Landon Jones — Celebrity Nation: How America Evolved into a Culture of Fans and Followers - with Evan Thomas — at Conn Ave

Upcoming Event
Friday, May 12, 2023 - 7:00pm

From the writer and editor who coined the term "baby boomer" comes Celebrity Nation, an exploration into how and why fame no longer stems only from heroic achievements but from the number of "likes" and shares--and what this change means for American culture. Landon Jones--who spent decades in "celebrityland" only to emerge, like Alice, blinking in the sunlight--brings a personal and first-person perspective on fame and its dark underbelly, complicated even further by the arrival of the internet and social media. Jones draws on his experience as the former managing editor of People magazine to bolster his account with profiles of celebrities he knew personally, ranging from Malcolm X to Princess Diana, as well as observations about contemporary social media stars like Kim Kardashian and computer-generated macro-influencer Miquela, a self-proclaimed "19-year-old Robot living in LA." In analyzing the stories of over 75 celebrities, spanning decades and industries, Jones shows how celebrity has been wielded as a weapon of mass distraction to spawn narcissism, harm, and loneliness. And yet, in these stories we also see a path forward. Jones highlights luminaries like Nobel Peace prize winner Maria Ressa and lauded environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who have effected meaningful change not by glorifying themselves but by turning to their communities for action. A lively analysis of celebrity culture's impact on nearly every facet of our lives, Celebrity Nation helps us to recognize how the apparatus of fame operates.

Landon Jones is an editor and author. He is the former managing editor of People and Money magazines and the author of William Clark and the Shaping of the West (2004), a biography of the co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Jones also edited a selection of the expedition journals, The Essential Lewis and Clark (2000) . In 1980, he published Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation, which coined the phrase "baby-boomer" and was a finalist for the American Book Award in Nonfiction. In 2015, he received the Henry R. Luce Award for Lifetime Achievement from Time Inc. He is from St. Louis, Missouri, and currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jones will be in conversation with Evan Thomas. Thomas is the author of bestselling books including First: Sandra Day O’ConnorBeing NixonJohn Paul Jones, and Sea of Thunder. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor at Time and Newsweek and has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton.

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This event is free with first come, first served seating.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Non Fiction
Celebrity Nation: How America Evolved into a Culture of Fans and Followers By Landon Y. Jones Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780807065655
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Beacon Press - May 9th, 2023