All of the information is rather brief, each scandal is basically covered in about four pages, with photos and appropriate ephemera. I opened this review with a couple of relatively recent funny scandals — but Fryd does not shy away from some of the more tragic ones either. Examples of these include the Kent State shootings in 1970, the Jonestown mass suicide in 1978, and the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls murders in 1996.
To go into all 50 of the scandals is not the intent of this review — but there are an incredible amount of them, which is the main recommendation I have for Scandalous!. There are the relatively humorous, and the truly awful occurrences previously mentioned — and many others along those same lines. Then there are the simply weird ones.
In the category I would call “weird,” nobody was really hurt, but the situations riveted the nation, at least for a while. Examples of these include Miss America Vanessa Williams being forced to abscond her position after nude pictures of her were published in Penthouse magazine. The flap over Robert Mapplethorpe’s “pornographic” photos being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts is another. Then there is the case of the 1919 World Series, which was “thrown” by the Chicago White Sox for mobster cash.
The 50 scandals Hallie Fryd chose to discuss in Scandalous! reveal something of an alternate history of the 20th century. The format is very inviting, and you may even learn a thing or two. The book is available through numerous sources, including publisher Zest Books itself.