In trying to understand the power of celebrity in modern life, Richard Schickel ranges through every realm of our culture - film, theatre, television, literature, art, the media, pop music, politics - for examples of how celebrity shapes our world and bends our minds. He considers the careers of figures as diverse as John Kennedy and Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Dwight Eisenhower, Walter Cronkite and Andy Warhol, among dozens of others. And he reflects on the dangerous, sometimes deadly, political and social consequences of the fascinating, largely unacknowledged relationship between the famous elite and the unfamous majority. In demonstrating how the carefully fostered illusion of intimacy between these two groups has created a devastating confusion between public life and private life, in showing how the play of celebrity symbols has largely replaced the play of ideas in our society, Schickel takes us on a journey to the heart of contemporary darkness - and offers, finally, a chilling warning about the psychopathic consequences of our national obsession with celebrity. "Intimate Strangers is, simply, in my estimation, the single most important book about celebrity."- Neal Gabler.