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Download On Michael Jackson Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample On Michael Jackson Audiobook, by Margo Jefferson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margo Jefferson Narrator: Andrea Johnson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781415929520
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Michael Jackson was once universally acclaimed as a song-and-dance man of genius; Wacko Jacko is now, more often than not, dismissed for his bizarre race and gender transformations and confounding antics, even as he is commonly reviled for the child molestation charges twice brought against him. Whence the weirdness and alleged criminality? How to account for Michael Jackson’s rise and fall? In On Michael Jackson—an at once passionate, incisive, and bracing work of cultural analysis—Pulitzer Prize–winning critic for The New York Times Margo Jefferson brilliantly unravels the complexities of one of the most enigmatic figures of our time.

Who is Michael Jackson and what does it mean to call him a “What Is It”? What do P. T. Barnum, Peter Pan, and Edgar Allan Poe have to do with our fascination with Jackson? How did his curious Victorian upbringing and his tenure as a child prodigy on the “chitlin’ circuit” inform his character and multiplicity of selves? How is Michael Jackson’s celebrity related to the outrageous popularity of nineteenth-century minstrelsy? What is the perverse appeal of child stars for grown-ups and what is the price of such stardom for these children and for us? What uncanniness provoked Michael Jackson to become “Alone of All His Race, Alone of All Her Sex,” while establishing himself as an undeniably great performer with neo-Gothic, dandy proclivities and a producer of visionary music videos? What do we find so unnerving about Michael Jackson’s presumed monstrosity? In short, how are we all of us implicated?

In her stunning first book, Margo Jefferson gives us the incontrovertible lowdown on call-him-what-you-wish; she offers a powerful reckoning with a quintessential, richly allusive signifier of American society and popular culture.


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Quotes & Awards

  • Sparkling....Eloquent and provocative.... Watching Margo Jefferson's mind at work is as pleasurable and thrilling as seeing Michael Jackson dance. O, The Oprah Magazine
  • Hers is a dazzling act of sustained vivacity and wisdom. Margo Jefferson brilliantly illuminates both Michael Jackson’s psyche and his art, giving us in the process a fascinating broader picture of American pop culture. Shockingly, Jackson turns out to be as representative as he is singular. Ann Douglas, author of Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s and The Feminization of American Culture
  • Stimulating.... Incisive, intelligent.... Engaging, well written and consistently on target. The New York Times
  • Jefferson writes...with elegance and attitude....One closes the book hungry to hear her take on other talented but troubled celebrities. The Washington Post
  • Margo Jefferson, an unfailingly shrewd and eloquent cultural critic, finds in Michael Jackson a paradigm for probing the ambitions, desperations, triumphs, and sacrifices of an artist who stakes everything on a crown. Beyond palace intrigue, she explicates the meaning of show business masks, of racial and social determinants, of spectacle on stage and in the courtroom. She is compelling. Gary Giddins, author of Weather Bird and Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristl | 12/24/2013

    " I really, really enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 12/21/2013

    " A fascinating look at Michael Jackson by a Columbia professor - a quick but insightful read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana | 12/10/2013

    " Pretty good, but not the best. I would not choose it, but I had to.. I read it for a school presentation. I recommend it for those who like MJ, otherwise you will be disappointed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 12/9/2013

    " An interesting insight into the talent and downfall of Michael Jackson. A quick and compelling read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 8/3/2013

    " Turn off all the TV and internet coverage of Michael Jackson's death and pick up this slim book by Margo Jefferson. Love him or hate him, her observations are to the point and thought provoking. A riveting look at an icon and what became of him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greta | 7/16/2013

    " This book is more on the psychology and transformation of Michael Jackson than his life story. It's a brilliant read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tuomas Hiltunen | 3/25/2013

    " I just reread this excellent book. If you were impressed by Joan Acocella's piece on M.J. in 27 July 2009 New Yorker (for 3 days she watched and analysed his music videos), you are going to be blown away by Margo Jefferson's marvelous book. 5 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmela | 1/30/2013

    " Yes today I finished the book on michael Jackson and i was very mad I might just read it again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenna | 10/8/2012

    " Interesting, well-researched, and sympathetic portrait of a complex public figure, but this book reads like a first draft. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G | 9/25/2012

    " A incisive survey of Jackson's place in our culture and a great example of the strengths of cultural criticism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Npaw | 8/3/2011

    " All of these essays are very interesting and well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rich | 3/14/2011

    " I thought this was an excellent investigative piece that didn't ever objectify Jackson as a cultural oddity, but instead treated his subject as a human being with problems, successes and emotions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylor | 2/14/2011

    " Really great book! I'm a huge fan of Michael Jackson but I believe this book really explained who and what he was as a person. It was veryu insightful and it was definitely worth reading for those of you who are King of Pop fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 10/31/2010

    " A fascinating look at Michael Jackson by a Columbia professor - a quick but insightful read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmela | 1/24/2010

    " Yes today I finished the book on michael Jackson and i was very mad I might just read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tuomas | 7/25/2009

    " I just reread this excellent book. If you were impressed by Joan Acocella's piece on M.J. in 27 July 2009 New Yorker (for 3 days she watched and analysed his music videos), you are going to be blown away by Margo Jefferson's marvelous book. 5 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristl | 7/11/2009

    " I really, really enjoyed this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 9/9/2008

    " An interesting insight into the talent and downfall of Michael Jackson. A quick and compelling read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Npaw | 6/28/2008

    " All of these essays are very interesting and well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G | 1/25/2008

    " A incisive survey of Jackson's place in our culture and a great example of the strengths of cultural criticism. "

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About the Author

Margo Jefferson was for years a theater and book critic for Newsweek and the New York Times, where she won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, New York, and the New Republic, among other publications. She is professor of writing at Columbia University.

About the Narrator

Andrea Johnson is an actress and audiobook narrator that has played roles opposite Jack Nicholson and Chris Rock.