An Odd Book: How the First Modern Pop Culture Reporter Conquered New York

by R. Scott Williams

Publisher: R. Scott Williams

Publication Date: April 01, 2017

ISBN: 9780998699738

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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The thrilling true story of a reporter who achieved great fame and fortune writing about New York and Hollywood in the early decades of the twentieth century.

As the highest-paid and most-read columnist of his era, Odd McIntyre achieved great fame and fortune. In his daily column about New York, he recorded what was happening backstage and behind the scenes with popular culture in the city and around the world.

He was close friends with many of the leading personalities of the day, including writers Edna Ferber, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald; entertainers Fred Astaire, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., Billie Burke, and Will Rogers; composers George Gershwin and Meredith Willson; actors Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin and many others.

With the help of his wife, Maybelle, Odd triumphed over a debilitating mental illness and years of professional failure to become the nation’s preeminent pop culture writer. He was there as the telegraph changed the news business, and then as radio changed everything. He covered live entertainment as it shifted from vaudeville to something new and exciting on Broadway, and had a literal front-row seat as moving pictures evolved from nickelodeons, to silent films, and finally to talkies.

Buried under a century of change, what Odd wrote about entertainment, media, and politics nearly one hundred years ago still provides a unique glimpse into one of the most fascinating periods in American popular culture.

“His greatest stock-in-trade was his incarnate rapture at the glories of a New York recognizable to none but himself. To him the towers of Manhattan were studded with minarets and the neon lights of Broadway flickered like jewels.” —The New York Times, 1938