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.