“Twilight of the Idols is a first-rate study, full of provocative insights.”—Jonathan Auerbach Screening The Past
"Twilight of the Idols
is an outstanding study of Hollywood celebrity culture in the wake of the star scandals that rocked the industry in 1921 and 1922. Through case studies of key male figures of the era, including Wallace Reid, Leopold and Loeb, and Rudolph Valentino, Mark Lynn Anderson argues that deviance became a central trope through which both famous personalities and their adoring fans were conceived in the evolving discourses of psychoanalysis, sociology, and anthropology. Anderson offers a compelling reading of the origins of the star system in the best discussion yet of the interrelationships between male deviance, queerness, and modern stardom. Clearly and engagingly written, and impeccably researched, Twilight of the Idols
is poised to make a major contribution to film studies, queer studies, and American studies."
—Shelley Stamp, author of Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon
"Mark Lynn Anderson has written a remarkable book. With its focus on male deviance and the human sciences in twenties American culture, Twilight of the Idols: Hollywood and the Human Sciences in 1920s America
represents new directions for scholarship on film stardom and film history in this period. Through careful analysis of changes in the star system and detailed exploration of the careers of exemplary individual stars, such as Wallace Reid, Rudolph Valentino, and Mabel Normand, this book helps us to better understand the contours of the modern personality promoted by the cinema and the widespread interest in deviant behavior in the 1920s—both of which remain very much with us today."
—Patrice Petro, author of Joyless Streets: Women and Melodramatic Representation in Weimar Germany