The Fame Formula is a highly entertaining study of the creators of the publicity industry, taking us from vaudeville and the movies to the age of television and the internet. Starting with Maynard Nottage and Harry Reichenbach, who applied their anarchic talents to dreaming up stunts at the turn of the twentieth century, Borkowski goes on to describe how, in the hands of Hollywood fixers Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling, publicity agents Russell Birdwell, Warren Cowan, Henry Rogers and more, this freewheeling industry developed. These men hatched ostrich eggs to promote movies and hatched incredible stories to dress up the lives of stars, buried scandals and buried their lives in their work. And in so doing they laid the foundation of a billion dollar manipulation industry and the modern world's rampant celebrity culture.
Borkowski also reveals how his research has led to the creation of a fame formula, an analysis of how long any celebrity can expect to stay famous - and how to avoid relegation to the Z list.