopted around the world, as were new ideas regarding journalism and the role of media in American politics and society. Odd was at the epicenter of communication during the birth of this new modern age.

Odd also personally witnessed and wrote about many of the historic moments and important popular culture movements of that era. He was there with his pad and pencil on a cold, rainy New York day as Titanic survivors stepped onto the pier and began sharing their stories of what happened when the “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg. He was one of the first reporters to interview the Wright brothers when they were a couple of unknown bicycle mechanics trying to build a flying machine. Odd was also there to observe and share the stories of the men and women responsible for creating the music that exploded out of Tin Pan Alley and spread across the world. As Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.’s press agent, he was backstage absorbing—and then sharing—every detail as theater shifted from vaudeville to something completely new and different on Broadway. As a close friend of Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, and other actors, Odd had a literal front-row seat as moving pictures became nickelodeons, nickelodeons became silent films, and silent films became talkies. He spent hours in Parisian bars with a group of writers who came to be known as the “Lost Generation" and was there with Fitzgerald and Hemmingway as they wrote some of their greatest work.

Odd's life story is about a man who, when no one would give him a chance, created his own way to do what he loved. In the process, he produced an incredible body of work that brings to life one of the most fascinating periods in American pop culture.

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