Landon Jones - Celebrity Nation

Thursday, July 13, 2023 - 6:00pm
Thursday, July 13, 6pm CT
In person at Left Bank Books
399 N. Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Please RSVP for the presentation here
Virtually at Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Left Bank Books presents St. Louis native, editor, and author
Landon Jones,
who will discuss his "mesmerizing" new book
Celebrity Nation: How America Evolved Into a Culture of Fans and Followers
in our store on July 13th at 6pm!
Join us in the store or on our YouTube Live Page.
Jones will be in conversation with St. Louis author
Dr. Tanya Roth!
Order copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
Jones will personalize and sign copies for sale from Left Bank Books.
If you are unable to make it in person, leave a personalization note in your order.
Landon Y. (Lanny) 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.
Tanya L. Roth received her Ph.D. in history from Washington University. She teaches history at Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School.
"As a former editor of People magazine, Landon Jones is an expert on the rise of celebrity culture in this country and its troubling social costs. His mesmerizing book, revealing in unsettling detail how America's addiction to celebrity has heightened its political and class divisions and weakened community and family ties, is a must-read." --Lynne Olson, author of Empress of the Nile: The Daredevil Archaeologist Who Saved Egypt's Ancient Temples from Destruction
A former People magazine editor reveals how our cult of celebrity has shaped our politics, our culture, and our personal lives--for better or worse

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.


Review Quotes:
"A disquieting, well-researched exploration of the celebrity phenomenon and its consequences for our society." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Jones is an astute chronicler of celebrity culture." -- Publishers Weekly

"A well-researched, astute examination of the blurred lines between heroes and celebrities. The book's narrative and plot points are immensely readable." -- Library Journal

"An irresistibly readable history and critique of our vertiginous celebrity culture." --Joyce Carol Oates, author of Blonde

"As one of the founding editors at People, Lanny Jones helped chronicle and invent the rise of celebrity culture. In this fun and insightful book, he explores the difference between celebrities and heroes, a distinction that is more important than ever in our age of Kardashians and Trumps." --Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs

"As the editor of People magazine during its early glory days, Landon Jones was present at the creation of the Celebrity Nation. He brings a sharp eye and deep understanding--as well as warmth and humor--to exploring a phenomenon that once seemed like an entertaining diversion but now threatens to consume us all." --Evan Thomas, author of First: Sandra Day O'Connor and Road to Surrender

Event address: 
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
Celebrity Nation: How America Evolved into a Culture of Fans and Followers By Landon Y. Jones Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807065655
Availability: Special Order
Published: Beacon Press - May 9th, 2023

The Essential Lewis and Clark By Landon Y. Jones Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060011598
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Ecco - March 19th, 2002

William Clark and the Shaping of the West By Landon  Y. Jones Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803226975
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Bison Books - October 1st, 2009

Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945-1980 By Tanya L. Roth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469664439
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: University of North Carolina Press - September 30th, 2021


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