It has been said that celebrity is as celebrity does. And in some cases, what it does can change the course of presidential politics.

In his recent book, Liking Ike: Eisenhower, Advertising, and the Rise of Celebrity Politics, David Blake ’85 analyzes the role of fame in American politics — from the 34th president to the 45th. This Monday, Blake will return to Colgate to give a lecture on the story of Eisenhower’s rise to the presidency, achieved with the help of the era’s superstars, from Ethel Merman to Irving Berlin.

The Nov. 13 event will be from 4:30–6 p.m. in Lawrence Hall 105. It is sponsored by the English department.

Liking Ike is Blake’s second book and the winner of the 2017 PROSE Award for the year’s best book in media and cultural studies.

A double major in English and history at Colgate, Blake is now an English professor at the College of New Jersey, where he teaches courses on the intersection of literature and politics, as well as the history of fame. His essays have appeared in a number of publications, including The Huffington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Time.com.

For more information on Blake and his work, read the Scene story “Claim to fame.”

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