A new book by Daniel Horowitz, published by University of North Carolina Press in 2020, is now available.
Entertaining Entrepreneurs, a wide-ranging and in-depth exploration of the wildly popular Reality Television program Shark Tank, explores how millions of Americans, through a particular and imperfect lens, learn about how the economy works. Much more than the study of one TV show, it provides a window into the ways mass media explains the opportunities, traps, and dynamics of capitalism at a time when tens of millions of Americans are facing challenges that threaten their economic and psychological well-being. It thus brings together fields of media studies, history of capitalism, and social criticism even as it combines research into material online, in books, on television, as well as ventures in ethnographic explorations. This book expands our understanding by linking Shark Tank with popular books, TED talks, movies, TV shows, and other media that offer information on American capitalism, information that both informs and distorts. Additionally, it juxtaposes such media treatments with current discussions among authors of inspirational how-to books, scholars of business management, and social scientists about capitalism, public policy, entrepreneurship, social capital, celebrity culture, inequality, insecurity, class relationships, technology, and globalization.