100 Entertainers Who Changed America

An Encyclopedia of Pop Culture Luminaries

by Robert C. Sickels, Editor

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Cover image for 100 Entertainers Who Changed America

August 2013


Pages 738
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Popular Culture/Icons and Celebrities

This fascinating and thought-provoking read challenges readers to consider entertainers and entertainment in new ways, and highlights figures from outside the worlds of film, television, and music as influential "pop stars."

Comprising approximately 100 entries from more than 50 contributors from a variety of fields, this book covers a wide historical swath of entertainment figures chosen primarily for their lasting influence on American popular culture, not their popularity. The result is a unique collection that spotlights a vastly different array of figures than would normally be included in a collection of this nature—and appeals to readers ranging from high school students to professionals researching specific entertainers.

Each subject individual's influence on popular culture is analyzed from the context of his or her time to the present in a lively and engaging way and through a variety of intellectual approaches. Many entries examine commonly discussed figures' influence on popular culture in ways not normally seen—for example, the widespread appeal of Woody Allen's essay collections to other comedians; or the effect of cinematic adaptations of Tennessee Williams' plays in breaking down Hollywood censorship.


  • Covers subjects through a variety of disciplinary lenses, including film, television, media, art, literary, sports, and humor studies, making for a multifaceted and lively reading experience
  • Addresses individuals not normally thought of as entertainers—Julia Child, Roberto Clemente, Amelia Earhart, Jack Kirby, Hedda Hopper, and Shigeru Miyamoto—thus challenging widely held perceptions as to what makes one an entertainer
  • Provides analytical entries that illustrate the scope of each subject's influence rather than typical biographical profiles
Author Info

Robert C. Sickels, PhD, is both director of and professor in the Film and Media Studies Program at Whitman College, and an independent filmmaker whose works have played at festivals around the world. The editor of Praeger's three-volume collection The Business of Entertainment, Sickels has authored numerous essays and reviews as well as Greenwood's American Popular Culture through History: The 1940s (Greenwood) and Praeger's American Film in the Digital Age.



"The entries are engaging and well-written. They do a good job of presenting in condensed form the significant aspects of each subject's contribution to American life."Reference Reviews

"This two-volume encyclopedia of pop culture luminaries will be a delightful addition to most reference collections. Recommended."Choice

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