"Gamson has brilliantly analyzed the complexities of celebrity as a cultural form. He gives us an insider's account, without going native. He provides us with a critical overview, without overlooking the messy details of celebrity-making and its central place in American society. Claims to Fame is a must for all those who seek to understand American public culture."Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, author of The Cynical Society: The Culture of Politics and the Politics of Culture in American Life
"The most thoughtful and thoroughgoing sociological analysis I know of this strange and ubiquitous phenomenon, celebrity.
Intricately argued and elegantly written, frequently amusing and properly alarming, Claims to Fame deftly avoids either undervaluing or overvaluing the gullibility of the consumers of celebrity. Gamsonto use his own words'mines . . . superficialities for their depths' and gives us more insight into the culture of entertainment than a dozen treatises on the 'resistant' potential of Madonna."Todd Gitlin, University of California, Berkeley
"The best general account we have of the economic and representational parameters of contemporary celebrity. Claims to Fame would be worth reading simply for its lively and wonderfully detailed description of the 'celebrity industry' in Los Angeles. Yet, by tying this description to a compelling argument about the nature of our investment in celebrity images, the book does much more. It should have an important place in future discussions of the mass media and American culture."Richard deCordova, DePaul University, author of Picture Personalities
Insightful, well-written, replete with telling anecdotes, Claims to Fame demonstrates how one can critically analyze American culture without sneering at the American people."Gaye Tuchman, author of Making News