Chapter 4: Pull Yourself up by Your Bootstraps: Personal Failure and the Great Depression

  • Key point: Stories about celebrities served as attempts to prop up the notion of the American Dream; that wealth could be had by those willing to work hard
  • Reversal of fortune: Stories of celebrity “has-beens” cast them as personally wasteful or otherwise responsible for their own downward mobility
  • Anxieties about marriage failure were reflected in gossip, stories about celebrities, and advertising
  • As scarcity returned, celebrity thinness was described as dangerous, even deadly, and products promised to help readers gain weight
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