For several years, Jake Halpern has reported on Hollywood for NPR's All Things Considered. In his new book, he explores the fascinating and often dark implications of America's obsession with fame. Why do more people watch the ultimate competition for celebrityhood, American Idol, than watch the nightly news on the three major networks combined? Why do seemingly normal, educated people care about Paris Hilton's dating life? Why do teenage girls – when given the option of "pressing a magic button" and becoming either stronger, smarter, famous, or more beautiful – overwhelmingly opt for fame?
Halpern answers these and other questions by traveling to America's fame factories and profiling a colorful and surprisingly insightful cast of characters, including diehard fans, aspiring stars, and celebrities like Rod Stewart and U2's The Edge. Interspersing these stories with new research – including original findings from his own "fame survey" – Halpern helps us understand how psychology, technology, evolution, and profit conspire to make us so enthralled with the world of red carpets and velvet ropes.
Buzz about the book
An overview of the book
Why I wrote this book
A survey on fame among teens
A story that didn't make the book
NEW EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Click here to watch an original three-minute documentary on what the kids from the Fame Junkies Survey have to say about fame. (You need to download Quicktime in order to view.)