Coming August 4 — Looking for Miss America: A Pageant’s 100–Year Quest to Define Womanhood
Virtual Launch Party: August 6, 7-8 pm at PowerHouse Arena. Register now!
From an author praised for writing “delicious social history” (Dwight Garner, The New York Times) comes a fast-paced account of memorable Miss America contestants, protests, and scandals, showing how the pageant has both resisted and reflected the gains of feminism. In deeply researched chapters that unpack each decade of the contest, Looking for Miss America examines the heady blend of capitalism, patriotism, class anxiety, and cultural mythology that has fueled this American ritual for nearly a century.
A Library Journal 2020 Title to Watch
A Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book
Excerpts in Lithub and Lapham’s Quarterly
“Mifflin’s lively book reads as an obituary.” —The New York Times
“This incisive and entertaining history deserves the spotlight.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] lively and probing appraisal of a pageant that will observe its centennial in 2021.” —Kirkus Reviews
“While deftly commenting on the racism and sexism that have characterized the pageant’s history, she also makes space for the contestants to speak openly for themselves about their own experiences…” —Library Journal
“A perfect summer read” ―Booklist ALA
“…probing, scintillating and tremendously entertaining–a pleaser for feminists and pageant devotees alike.”
Even if you’ve never watched a single Miss America pageant on TV, anyone with an interest in American history would benefit from this deep dive into a complex cultural figurehead. ―Book Page
“[a] well-written and thoroughly researched book.”