Why this book?
Daniel Boorstin’s The Image is an amazing study by the former Librarian of Congress that first set in place many of the ideas about celebrities that are still with us today.
“The celebrity is a person who is known for [their] well-knowness,” Boorstin wrote. He describes “pseudo-events”, the manufactured illusions that we mistake for reality in a media-saturated world.
Drawing on examples like Charles Lindbergh, Boorstin shows how we come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety. Thus, the heroes of the past are blurred before our eyes and eventually disappear.
The Image is the first book I read about celebrity and it remains one of the best.
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America
Why should I read it?
3 authors picked The Image as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
First published in 1962, this wonderfully provocative book introduced the notion of “pseudo-events”—events such as press conferences and presidential debates, which are manufactured solely in order to be reported—and the contemporary definition of celebrity as “a person who is known for his well-knownness.” Since then Daniel J. Boorstin’s prophetic vision of an America inundated by its own illusions has become an essential resource for any reader who wants to distinguish the manifold deceptions of our culture from its few enduring truths.