About Public Enemy #1: The True Story of the Brady Gang:
Al Brady was an armed robber and murderer in the 1930s and became the FBI's Public Enemy #1. The crime spree of Brady and his gang brought them from the south and midwest to Maine. A hardware store owner in Bangor became suspicious when Brady requested a large supply of ammunition and paid with an equally large amount of cash, and notified police. The FBI was waiting in ambush for them when they arrived to pick up the ammo. The rest is history, as on October 12, 1937, Brady and an accomplice were killed in a hail of bullets in broad daylight in downtown Bangor. This spectacular public gun-battle has become an integral part of Maine lore. Now, historian Trudy Irene Scee tells the story, including Brady's growing up in Indiana, his criminal exploits, and what brought he and his cohorts to Maine.
About Dancing in Paradise, Burning in Hell:
An often overlooked segment of Maine (and American) history is the story of women in the working class dance industries. Generally looked upon with a gasp of shock, burlesque and vaudeville dancing, and later taxi dancing and marathon dancing, were often the only way for women to survive (In taxi dancing, men paid women by the dance; while marathon dancing was a contest and women tried to outlast each other on the dance floor.)
In turn-of-the-20th-century Maine, this new form of dancing was taking off, as it was elsewhere in the country. Historian Trudy Irene Scee explores the dance industries of Maine, how they were effected by national events, and how events in Maine effected national trends. She explores the difficulties women faced at that time and how they turned to new forms of entertainment to make money and pay for food and shelter. The focus of the book centers on the 1910s through the 1970s, but extends back into the 1800s, largely exploring the dance halls of the nineteenth century (be they saloons with hurdy-gurdy girls and the like, or dance halls with women performing the early forms of taxi- and belly dancing), and includes a chapter on belly dancing and other forms of dance entertainment in Maine in the 1980s to early 2000s. The newest form of dance—striptease dancing—is not be examined specifically, but is discussed as it pertains to the other dance forms. The book forms a unique look at one segment of Maine history and is a terrific addition to the literature on women’s issues.
About the Author:
Historian Trudy Irene Scee holds a master of arts in history from the University of Montana and a PhD in history from the University of Maine. Dr. Scee has taught history at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, at Husson University in Bangor, and has worked extensively for the University of Maine system. Her books on Maine history include City on the Penobscot and Tragedy in the North Woods. She lives in Brewer, Maine.
Author Trudy Irene Scee will be book(s) signing her Public Enemy Number One: The True Story of the Brady Gang, and Dancing in Paradise, Burning in Hell at the 2016 Beyond the Sea Book Festival at Lincolnville Beach on Saturday, July 30th, 1:45-3:45.