Nahuel RibkeNov 9, 2015
A Genre Approach to Celebrity Politics
Palgrave Macmillan 2015
From Ronald Reagan through Gilberto Gil to Donald Trump, our media channels are filled with celebrities vying for the highest political posts. In A Genre Approach to Celebrity Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), cultural historian Nahuel Ribke explores the historical trajectory that led to the current mass movement of celebrities into electoral politics. The book is a comparative project made up of short case studies. The range is impressive; it begins with the transition of Israeli models into the Israeli parliament, the meteoric rise of a charismatic journalist to the head of the treasury in Israel, goes on to Gilberto Gil's tenure as minister of culture in Brazil and explores the contrasting political paths of the previously successful salsa partnership of the musicians Ruben Blades and Willie Colon. The book then moves on to North America to explore the American pattern of celebrity politics. The book ends with a return to Brazil and Argentina to look at two fascinating stories of 'ordinary' people-turned celebrities-turned politicians. In addition to its contribution to the fields of celebrity and genre studies, this book is a vibrant narrative, bristling with the energy of its subjects. Nahuel Ribke is a lecturer at the University of Tel Aviv, The Sverdlin Institute for Latin American History and Culture and Seminar Hakibutzim College, Depatment of Film and Communication.