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TeenLit: Scandalous: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends)

Author: Bob Etier
Published: March 04, 2012 at 3:53 pm

There’s nothing like a good scandal to steal the public’s awareness from world events and the state of the economy. Hallie Fryd has compiled a guide to fifty of the top scandals of the twentieth century, Scandalous: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (so you can impress your friends), that is a scrapbook of naughty boys and girls from the last century. Some committed scandalous crimes, some had scandalous attitudes, some engaged in scandalous behavior, and some—like Madonna—were born to be scandalous. 

Fryd’s book goes well beyond fifty shocking events, by accompanying each scandal with a brief list of three or four others that are related by theme or players. These lists take the reader further back in history, and many of the events outlined have had historical repercussions that shaped our world. 

The first scandal detailed is the murder of architect Stanford White by millionaire Harry Thaw in 1906. This was not the first time newspaper publishers realized sex sells, but because sex was the star of this scandal—White was Thaw’s wife’s ex-lover—it received major coverage. Fryd explains the relevance of each scandal to modern life (“Why We Still Care”) and provides follow-up information about those involved (“The Aftermath”). While readers are chuckling over these stories that fascinated the nation, they are also learning history and sociology. 

Filled with illustrations and quotations, Scandalous brings readers stories that are ironic, comical, and—sometimes—still scandalous. They involve such well-known names as the Kennedys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Bill Clinton, O.J. Simpson, and Michael Jackson, as well as the United States Government, politicians, and folks who earned their celebrity through their criminal (or scandalous) actions. I was surprised to learn that there was only one scandal with which I was not familiar—and it was a whopper: “Navy Officers Enact Messy Plan to Bust Gay Officers” (1919) that involved Franklin D. Roosevelt

Scandalous: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (so you can impress your friends) is a book for people who haven’t experienced the media frenzy over the included examples of shameful behavior or become familiar through reading more exhaustive accounts. It is also a walk down naughty nostalgia lane, reminding us older folks of past follies that held us in thrall.


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Article Author: Bob Etier

Two words describe Bob Etier: "female" and "weird." Like many freelance writers, there's something about her that isn't quite right. Read her stuff and find out what.

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