Michael Jackson was once acclaimed as a song-and-dance man of genius; Wacko Jacko is now, more often than not, dismissed and reviled. Whence the weirdness and alleged criminality? How to account for his rise and fall? In this work of cultural analysis, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson unravels the complexities of one of the most enigmatic figures of our time. What do P. T. Barnum, Peter Pan, and Edgar Allan Poe have to do with our fascination with Jackson? How did his upbringing and his tenure as a child prodigy inform his character and multiplicity of selves? What is the perverse appeal of child stars for grown-ups and what is the price of such stardom for these children and for us? What do we find so unnerving about Michael Jackson's presumed monstrosity? In short, how are we, all of us, implicated?--From publisher description.