Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction

Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson's national best-selling book looks at the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows that nothing “goes viral,” that quality is insufficient for success, and that some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. The book touches on a range of subjects—yes, including Donald Trump—from the untold stories of how Impressionism and rock 'n' roll went mainstream to the philosophy behind the algorithms that govern Facebook and music-recommendation engines.

Festival: 2017

Watch and Listen: Arts

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