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"[Kurt Cobain] marked something like the end point of rock stardom, the point when even actual rock stars rejected the role... Which may be fortunate, since it seems to be disappearing anyway, as Shumway argues in this smart, provocative, and emotionally charged book. I’d hate for that to be true, but in the worlds of media and culture we’re in the grips of changes as profound as any since the invention of the printing press. In that enormous context, the loss of rock stardom may seem trivial. But, as the old prerock era Gershwin song says, not for me."

"Elvis was the prototype, but he wasn’t a template. Shumway’s other examples of the rock star share a penchant for capturing and expressing social issues and cultural conflicts in both their songs and how they present themselves, onstage and off."

"Will appeal to anyone interested in modern American popular culture or music history."

"Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen... will appeal both to music readers and college-level audiences who follow social and cultural trends. This makes for a much wider-ranging survey than your typical music book can offer."

"A minor masterpiece... Clear, stimulating prose."