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The Destruction and Creation of Michael Jackson

However people remember Jackson, no one can deny that, in cultural terms, Jackson remains a compelling subject: an icon of the late 20th century, he reflects not only the changes in the circumstances of the African American population, but changes in white America. Jackson was idolized, perhaps even reified and, for many, objectified into an extraordinary being, an Other, for whom there were no established reference points in white people’s conceptions.


The Destruction and Creation of Michael Jackson places Jackson at the center of its argument, but maintains he was a creation of, at first, American and, later, global culture at a time when it seemed desirable, if not necessary to exalt a Black person on merit. America had become a society in which someone of Jackson’s indisputable genius not only can, but must, rise to the top.

The Destruction and Creation of Michael Jackson

  • Ellis Cashmore

    The first study, among countless books on Michael Jackson, to examine Jackson’s career through the prisms of American racial politics and celebrity culture.
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  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
    Publication Date: 16-06-2022
    Format: Paperback | 6 x 9 | 376 pages
  • About the Author

    Ellis Cashmore is the author of Elizabeth Taylor: A Private Life for Public Consumption (2017) and Beyond Black: Celebrity and Race in Obama’s America (2012), both published by Bloomsbury. A third edition of his Celebrity Culture is forthcoming. He has held positions in sociology at the universities of Hong Kong and Tampa, USA and is currently an honorary professor at Aston University, UK.

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