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A Short History of Celebrity

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A Short History of Celebrity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"With breathtaking range and panache, A Short History of Celebrity provides a keenly observed interpretation of the emergence of modern transatlantic popular culture. At once learned and accessible, Inglis's vivacious prose reveals the contradictions of icons as diverse as Joshua Reynolds and Lord Byron, the Beatles and Bob Dylan. His insights into the popular heroes of art, literature, and the stage and screen (including television), as well as politics and public life, enable us to appreciate continuities that stretch across two-hundred-and-fifty years."--Richard D. Brown, professor emeritus, University of Connecticut

"Celebrity is ripe for anatomizing, and in this enjoyable work of cultural history Inglis performs an exemplary dissection, showing both the pains and the pleasures, the shame and the virtues, of the modern cult of celebrity. This is vintage Inglis: funny, coruscating, biting."--Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia

"This is a fascinating, remarkable, and thought-provoking book. Its great value is that it doesn't begin with Survivor, Big Brother, or Oprah. Instead, Fred Inglis extends his study back to the eighteenth century and gives attention to painting, gossip columns, and wartime dictators, among much else. Inglis is a powerful and engaging writer and this book is a pleasure to read."--Tara Brabazon, University of Brighton

"Fred Inglis has a distinctive voice as he explores our ambivalence toward celebrities and the phenomenon of celebrity itself. Filled with examples and quotable passages, this is a heartfelt book by a man who is grounded in Wittgenstein yet familiar with David Beckham."--Richard Howells, King's College London

Review:

"If you’re looking for someone to blame for Lady Gaga, Madonna and Britney Spears, go back to 19th-century actress Sarah Bernhardt, who made headlines with her love life and traveled with a pet lynx." ---Mark Beech, Bloomberg

Review:

"Celebrity, the industrialization of fame, now fills so much conversation and so much journalism that sometimes it almost seems our generation invented the whole business. In fact, it's already older by two centuries than the oldest humans alive; but even so, in the catalogue of civilizations it remains relatively new." --Robert Fulford, The National Journal

Review:

"Inglis's treatment is whimsical rather than exhaustive." --The New Yorker

Synopsis:

"With breathtaking range and panache, A Short History of Celebrity provides a keenly observed interpretation of the emergence of modern transatlantic popular culture. At once learned and accessible, Inglis's vivacious prose reveals the contradictions of icons as diverse as Joshua Reynolds and Lord Byron, the Beatles and Bob Dylan. His insights into the popular heroes of art, literature, and the stage and screen (including television), as well as politics and public life, enable us to appreciate continuities that stretch across two-hundred-and-fifty years."--Richard D. Brown, professor emeritus, University of Connecticut

"Celebrity is ripe for anatomizing, and in this enjoyable work of cultural history Inglis performs an exemplary dissection, showing both the pains and the pleasures, the shame and the virtues, of the modern cult of celebrity. This is vintage Inglis: funny, coruscating, biting."--Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia

"This is a fascinating, remarkable, and thought-provoking book. Its great value is that it doesn't begin with Survivor, Big Brother, or Oprah. Instead, Fred Inglis extends his study back to the eighteenth century and gives attention to painting, gossip columns, and wartime dictators, among much else. Inglis is a powerful and engaging writer and this book is a pleasure to read."--Tara Brabazon, University of Brighton

"Fred Inglis has a distinctive voice as he explores our ambivalence toward celebrities and the phenomenon of celebrity itself. Filled with examples and quotable passages, this is a heartfelt book by a man who is grounded in Wittgenstein yet familiar with David Beckham."--Richard Howells, King's College London

Synopsis:

Love it or hate it, celebrity is one of the dominant features of modern life--and one of the least understood. Fred Inglis sets out to correct this problem in this entertaining and enlightening social history of modern celebrity, from eighteenth-century London to today's Hollywood. Vividly written and brimming with fascinating stories of figures whose lives mark important moments in the history of celebrity, this book explains how fame has changed over the past two-and-a-half centuries.

Starting with the first modern celebrities in mid-eighteenth-century London, including Samuel Johnson and the Prince Regent, the book traces the changing nature of celebrity and celebrities through the age of the Romantic hero, the European fin de siècle, and the Gilded Age in New York and Chicago. In the twentieth century, the book covers the Jazz Age, the rise of political celebrities such as Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, and the democratization of celebrity in the postwar decades, as actors, rock stars, and sports heroes became the leading celebrities.

Arguing that celebrity is a mirror reflecting some of the worst as well as some of the best aspects of modern history itself, Inglis considers how the lives of the rich and famous provide not only entertainment but also social cohesion and, like morality plays, examples of what--and what not--to do.

This book will interest anyone who is curious about the history that lies behind one of the great preoccupations of our lives.

About the Author

Fred Inglis is Honorary Professor of Cultural History at the University of Warwick and a former member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of more than twenty books, including "The Cruel Peace: Everyday Life in the Cold War" (Basic).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Part I: Fame and Feeling
Chapter 1: The Performance of Celebrity 3
Chapter 2: A Very Short History of the Feelings 19

Part II: The Rise of Celebrity: A Three-Part Invention
Chapter 3: The London-Brighton Road, 1760-1820 37
Chapter 4: Paris: Haute Couture and the Painting of Modern Life 74
Chapter 5: New York and Chicago: Robber Barons and the Gossip Column, 1880-1910 108

Part III: The Past in the Present
Chapter 6: The Geography of Recognition: Celebrity on Its Holidays 135
Chapter 7: The Great Dictators 158
Chapter 8: The Stars Look Down: The Democratisation of Celebrity 187
Chapter 9: From Each According to His Ability: Sport, Rock, Fashion, and the Self 217
Chapter 10: Stories We Tell Ourselves about Ourselves 247 Envoi: Cherishing Citizens 270

Notes 289
List of Illustrations 303
Index 305

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691135625
Author:
Inglis, Fred
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Modern - General
Subject:
World History/Comparative History
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
Celebrities
Subject:
Civilization, Modern
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
July 2010
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 halftones.
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » General

A Short History of Celebrity New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.95 In Stock
Product details 328 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691135625 Reviews:
"Review" by , "If you’re looking for someone to blame for Lady Gaga, Madonna and Britney Spears, go back to 19th-century actress Sarah Bernhardt, who made headlines with her love life and traveled with a pet lynx." ---
"Review" by , "Celebrity, the industrialization of fame, now fills so much conversation and so much journalism that sometimes it almost seems our generation invented the whole business. In fact, it's already older by two centuries than the oldest humans alive; but even so, in the catalogue of civilizations it remains relatively new." --
"Review" by , "Inglis's treatment is whimsical rather than exhaustive." --
"Synopsis" by , "With breathtaking range and panache, A Short History of Celebrity provides a keenly observed interpretation of the emergence of modern transatlantic popular culture. At once learned and accessible, Inglis's vivacious prose reveals the contradictions of icons as diverse as Joshua Reynolds and Lord Byron, the Beatles and Bob Dylan. His insights into the popular heroes of art, literature, and the stage and screen (including television), as well as politics and public life, enable us to appreciate continuities that stretch across two-hundred-and-fifty years."--Richard D. Brown, professor emeritus, University of Connecticut

"Celebrity is ripe for anatomizing, and in this enjoyable work of cultural history Inglis performs an exemplary dissection, showing both the pains and the pleasures, the shame and the virtues, of the modern cult of celebrity. This is vintage Inglis: funny, coruscating, biting."--Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia

"This is a fascinating, remarkable, and thought-provoking book. Its great value is that it doesn't begin with Survivor, Big Brother, or Oprah. Instead, Fred Inglis extends his study back to the eighteenth century and gives attention to painting, gossip columns, and wartime dictators, among much else. Inglis is a powerful and engaging writer and this book is a pleasure to read."--Tara Brabazon, University of Brighton

"Fred Inglis has a distinctive voice as he explores our ambivalence toward celebrities and the phenomenon of celebrity itself. Filled with examples and quotable passages, this is a heartfelt book by a man who is grounded in Wittgenstein yet familiar with David Beckham."--Richard Howells, King's College London

"Synopsis" by , Love it or hate it, celebrity is one of the dominant features of modern life--and one of the least understood. Fred Inglis sets out to correct this problem in this entertaining and enlightening social history of modern celebrity, from eighteenth-century London to today's Hollywood. Vividly written and brimming with fascinating stories of figures whose lives mark important moments in the history of celebrity, this book explains how fame has changed over the past two-and-a-half centuries.

Starting with the first modern celebrities in mid-eighteenth-century London, including Samuel Johnson and the Prince Regent, the book traces the changing nature of celebrity and celebrities through the age of the Romantic hero, the European fin de siècle, and the Gilded Age in New York and Chicago. In the twentieth century, the book covers the Jazz Age, the rise of political celebrities such as Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, and the democratization of celebrity in the postwar decades, as actors, rock stars, and sports heroes became the leading celebrities.

Arguing that celebrity is a mirror reflecting some of the worst as well as some of the best aspects of modern history itself, Inglis considers how the lives of the rich and famous provide not only entertainment but also social cohesion and, like morality plays, examples of what--and what not--to do.

This book will interest anyone who is curious about the history that lies behind one of the great preoccupations of our lives.

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