Posts tagged “josephine baker”

Features » A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time: Josephine Baker, Vienna, 1928

The brilliant entertainer Josephine Baker was among the world’s most celebrated figures of the jazz age, headlining groundbreaking revues during the 1927 Folies Bergere (while costumed in little more than a girdle made of bananas) and challenging racial and gender stereotypes at virtually every step of her career.  Her artistry also intensified the discussion of morality and entertainment. 

This extended excerpt from Ean Wood’s 2000 biography The Josephine Baker Story looks at the debate surrounding this issue that took place in Austria during her 1928 tour.  The fascinating story — featuring economics, politics and religion — is a reminder of the complexity of the time in which she lived, and ends with a wonderfully ironic punchline.

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Exploring the France that Josephine Baker Loved

Yesterday’s Travel section in the New York Times was led by a fabulous feature by Sloane Crosley, “Exploring the France that Josephine Baker Loved,” which described her world while living in the Chateau des Milandes — the castle overlooking the Dordogne in the Périgord region in which she raised her 12 adopted children. Crosley’s piece is a tantalizing invitation to visit a beautiful region of the world, while reminding us of the complexity of her career and life in France.

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Interviews » Biographers

Ean Wood, author of The Josephine Baker Story

The effervescent smile of Josephine Baker is easily recognizable. The mellifluous tone of her voice is legendary. Epitomizing the adage “all that glitters is not gold,” her life was plagued with broken marriages, discrimination, poverty, and eventually illness.

In his book, The Josephine Baker Story, author Ean Wood, who previously wrote of George Gershwin’s life, presents us with a portrait of a truly remarkable woman whose charm, vivacity and captivating personality live on long after her death. […] Continue reading »