The Frenzy of Renown: Fame & Its History

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Vintage Books, 1997 - History - 668 pages
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"Remarkably ambitious . . . an impressive tour de force."
--Washington Post Book World

For Alexander the Great, fame meant accomplishing what no mortal had ever accomplished before. For Julius Caesar, personal glory was indistinguishable from that of Rome. The early Christians devalued public recognition, believing that the only true audience was God. And Marilyn Monroe owed much of her fame to the fragility that led to self-destruction. These are only some of the dozens of figures that populate Leo Braudy's panoramic history of fame, a book that tells us as much about vast cultural changes as it does about the men and women who at different times captured their societies' regard.  

Spanning thousands of years and fields ranging from politics to literature and mass media, The Frenzy of Renown explores the unfolding relationship between the famous and their audiences, between fame and the representations that make it possible. Hailed as a landmark at its original publication and now reissued with a new Afterword covering the last tumultuous decade, here is a major work that provides our celebrity-obsessed, post-historical society with a usable past.


"Expansive . . . Braudy excels at rocketing a general point into the air with the fuel of drama. "
--Harper's

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The frenzy of renown: fame & its history

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In a masterful historical analysis that moves from the Homeric age to People , Braudy demonstrates that the elusive concept of fame changes as its historical context changes. More than two millennia ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Lindbergh and Hemingway
19
The Longing of Alexander
29
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Leo Braudy is a University Professor and the Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature at the University of Southern California. He previously taught at Yale, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins University. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Senior Scholar Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, as well as a writer in residence at the American Academy in Rome. His book Jean Renoir: The World of His Films was a finalist for the National Book Award. Another of his books, The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Harper's. Mr. Braudy lives in Los Angeles.

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