Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction (Hardcover)

The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction

By Jake Halpern

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780618453696, 256pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2007



In this groundbreaking book, Jake Halpern embarks on a quest to explore the facinating and often dark implications of America's obsession with fame. Traveling across the country, he visits a Hollywood home for aspiring child actors and enrolls in a training program for would-be celebrity assistants. He drops by the editorial offices of US Weekly and spends time at a laboratory where monkeys give up food to stare at pictures of dominant members of their group. Whether he is interviewing Rod Stewart or the nation's leading experts on addiction, Halpern deftly uncovers the strange working of our fame obsessed psyches. By interweaving stories from his travels with new research, including original findings from his own "fame survey," Halpern explains how psychology, technology, evolution, and profit conspire to make the world of red carpets and velvet ropes so enthralling. Fame Junkies is a provocative and insightful portrait of an America that wants nothing more than to see and be seen.

About the Author

Jake Halpern is the author of Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction, and Braving Home: Dispatches from the Underwater Town, the Lava-Side Inn, and Other Extreme Locales, hailed by Bill Bryson as "a splendid and engaging account of stubbornness in Modern America." Halpern has written for the New York Times, The New Yorker, LA Weekly, and many other publications. He is also a commentator and freelance producer for NPR's All Things Considered. He lives in Connecticut.

Praise For Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction

"Jake Halpern presents a provocative exposé on the origins of celebrity worship. His in-depth look at the public’s insatiable appetite for gossip is a fascinating read."

--Bonnie Fuller, VP and editorial director of Star magazine, and former editor of US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour