In this Book

summary

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.

Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Part I: Fame and Feeling
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. The Performance of Celebrity
  2. pp. 3-18
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  1. 2. A Very Short History of the Feelings
  2. pp. 19-34
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  1. Part II: The Rise of Celebrity: A Three-Part Invention
  2. pp. 35-36
  1. 3. The London–Brighton Road, 1760–1820
  2. pp. 37-73
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  1. 4. Paris: Haute Couture and the Painting of Modern Life
  2. pp. 74-107
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  1. 5. New York and Chicago: Robber Barons and the Gossip Column, 1880–1910
  2. pp. 108-132
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  1. Part III: The Past in the Present
  2. pp. 133-134
  1. 6. The Geography of Recognition: Celebrity on Its Holidays
  2. pp. 135-157
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  1. 7. The Great Dictators
  2. pp. 158-186
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  1. 8. The Stars Look Down: The Democratisation of Celebrity
  2. pp. 187-216
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  1. 9. From Each According to His Ability: Sport, Rock, Fashion, and the Self
  2. pp. 217-246
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  1. 10. Stories We Tell Ourselves about Ourselves
  2. pp. 247-269
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  1. Envoi: Cherishing Citizens
  2. pp. 270-288
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 289-302
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. 303-304
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 305-311
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400834396
Related ISBN
9780691135625
MARC Record
OCLC
649913135
Pages
322
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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