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Book Review: American Rose

Biography of the queen of burlesque salutes her striptease talent — and probes her tortured family life

If you’re a fan of the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy, you’re aware of the complex relationship between striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and her steamroller of a stage mother. But the revelation of Karen Abbott’s addictive new biography, American Rose — A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, is that the musical — and the 1962 film adaptation starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood — whitewashed the family’s dysfunction, omitting the most violent and perverse details. … Back to Article

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