A Short History of Celebrity

A Short History of Celebrity eBook í History of Epub


A Short History of Celebrity [PDF / Epub] ☆ A Short History of Celebrity ✩ Fred Inglis – Polishdarling.co.uk 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 History of Epub â 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 A Short MOBI :ï 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 si cle, and the Gilded Age in New York and Chicago In the twentieth century, the book covers the Jazz Age, Short History of Epub µ 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 Choice.


10 thoughts on “A Short History of Celebrity

  1. Lauren Albert Lauren Albert says:

    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 readlike 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 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 readlike 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 flings them around like glitter He uses the word deturpation not once, but twice as if he has been husbanding see, big word it for just this occasion Not only is deturpation not in my Oxford American Dictionary, but when I found it online a making foul it is listed as obsolete It should have stayed that way


  2. An An says:

    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. John Jr. John Jr. says:

    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 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 poets Baudelaire and stage performers Sarah Bernhardt , turn of the century press barons Hearst , and the Gilded Age new rich of New York and Chicago, into the 20th century, where he examines figures as diverse as the great dictators whose manipulations of mass spectacle and mass feeling are, he shows, a part of the machinery of celebrity , British royalty Edward VIII and George VI , Hollywood stars John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe , prominent athletes Bobby Jones , even pop musicians Eric Clapton Abstractions aren t absent social developments are a large part of the story but the book is also bedecked with manytangible and vivid characters than I ve named here.Though accomplishment and renown, exemplified here by the portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds, may be the earliest foundation for celebrity, scandal soon enters the mix, and it s not long before Byron has made it an essential dynamo within the engines of publicity He was, among other things, an aristocratic libertine Romantic poet and freedom fighter, but no small handful of labels will do Byron justice, and Inglis devotes some dozen pages to evoking him From Byron onward, a whiff of notoriety was to be expected All celebrities would gradually be subjected to the test of scandal, and those who passed it become a kind of tedious disappointment Maybe a slight overstatement, considering some later examples, but it seems true at the highest level anyway Celebrity is always changing and always differs somewhat in America, where propriety seems still to hold greater sway, but one imagines that Tiger Woods s downfall which Inglis discusses without drawing this conclusion was less a matter of crossing a line than of going much too far beyond it The Kardashians, absent from this book, may better illustrate Inglis s point about the test of scandal I know little of them myself, but they seem to have become known mainly for being known, with no substantial notoriety, much less any genuine accomplishment, to underlie it Disappointing they certainly are.Glamour plays an even larger role here Easy to see in the case of film actors, glamour may seem little connected with some figures in this history, such as the English footballer Stanley Matthews or the broadcasters Walter Cronkite and John Cole And superficial glamour is almost the only thing that others have going for them in taking the measure of the smart set on the Mediterranean coast of France between the wars, Inglis notes the rich vacancy, the preposterous nothingness of the life led on the Riviera by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor But glamour for Inglis and I think for many sociologists is a tricky concept, extending beyond mere surface allure Possibly his clearest statement, though still in its way elusive, is this Glamour is enviability made flesh What is glamorously enviable in a society is a medley of values fashioned into a living work of art The work of art will probably be vulgar, saccharine, meretricious, but it will have the properties of art imaginative power picked up by its audience, a gleaming unity conferred in this case, perhaps, by youth, health, beauty, but in any case by success. A certain separateness is involved as well, which Inglis captures elsewhere as untouchable closeness In fact, that separateness is crucial to the whole concept of celebrity as viewed here This is the powerful contradiction at the heart of our phenomenon It combines knowability with distance, he writes early in the first chapter If one is in any doubt as to what that means, give a thought to, say, Princess Diana known to all of us, but hardly one of us.My mention of the Kardashians reminds me of something that may need to be said that celebrity, at least in this book, usually does and ought to require being known for something, ongoing achievements, a dynamic enacting of values Neither glamour nor its stepsister, sex appeal nor scandal suffice in themselves rather, they may suffice, but Inglis has little interest in them The example that proves the point is the 19th century showgirl Lola Montez Now known mainly from a film by Max Ophuls if at all, she was, as described here, an ungifted, tarty fake who intuited how to make herself into a celebrity while lacking talent, opportunity, birth, and money Other cases may come to mind Inglis leaves it to us to recall them, mentioning only that, by the middle of the 1800s, the celebrity machine was beginning to engender such types.One of my dictionaries traces the word celebrity back to the 14th century, giving its first meaning as the state of being celebrated or simply fame No doubt this is basically true, but one has to ask celebrated by whom or famous to whom , and our modern reading of the word requires a mass audience, or something close to it requires, in other words, the spread of literacy and of widely read periodicals such as those arising in 18th century London , then of mass market newspapers, and finally of radio, television, and the Internet So Inglis s survey is a short history inthan one sense relatively brief 311 pages counting notes and index and eschewing a longer reach into the past What Inglis finds within this period is a myriad of complexly fascinating figures perhaps the greatest appeal of his book is simply the people one meets, whether again or for the first time There are occasional shadows in the scene he sketches, though I ve barely hinted at them Mussolini, Hitler, and one could hardly avoid it in this context Leni Riefenstahl s Triumph of the Will are among them So too arerecent extremes in the manipulation of public feeling by sections of the mass media Inglis acidly observes late in the book, There is a consumer fascism as well as a militarist fascism, and both depend on the irrational working up of sourceless passions at the expense of victims, for the benefit, on the one hand, of a F hrer or, on the other, of the sales But for the most part Inglis is seeking the highest reading of celebrity, and in this marvelous book he finds muchto it than most of us, fresh from a dismaying glance at the supermarket tabloids or the splashier cable channels, would expect.His final sentences achieve an admirable rhetorical height Some readers may find them an overstated echo of wartime or eras of financial collapse I take them as a rousing invitation to march past the tabloids and keep better things in mind This is a book aiming to catch at visions, lives in brief, searching in those who won regard, applause, great prizes, for a kind of hymn or creed to which people, even a people, could give assent, and say to themselves, as long as we have such lives, then we shall come through So I looked for meaning in the past, and this was the way it came


  4. Liz Liz says:

    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 discussedcool medium all His stuff on reality TV is funny though Brits do horrified imprecation so well 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 discussedcool medium all His stuff on reality TV is funny though Brits do horrified imprecation so well


  5. Siao Siao says:

    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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10 thoughts on “A Short History of Celebrity

  1. Lauren Albert Lauren Albert says:

    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 readlike 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 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 readlike 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 flings them around like glitter He uses the word deturpation not once, but twice as if he has been husbanding see, big word it for just this occasion Not only is deturpation not in my Oxford American Dictionary, but when I found it online a making foul it is listed as obsolete It should have stayed that way


  2. An An says:

    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. John Jr. John Jr. says:

    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 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 poets Baudelaire and stage performers Sarah Bernhardt , turn of the century press barons Hearst , and the Gilded Age new rich of New York and Chicago, into the 20th century, where he examines figures as diverse as the great dictators whose manipulations of mass spectacle and mass feeling are, he shows, a part of the machinery of celebrity , British royalty Edward VIII and George VI , Hollywood stars John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe , prominent athletes Bobby Jones , even pop musicians Eric Clapton Abstractions aren t absent social developments are a large part of the story but the book is also bedecked with manytangible and vivid characters than I ve named here.Though accomplishment and renown, exemplified here by the portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds, may be the earliest foundation for celebrity, scandal soon enters the mix, and it s not long before Byron has made it an essential dynamo within the engines of publicity He was, among other things, an aristocratic libertine Romantic poet and freedom fighter, but no small handful of labels will do Byron justice, and Inglis devotes some dozen pages to evoking him From Byron onward, a whiff of notoriety was to be expected All celebrities would gradually be subjected to the test of scandal, and those who passed it become a kind of tedious disappointment Maybe a slight overstatement, considering some later examples, but it seems true at the highest level anyway Celebrity is always changing and always differs somewhat in America, where propriety seems still to hold greater sway, but one imagines that Tiger Woods s downfall which Inglis discusses without drawing this conclusion was less a matter of crossing a line than of going much too far beyond it The Kardashians, absent from this book, may better illustrate Inglis s point about the test of scandal I know little of them myself, but they seem to have become known mainly for being known, with no substantial notoriety, much less any genuine accomplishment, to underlie it Disappointing they certainly are.Glamour plays an even larger role here Easy to see in the case of film actors, glamour may seem little connected with some figures in this history, such as the English footballer Stanley Matthews or the broadcasters Walter Cronkite and John Cole And superficial glamour is almost the only thing that others have going for them in taking the measure of the smart set on the Mediterranean coast of France between the wars, Inglis notes the rich vacancy, the preposterous nothingness of the life led on the Riviera by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor But glamour for Inglis and I think for many sociologists is a tricky concept, extending beyond mere surface allure Possibly his clearest statement, though still in its way elusive, is this Glamour is enviability made flesh What is glamorously enviable in a society is a medley of values fashioned into a living work of art The work of art will probably be vulgar, saccharine, meretricious, but it will have the properties of art imaginative power picked up by its audience, a gleaming unity conferred in this case, perhaps, by youth, health, beauty, but in any case by success. A certain separateness is involved as well, which Inglis captures elsewhere as untouchable closeness In fact, that separateness is crucial to the whole concept of celebrity as viewed here This is the powerful contradiction at the heart of our phenomenon It combines knowability with distance, he writes early in the first chapter If one is in any doubt as to what that means, give a thought to, say, Princess Diana known to all of us, but hardly one of us.My mention of the Kardashians reminds me of something that may need to be said that celebrity, at least in this book, usually does and ought to require being known for something, ongoing achievements, a dynamic enacting of values Neither glamour nor its stepsister, sex appeal nor scandal suffice in themselves rather, they may suffice, but Inglis has little interest in them The example that proves the point is the 19th century showgirl Lola Montez Now known mainly from a film by Max Ophuls if at all, she was, as described here, an ungifted, tarty fake who intuited how to make herself into a celebrity while lacking talent, opportunity, birth, and money Other cases may come to mind Inglis leaves it to us to recall them, mentioning only that, by the middle of the 1800s, the celebrity machine was beginning to engender such types.One of my dictionaries traces the word celebrity back to the 14th century, giving its first meaning as the state of being celebrated or simply fame No doubt this is basically true, but one has to ask celebrated by whom or famous to whom , and our modern reading of the word requires a mass audience, or something close to it requires, in other words, the spread of literacy and of widely read periodicals such as those arising in 18th century London , then of mass market newspapers, and finally of radio, television, and the Internet So Inglis s survey is a short history inthan one sense relatively brief 311 pages counting notes and index and eschewing a longer reach into the past What Inglis finds within this period is a myriad of complexly fascinating figures perhaps the greatest appeal of his book is simply the people one meets, whether again or for the first time There are occasional shadows in the scene he sketches, though I ve barely hinted at them Mussolini, Hitler, and one could hardly avoid it in this context Leni Riefenstahl s Triumph of the Will are among them So too arerecent extremes in the manipulation of public feeling by sections of the mass media Inglis acidly observes late in the book, There is a consumer fascism as well as a militarist fascism, and both depend on the irrational working up of sourceless passions at the expense of victims, for the benefit, on the one hand, of a F hrer or, on the other, of the sales But for the most part Inglis is seeking the highest reading of celebrity, and in this marvelous book he finds muchto it than most of us, fresh from a dismaying glance at the supermarket tabloids or the splashier cable channels, would expect.His final sentences achieve an admirable rhetorical height Some readers may find them an overstated echo of wartime or eras of financial collapse I take them as a rousing invitation to march past the tabloids and keep better things in mind This is a book aiming to catch at visions, lives in brief, searching in those who won regard, applause, great prizes, for a kind of hymn or creed to which people, even a people, could give assent, and say to themselves, as long as we have such lives, then we shall come through So I looked for meaning in the past, and this was the way it came


  4. Liz Liz says:

    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 discussedcool medium all His stuff on reality TV is funny though Brits do horrified imprecation so well 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 discussedcool medium all His stuff on reality TV is funny though Brits do horrified imprecation so well


  5. Siao Siao says:

    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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