SOURCE: The New Yorker
Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, idols of the Golden Age of sports, brought stardom to America’s pastime.
SOURCE: New York Times
National economies collapse; species go extinct; political movements rise and fizzle. But—somehow, for some reason—Weird Al endures.
SOURCE: Public Books
by Jonathan Goldman
When Babe Ruth started hitting home runs, the US started to change.
George Packer, a staff writer at The New Yorker, is the author, most recently, of “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.”THE Roaring ’20s was the decade when modern celebrity was invented in America. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby” is full of magazine spreads of tennis players and socialites, popular song lyrics, movie stars, paparazzi, gangsters and sports scandals — machine-made by technology, advertising and public relations. Gatsby, a mysterious bootlegger who makes a meteoric ascent from Midwestern obscurity to the palatial splendor of West Egg, exemplifies one part of the celebrity code: it’s inherently illicit. Fitzgerald intuited that, with the old restraining deities of the 19th century dead and his generation’s faith in man shaken by World War I, celebrities were the new household gods.
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