Self-Made : Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians by Tara Isabella Burton

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We're all now self-makers, whether we like it or not - and this witty, sceptical book is the thought-provoking story of how we got here' GUARDIAN'This funny, startling, insightful story of the selfie, from Durer to the Kardashians, is a must read if you want to understand how we reinvent ourselves every time we reveal ourselves' PETER POMERANTSEVToday's defining celebrities have crafted public personae that walk the tightrope between authenticity and artificiality. Ordinary people now follow suit: lovingly tending our 'personal brands' for economic gain and self-expression alike. Instagram culture is part of a story that goes back centuries. The vision that we not only can but should 'make' our own selves to shape our own destiny is an inextricable part of the formation of the modern world. As traditional powers of pre-modernity - church and throne - waned, a new myth took their place: that of the 'self-made man', whose unique powers of personality - or canny self-presentation - give him not just the opportunity, but the obligation, to remake reality in the image of what he wants it to be. From the Renaissance genius to the Regency dandy, the American prophets of capitalism to the aspirational ubermensch of European fascism, Hollywood's Golden Age to today's Silicon Valley, Self-Made takes us on a dazzling tour of modern history's most prominent self-makers, uncovering both self-making's liberatory power, and the dangers this idea can unleash. 'Both revelatory and a warning about the ways that focus on the self distorts our individual lives and the broader society' FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
Binding: Hardback

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