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Frank Sinatra

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3091-5
200 pages
October 2004, Polity
Frank Sinatra (074563091X) cover image


Frank Sinatra was only one of a handful of popular entertainers who dominated Western popular culture for six decades. From his early fame as 'the Voice' in the early 1940s, through to the high rolling, fast living 'Rat Pack' era, to the protracted Lear-like farewell tours of his twilight years, Sinatra was the epitome of cool. This compelling, consistently insightful book portrays Sinatra in his many contradictory hues of ambition, generosity, menace and vituperation. The book asks why Sinatra's public character which mixed insufferable hauteur with soapy populism and nobility with the lowest kind of vindictive violence proved so enduring with the Western public? What model of masculinity was Sinatra projecting? Why did his recordings, concert performances and film work persuade audiences that he was really talking to them alone? What does his career tell us about the relationship between celebrity and popular culture?

Sinatra may not have found his Boswell with this study, but our understanding of him will never be the same again. Rojek's is the first book to take Sinatra's cultural significance seriously. It is a landmark work in our understanding of celebrity and popular culture. The book will be of interest to students of Cultural, Media and Communication Studies, Sociology and, most of all, anyone who has bought a Sinatra recording or seen a Sinatra film.

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Table of Contents



1. Frank's World.

2. Uomo Di Rispetto.

3. Antinomies of Achieved Celebrity.

4. The Rat Pack.

5. Envoi.




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Author Information

Chris Rojek is Professor of Sociology and Culture in the Department of English, Media and Communications at Nottingham Trent University.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • This book provides a critical, sociological study of one of the 20th century’s greatest celebrities.

  • Rojek writes about the major aspects of Sinatra’s varied life as a world famous celebrity: his singing career, his film work, and his involvement in political and Mafioso intrigues from the 60’s onward.

  • The book constitutes an insightful analysis of the culture of stardom, and the relationship between celebrity and popular culture.
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'Chris Rojek's study Frank Sinatra is simply brilliant. It is far and away the best study of Sinatra and a U.S. popular singer that I have read. While there are a small row of classics on the great rock singers, pop performers like Sinatra have mainly received celebrity gossip treatment. Rojek's study however, deeply probes Sinatra's celebrity status, including his singing career, his film work, his nightclub and concert tours, his connections with major politicians, and more notoriously, with the Mafia and a series of highly publicized sex scandals.' Doug Kellner, University of California, Los Angeles
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