The Great American Makeover explores two basic questions: How do myths of self-reinvention shape America?s past, and how do contemporary television makeover programs continue and question this long-standing tendency to celebrate the fundamental powers of American transformation? This collection demonstrates that the makeover mythos is a crucial link between earlier and emergent forms and processes of engagement with the national imaginary. It demonstrates the tenacity of the American fantasy of recreation and its enduring ability to speak to our shifting national desires and anxieties. At the same time, the volume speaks to American popular television?s own enduring ability to reinvent itself.

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