“This welcome addition to the literature on fame goes beyond goes beyond stardom–though Redmond and Holmes cover that topic well–to discuss stardom and celebrity in general.”
A.L. Knight, CHOICE
This book brings together some of the seminal interventions which have structured the development of star/celebrity studies, while crucially combining and situating these within the context of new essays which address the contemporary, cross-media and international landscape of today's fame culture. At the core of the collection is a desire to map out a unique historical trajectory – both in terms of the development of fame, as well as the historical development of star/celebrity studies.
Chapter 12: The Assembly Line of Greatness: Celebrity in Twentieth-Century America
The Assembly Line of Greatness: Celebrity in Twentieth-Century America
This paper traces the history of two intertwining stories in America celebrity texts and their relationship to the development and organization of publicity apparatuses. In one storyline, dominant in the first part of the century, the deserving rise naturally to the top. In the other storyline, stronger in later decades, celebrities are artificially manufactured. As institutional control weakened and publicity mechanisms grew more sophisticated, image-manufacture and celebrity-production became more visible in texts. In each period a balance was struck between the competing explanations of fame through the entry of new narrative elements, most notably through an increase in the power attributed to audiences.
“It is, we are sure,” wrote ...