- By Fred Inglis

A Short History of Celebrity

  • Title: A Short History of Celebrity
  • Author: Fred Inglis
  • ISBN: 9780691135625
  • Page: 173
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Short History of Celebrity 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 h

    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 importantLove 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 siecle, 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.

    1 thought on “A Short History of Celebrity

    1. This book doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. I couldn't tell what the author was trying to write--it wasn't a history of celebrity as far as I could tell. It read more like a conversation about celebrity among a bunch of intellectuals, doing some intellectual-type name dropping. Which brings me to my next issue--the pretentious language. I like big words. I know a lot of big words. Usually I get to make use of these big words only when reading a book like this in which the author [...]

    2. I'm giving up before I get started.10 pages in and the style is to dryly pretentious that I need to drink a glass of milk to swallow it uhmOr i'd just have to keep reading each paragraph 2-3 times before moving on because I'm just not going to retain it anyway.

    3. Unlike the poor, celebrities haven't always been with us, but they're not a recent development either. As cultural historian Fred Inglis tells the tale, we've been entertaining these guests for about two and a half centuries now. Employing an elegant, often witty style and drawing on the work of sociologists such as Clifford Geertz and Richard Sennett without descending into unexplained jargon, Inglis ranges from the 18th-century coffeehouses and pleasure gardens of England, through 19th-century [...]

    4. The first half is great fun - Inglis's writing on Byron, Baudelaire & the Paris of Baron Haussmann moves in small well-ordered & rational discreet sequences. Things get all inflamed & less mannerly as the effect of television on celebrity is discussedol medium & all! His stuff on reality TV is funny though-Brits do horrified imprecation so well

    5. I could barely get through this, to be honest. Yeah, I do understand what Inglis was trying to achieve with this book, but the language just got in the way most of the timesa little too florid for my liking.

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