April 1962: 'The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream'

The book by professor and historian Daniel J. Boorstin is published. (It was also published under the title "The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America.")

From the book "Nixon's Shadow: The History of An Image" (David Greenberg, 2004):

Boorstin observed that the rise of mass media, including the attendant apparatuses of advertising and public relations, had helped create an alternate sham reality, where celebrities replaced heroes, credibility superseded truth, invention eclipsed discovery, and personality was vaunted over character. Coining a term that would increase in use over the years, Boorstin identified a new phenomenon he called the "pseudo-event": a staged happening that becomes not for intrinsic reasons but because those who cover the news deem it so. ... These changes undermined democratic politics, Boorstin argued. Television and media manipulation had become so pervasive that "more important than what we think of the presidential candidate is what we think of his 'public image.' "

In the book, Boorstin also originated this often-repeated line: "The celebrity is a person who is known for his well-knownness."

* Entry from "Encyclopedia of Political Communication" (2008): @
* New York Times book review (April 9, 1962): @
* Boorstin obituary (New York Times, 2004): @
* Boorstin obituary (The Guardian, 2004): @

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