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Star Struck: An Encyclopedia of Celebrity Culture
Pageix(10 of 385)
Preface The aim of this book is to present a reasonable, balanced look at as many aspects of American celebrity culture as possible. The editor’s intention is to keep the book as free as possible of academic jargon. Entries about individual celebrities do not appear inasmuch as celebrities are so numerous to have done otherwise would have made the book more biographical. This reference work focuses on more than eighty aspects of American-style celebrity however, within these alphabetically arranged entries, many individual celebrities are named and discussed. The entries herein are of three assigned lengths: 2,500 words, 1,500 words, and 500 words—give or take a bit. This encyclopedia of American celebrity focuses on the period from 1950 through the early 21st century but allows for appropriate historical background. Joining the editor, who is a journalism professor, in writing these entries are other scholars, most of whom are professors of journalism or communication, as well as a few writers who are not university faculty or who are from other disciplines. Ran- dle Carpenter, for example, is a practicing lawyer in New York City and comments on celebrity lawyers. Amy Widmayer worked for Conde Nast in early 21st-century New York City and is ideally suited for writing about supermodels and fashion designers. Robert Sugarman’s academic area is popular-culture studies he was uniquely positioned to write the entry on circus celebrity and its changed nature. Ken Muir, who writes on athletic celebrity, is a sociology professor. The book, which contains 40 illustrations, offers a timeline, which should be especially useful for readers who, unlike the editor, are too young to have lived through the period of the book’s emphasis. Entries that are cross-referenced are indicated by boldfaced terms within the entry text and also are listed following ‘‘See also’’ at the end of entries, as warranted. At the end of each entry, brief cita- tions are listed under the heading For Further Reading. A fairly extensive bibliogra- phy, mainly of recent work on celebrity, appears at the end of the book, followed by a general index and, in turn, biographical information about the editor and contributors. ix