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Intimate Strangers

Overview

In trying to understand the power of celebrity in modern life, Richard Schickel ranges through every realm of our culture — film, theatre, television, literature, art, the media, pop music, politics — for examples of how celebrity shapes our world and bends our minds. He considers the careers of figures as diverse as John Kennedy and Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Dwight Eisenhower, Walter Cronkite and Andy Warhol, among dozens of others. And he reflects on the dangerous, sometimes deadly, political and social...
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Overview

In trying to understand the power of celebrity in modern life, Richard Schickel ranges through every realm of our culture — film, theatre, television, literature, art, the media, pop music, politics — for examples of how celebrity shapes our world and bends our minds. He considers the careers of figures as diverse as John Kennedy and Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Dwight Eisenhower, Walter Cronkite and Andy Warhol, among dozens of others. And he reflects on the dangerous, sometimes deadly, political and social consequences of the fascinating, largely unacknowledged relationship between the famous elite and the unfamous majority. In demonstrating how the carefully fostered illusion of intimacy between these two groups has created a devastating confusion between public life and private life, in showing how the play of celebrity symbols has largely replaced the play of ideas in our society, Schickel takes us on a journey to the heart of contemporary darkness — and offers, finally, a chilling warning about the psychopathic consequences of our national obsession with celebrity. "Intimate Strangers is, simply, in my estimation, the single most important book about celebrity." — Neal Gabler.
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Editorial Reviews

Time - Melvin Maddocks
Cogent...Schickel offers white-hot jeremiad.
Neal Gabler
Intimate Strangers is, simply, in my estimation, the single most important book about celebrity.
Time
Cogent...Schickel offers white-hot jeremiad.
— Melvin Maddocks
Neal Gabler
Intimate Strangers is, simply, in my estimation, the single most important book about celebrity.
Melvin Maddocks
Cogent...Schickel offers white-hot jeremiad.
Time
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Film critic and author Schickel examines the ``celebrity system'' that pervades popular culture and judges that it has, among other things, confused the realms of public and private life, encouraged fantasizing at the expense of reason, and trivialized and simplified complex issues. ``Provocative, disturbing and often brilliant,'' PW commented. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566633178
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/25/2000
  • Pages: 334
  • Sales rank: 1,013,339
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Schickel, best known as a film critic for Time magazine, has written many books about the movies. Intimate Strangers is his highly regarded interpretation of contemporary American culture.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Peach Basket ix
1. Magic Bullets 1
2. Where We Came In 23
3. Where I Came In 65
4. Super Hero, Super Victim 88
5. The Politics of Illusion 134
6. Heroic Figures, Heroic Numbers 209
7. Coherent Lives 255
8. The New Tyranny 286
Afterword: Celebrity 2000 300
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