Dish:: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip

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9780380978212: Dish:: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip

From Jeannette Walls, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle, now a major motion picture, comes an incisive study of our obsession with gossip.

"A fascinating, dishy story." -Booklist

Gossip. It's more than just hearsay, society columns, and supermarket tabloids. It has, like it or not, become a mainstay of American pop culture. In Dish, industry insider Jeannette Walls gives this provocative subject its due, offering a comprehensive, serious exploration of gossip and its social, historical, and political significance. Examining the topic from the inside out, Walls looks at the players; the origins of gossip, from birth of People magazine to the death of Lady Di; and how technology including the Internet will continue to change the face gossip. As compelling and seductive as its subject matter, Dish brilliantly reveals the fascinating inner workings of a phenomenon that is definitely here to stay.

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From the Back Cover:

Love it or hate it, create it or repeat it, America is obsessed with gossip. Here is a fascinating look at five decades of dish: a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the personalities that control what we read and see; the unholy and unchanging trinity of celebrity, publicist and reporter that has stoked the American appetite for gossip from the salad days of silver-screen magazines to the instantaneous communication of the scoop-filled Internet.

Insider Jeannette Walls delivers a tantalizing tell-all that features not only gossip itself, but its history, its movers and shakers (including quite a few tony Ivy Leaguers), high and low points, and the watershed events and personalities--like Elvis, Diana, Michael Jackson and O. J.--that altered it forever. Here is the famous formula for People, the astonishing magazine that began amid sneers and snipes but went on to become one of the publishing industry's greatest success stories. Here too is the incredible truth behind explosive material that didn't see the light of day.

From the humble beginnings of the National Enquirer, aided by the avuncular beneficence of crime kingpin Joe Costello, to the lurid Hollywood trial of Confidential magazine, where the "libeled" stars were proved more guilty than not of the salacious episodes the publication revealed, Jeannette Walls expertly traces the formation and development of the hush-hush industry. She shows us that tabloid TV shows are nothing new: they were preceded in the Fifties by the wildly successful Night Beat, hosted by none other than Mike Wallace, who turned the show into a forum for sex and scandal with his relentless prying and probing into the lives of celebrated figures.

About the Author:

Jeannette Walls graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than six years. She is also the author of the instant New York Timesbestsellers The Silver Star and Half Broke Horses, which was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Walls lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.

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