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The newest book from the author who coined the phrase ‘baby-boomer’

“As the former head editor of People, Lanny Jones helped chronicle and invent the rise of celebrity culture. In this fun and insightful book, he explores the difference between celebrities and heroes, a distinction that is more important than ever in our age of Kardashians and Trumps.”

—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and The Code Breaker

Landon Y. Jones (Lanny)
is an American editor and author

His most recent book is Celebrity Nation: How America Evolved into a Culture of Fans and Followers, published in May 2023 by Beacon Press.

He is the former managing editor of People and Money magazines, author of the biography William Clark and the Shaping of the West, and editor of The Essential Lewis and Clark. In 1980, he published Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation, which was a finalist for the American Book Award in Nonfiction. In 2015, he received the Henry R. Luce Award for Lifetime Achievement from Time Inc.

Landon Jones
Photo by Lynn Donaldson

In Bookstores May 9, 2023

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“A disquieting, well-researched exploration of the celebrity phenomenon and its consequences for our society.”

Kirkus Reviews

“ Landon Jones is an expert on the rise of celebrity culture in this country and its troubling social costs. His mesmerizing book, revealing in unsettling detail how America’s addiction to celebrity has heightened its political and class divisions and weakened community and family ties, is a must read.”

—Lynne Olson, author of Empress of the Nile


“ The final arbiter of all matters celebrity in America.”

—Frank Rich, former columnist, the New York Times

“An irresistibly readable history and critique of our vertiginous celebrity culture … Witty, illuminating, filled with facts, entertaining but also disturbing, fully living up to its ambitious subtitle: ‘How America Evolved into a Culture of Fans and Followers.’

Whatever the latest curve is, Landon Jones seems to be ahead of it.”

– Joyce Carol Oates, author of Blonde


“ As the editor of People magazine during its early glory days, Landon Jones was present at the creation of the Celebrity Nation. He brings a sharp eye and deep understanding—as well as warmth and humor— to exploring a phenomenon that once seemed like an entertaining diversion but now threatens to consume us all.”

—Evan Thomas, author of First: Sandra Day O’Connor and Being Nixon