How to Become Famous: Lost Einsteins, Forgotten Superstars, and How the Beatles Came to Be

  • 7h 45m 40s
  • Cass R. Sunstein
  • Gildan Media
  • 2023

It's hard to imagine our world without its stars and celebrity geniuses—they become a part of our culture and history, seeming permanent and preordained. But as Cass Sunstein shows in this startling book, that is far from the case. Focusing on both famous and forgotten (or simply overlooked) artists and luminaries in music, literature, business, science, politics, and other fields, he explores why some individuals become famous and others don't, and offers a new understanding of the role of greatness, luck, and contingency in the achievement of fame.

First, Sunstein examines recent research—on informational cascades, power laws, network effects, and group polarization—to probe the question of how people become famous. He explores what ends up in the history books, in the great religious texts, and in the literary canon—and how that changes radically over time. He delves into the rich and entertaining stories of a diverse cast of famous characters, from John Keats, William Blake, and Jane Austen to Bob Dylan, Ayn Rand, and Stan Lee—as well as John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

How to Become Famous takes you on a fun, captivating, and at times profound journey that will forever change your perspective on the latest celebrity's "fifteen minutes," the nature of memory, success and failure in business, and our enduring fascination with fame.

About the Author

Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Since that time, he has served in the US government in several different roles. Adviser to many nations and international organizations, he is the author of Nudge (with Richard H. Thaler), Noise (with Daniel Kahneman and Olivier Sibony), The World According to Star Wars, and Wiser (with Reid Hastie).

In this Audiobook

  • Prologue: The Crossroads
  • Chapter 1 - Sliding Doors
  • Chapter 2 - Shocks and Surprises
  • Chapter 3 - Magic
  • Chapter 4 - The Elephant in the Room
  • Chapter 5 - “Stolen, Stolen Be Your Apples”
  • Chapter 6 - The Force
  • Chapter 7 - The Irresistible Stan Lee
  • Chapter 8 - Bob Dylan and Habituation
  • Chapter 9 - Houdini’s Greatest Challenge
  • Chapter 10 - The Cult of Ayn Rand
  • Chapter 11 - John, Paul, George, and Ringo
  • Epilogue: “Placed in Favourable Situations”