By Althea McDowell Altemus,Robin F. Bachin
Beginning along with her employment as a personal secretary to James Deering of overseas Harvester, whom she describes as “probably the world’s oldest and wealthiest bachelor playboy,” Altemus tells us a lot approximately excessive society throughout the time, taking us within Deering’s glamorous Miami property, Vizcaya, an Italianate mansion important of Gatsby himself. Later, we meet her different striking employers, together with Samuel Insull, president of Chicago Edison; ny 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 giant boss to determine how he spends his evenings (with, it seems, a mistress hidden in an residence inside his workplace, no less). Altemus was once additionally a suffering unmarried mom, a truth she needed to continue mystery from her employers, and he or she finds the problems of being a operating girl 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 by means of large 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 in the course of the ’20s.
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Extra resources for Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America
Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America by Althea McDowell Altemus,Robin F. Bachin