ellin mackay

The Cabaret Beat

Ian Frazier explores how Ellin Mackay’s 1925 essay criticizing the social scene of the city’s upper crust fuelled the first sold-out issue of the magazine:

When a piece of writing rocks the world it’s a glorious thing. Or, in this case, rocks a world; suddenly, all over, people of a certain sort were talking about “Why We Go to Cabarets.” The Times covered the article on page 1, upper left-hand corner. Other papers in the city and across the country splashed stories about it on the front page. The president of the New York Junior League, Mrs. Pleasants Pennington, said she had not formed an opinion about the article, but “it amused me very much.” The Waldorf Hotel issued a statement promising to arrange dances in an exclusive setting that would solve the problems Miss Mackay had outlined. In Paris, American ladies with daughters told a reporter from the Chicago Daily Tribune that the stag-line situation described in the article was why they had left the United States.