Gorgeous George

Gorgeous George

Festooned in befrilled pale purple outfits, his peroxided hair marcelled into place by his wife Betty, George Wagner — a.k.a. Gorgeous George — made quite a splash on the pro wrestling circuit in the 1930s and 1940s. As his fame grew, George, a onetime carny, insisted that the rings be doused in perfume and always made a show of folding his satin robes just so. The more he played the dandy, the more popular George — who called himself the ”Sensation of the Nation” — became. John Capouya never quite manages to prove his claim that ”the orchid path [George] traced now seems a prescient sketch of the contours American pop culture would take on,” blazing the way for Liberace and Madonna, but he delivers a solid, entertaining book about a long-forgotten character and a peculiar slice of American history. B+

Gorgeous George
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