With incisive analysis and captivating storytelling, Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson puts culture in the spotlight and asks why certain products and ideas achieve extraordinary popularity Drawing on ancient history and modern headlines - from vampire lore and Brahms's Wiegenlied to Instagram and Fifty Shades of Grey - Thompson explores the psychology of hits and reveals how we can all become more intelligent consumers of culture. Though dozens of blockbuster films, Internet memes and number-one songs seem to have come out of nowhere, hits have a story and operate by certain rules. People gravitate towards familiar surprises: products that are bold, yet instantly comprehensible.
Now, film, music, and media companies can use new tools to learn what makes their consumers tick. Hit Makers pulls back the curtain on this new world to reveal what people want and how things catch fire. From the dawn of Impressionist art to the future of Snapchat, from small-scale Etsy entrepreneurs to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson tells the fascinating story of how culture happens - and where genius lives.