The Thrill Makers : Celebrity, Masculinity, and Stunt Performance, Paperback / softback Book

The Thrill Makers : Celebrity, Masculinity, and Stunt Performance Paperback / softback


Well before Evel Knievel or Hollywood stuntmen, reality television or the X Games, North America had a long tradition of stunt performance, of men (and some women) who sought media attention and popular fame with public feats of daring.

Many of these feats - jumping off bridges, climbing steeples and buildings, swimming incredible distances, or doing tricks with wild animals - had their basis in the manual trades or in older entertainments like the circus.

In "The Thrill Makers", Jacob Smith shows how turn-of-the-century bridge jumpers, human flies, lion tamers, and stunt pilots first drew crowds to their spectacular displays of death-defying action before becoming a crucial, yet often invisible, component of Hollywood film stardom.

Smith explains how these working-class stunt performers helped shape definitions of American manhood, and pioneered a form of modern media celebrity that now occupies an increasingly prominent place in our contemporary popular culture.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 282 pages, 21 b-w photographs
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of the Americas
  • ISBN: 9780520270893

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