This chapter explores the history of antebellum celebrity in the U.S. It traces its roots in the early Republic, its flowering during the Jacksonian age, and its significance to a range of American authors including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Edgar Allan Poe. It explains that these authors did not share Walt Whitman's enthusiasm for the crowd and were concerned that fame would destabilize traditional concepts of value and identity.
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