Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-7

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xiv

Every author knows that books have no real beginnings or endings. It is impossible for me to say exactly where or when Twilight of the Idols took shape, but its first incarnation as a manuscript was as a doctoral thesis I wrote at the University of Rochester. Thus, my first thanks go to a wonderful dissertation committee, ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-14

Inarguably one of the most important and influential essays written about mass culture during the last century, Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility,” is itself one of the most reproduced, translated, and widely circulated works of cultural criticism ever published. ...

read more

Chapter 1. The Early Hollywood Scandals and the Death of Wallace Reid

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-48

Just after the First World War, the word junkie entered into American parlance to describe a population of heroin addicts—a visible and growing population of male derelicts in and around New York City—who supported their drug habit by scouring that city’s junkyards in search of scrap metal, which they then sold to junk dealers. ...

read more

Chapter 2. Psychoanalysis and Fandom in the Leopold and Loeb Trial

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 49-69

The newspapers could not stop writing about Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb during the summer of 1924. From the time the two young men were arrested for the abduction and murder of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks in late May until they were each sentenced to life plus ninety-nine years in early September, Leopold and Loeb made banner headlines in the nation’s newspapers almost daily. ...

read more

Chapter 3. Queer Valentino

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 70-126

Almost every biography of Rudolph Valentino begins with a dramatic description of the popular film star’s death in August of 1926 and with the notorious riot that erupted on the first day of his lying in state at Campbell’s Funeral Church in New York City.1 Tens of thousands of his fans—as well as admirers, well-wishers, and the morbidly curious— ...

read more

Chapter 4. Black Valentino

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-154

In an interview in 1985, Lorenzo Tucker, the African American matinee idol of the 1920s and 1930s, commented on Oscar Micheaux’s strategy of billing him as the “colored Valentino,” a promotional label that supposedly occurred to Micheaux while encountering publicity for Rudolph Valentino’s The Son of the Sheik in 1926. ...

read more

Chapter 5. Mabel Normand and the Ends of Error

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 155-174

In the summer of 1918, as part of an attempt to refashion her stardom and broaden the range of dramatic roles she might pursue, Photoplay magazine reported on Mabel Normand’s personal library. When visiting the former slapstick comedienne at her New York apartment, journalist Randolph Bartlett reported that he found within her bookcase ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 175-204

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 205-214

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-223

Production Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 239-239