Cover: What Price Fame? in PAPERBACK

What Price Fame?

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$31.00 • £24.95 • €28.00

ISBN 9780674008090

Publication Date: 03/08/2002


320 pages


[This book] is a short but dexterous handling of the phenomenon of fame. Addressing the American obsession with such, Cowen avoids the rhetorical pitfalls of sweeping disregard and the dangers of excessive adulation.Doubletake

Technology has increased the possibilities for being well known, and the willingness of social scientists to analyze it. The subject has been largely ignored by economists and is worthy of systematic analysis. This book is fun to read. It ranges widely and is laden with empirical examples and memorable anecdotes… The arguments are provocative and thoughtful, with a little exasperation thrown in to keep readers engaged, sometimes enraged, and, in all cases on their toes.—Sherwin Rosen, Journal of Cultural Economics

Primarily a look at the economic implications of our fame-driven culture, this compelling book, which reads like a long essay, also offers a philosophical meditation on the social and moral impact of fame on our public and private lives… [Cowen’s] graceful prose and refreshing perspective on the occasionally bizarre effects of capitalism will be enough to engage thoughtful readers.Publishers Weekly

Cowen’s argument is broad-ranging, drawing from both classical and modern sources in ways that few authors would be equipped to do. It is intelligently and gracefully reasoned. It might persuade even some of the most severe critics of the current cultural scene to rethink some of their positions. There is an enormous amount of fresh thinking here on some extremely interesting and important topics.—Robert H. Frank, author of Luxury Fever and (with Philip J. Cook) The Winner-Take-All Society

The aim of Tyler Cowen’s book is to solve some basic puzzles about fame using the tools of economics. This approach works splendidly. The questions he has chosen to address are among the most interesting one can ask about the subject; the answers he provides are chock full of counterintuitive implications, yet eminently persuasive. Even when the ideas are technical, the style is never less than lucid and is often very elegant.—Leo Katz, author of Ill-Gotten Gains: Evasion, Blackmail, Fraud, and Kindred Puzzles of the Law

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