Winchell: gossip, power, and the culture of celebrity

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Knopf, Oct 4, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 681 pages
In 1925, Winchell brought unabashed gossip to the public press. He understood how invading the lives of the famous and revealing their secrets empowered both purveyor and audience, and forever shattered the taboo against what could be said about celebrities in the media. He soon rose from gossip monger to one of the country's most influential political commentators: in his heyday, two thirds of American adults listened to his weekly radio broadcast or read his daily column. He chatted with Damon Runyon and J. Edgar Hoover, savaged his enemies (including Dorothy Parker, Josephine Baker and Arthur Miller) and made reputations (including Arthur Godfrey, Lucy and Desi, Rowan and Martin), embraced the New Deal and then McCarthyism. An examination of his life illustrates how fame is achieved, how it is lost, what one gains from it, what it exacts, and why America is obsessed with it.--From publisher description.

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WINCHELL: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity

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A dauntingly complete portrait of the one of the most powerful and significant figures in American journalism. Walter Winchell was all but forgotten at his death, but he created the modern gossip ... Read full review

Winchell: gossip, power, and the culture of celebrity

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In the 1930s and 1940s, Walter Winchell was recognized as one of the most famous American journalists, while today his name stirs only vague memories. His life stands as a parable for the celebrity ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Neal Gabler is the author of "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, "which won the Los Angeles Times" "Book Prize for history. His biography "Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity "was named best nonfiction book of the year by "Time. "He appears regularly on the media review program "Fox News Watch," and writes often for "The New York Times "and the "Los Angeles Times. "He is currently a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center for the Study of Entertainment and Society in the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California. He lives with his wife in Amagansett, New York.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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