Celebrity-in-Chief by Alan Schroeder
How Show Business Took Over The White House

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U.S. presidents and Hollywood have had a mutual admiration society that extends far back into history. In Celebrity-in-Chief, journalist Alan Schroeder contends that each camp has influenced the other-particularly over the past century-creating a president who no longer stands apart upon a remote civic pedestal, isolated from Hollywood and pop culture. Instead, the powerful forces of the American celebrity circus drag him into the tent and ask him to put on a show. The job of president has always been politically demanding, but now there is another requirement: to exude star quality. In the parlance of Hollywood, he must "fill the frame." Drawing upon a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about some of the most celebrated individuals in American history, Schroeder shows how a succession of presidents since Woodrow Wilson has put on a show with mixed results. Whether it was Bill Clinton playing sax on TV talk shows or George W. Bush's Top Gun stunt aboard an aircraft carrier, Celebrity-in-Chief entertainingly and convincingly shows that the result is a wholesale demystification of the office-and that this marriage of pop culture and the presidency will continue to fascinate and endure.

About Alan Schroeder

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Alan Schroeder is an associate professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University. A three-time Emmy-award-winning television producer and a frequent media commentator, he is the author of Presidential Debates: 40 Years of High-Risk TV. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Published February 4, 2004 by Basic Books. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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The venue at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is now run by “perhaps the least culturally attuned chief executive in modern history”—but don’t discount a Top Gun aircraft carrier performance for presidential showmanship.

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Star Tribune

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There is no delineation between celebrity or chief, just as public figures no longer have private lives.

Mar 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show ...

The Sunday Times

“As a baseline requirement of the position,” he explains, “a modern chief executive must now be able to present a version of himself that is as audience-friendly as the persona of an entertainment star.” Entertainers first started helping out on the campaign trail in 1920, when Al Jolson led a de...

Jun 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show ...

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