On today’s episode of the Modern Notion Daily podcast, we’re talking with Ardis Cameron, author of Unbuttoning America: A Biography of ‘Peyton Place‘ (Cornell University Press, May 2015). Cameron knew the book as a symbol of illicit love affairs and drama, but didn’t actually read the novel until she was in her fifties. When she did, she realized it was a window into New England small town life and a precursor to revolutions in women’s rights and attitudes toward sexuality that came in the 1960s and 70s. It also says a lot that 1 in 29 Americans bought the book when it came out in 1956. Later in the hour, Emma Bryce tells us about the bikini’s atomic origins.

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