Why do more people watch American Idol than the nightly news? What is it about Paris Hilton’s dating life that lures us so? Why do teenage girls — when given the option of “pressing a magic button and becoming either stronger, smarter, famous, or more beautiful” — predominantly opt for fame? In this entertaining and enlightening book, Jake Halpern explores the fascinating and often dark implications of America’s obsession with fame. He travels to a Hollywood home for aspiring child actors and enrolls in a program that trains celebrity assistants. He visits the offices of Us Weekly and a laboratory where monkeys give up food to stare at pictures of dominant members of their group. The book culminates in Halpern’s encounter with Rod Stewart’s biggest fan, a woman from Pittsburgh who nominated the singer for Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Fame Junkies reveals how psychology, technology, and even evolution conspire to make the world of red carpets and velvet ropes so enthralling to all of us on the outside looking in.