Entertainment Nation: How Music, Television, Film, Sports, and Theater Shaped the United States

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US history gets the star treatment with this essential guide to the Smithsonian's first permanent exhibition on pop culture, featuring objects like Muhammad Ali's training robe, and Leonard Nimoy's Spock ears, and Dorothy's ruby slippers, oh my!

Entertainment Nation is a star-studded and richly illustrated book celebrating the best of 150 years of US pop culture. The book presents nearly 300 breathtaking Smithsonian objects from the first long-term exhibition on popular culture, and features contributors like Billie Jean King, Ali Wong, and Jill Lepore. Entertainment Nation offers the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the passion and grit of star athletes, the limelight of the music industry and theater, and the amazing entertainers we love to watch, with dazzling cultural touchstones like:

Music and Theater
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton costume
  • John Coltrane's saxophone
  • Selena's leather outfit

Film and Television
  • Captain America's shield
  • Mr. Roger's sweater
  • Seinfeld's puffy shirt

  • Mia Hamm's Olympic jersey
  • Kristi Yamaguchi's ice skates
  • Babe Ruth autographed baseball

The book includes essays that contextualize the objects' place in time and history, exploring how entertainment sparks conversation and debate, reveals social tensions and political power, and dictates who gets to be the hero or the villain. Taking a nostalgic look at old favorites and an exhilarating glimpse of contemporary attractions, Entertainment Nation is a love letter to pop culture.