On Michael Jackson by Margo Jefferson (review by Eddie S. ’17)

On Michael JacksonOn Michael Jackson by Margo Jefferson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Margo Jefferson’s On Michael Jackson is a cultural analysis of the King of Pop, ultimately providing readers with the reason behind his bizarre actions that eventually acquire the pop star the infamous nickname of “Wacko Jacko.” While the first half primarily explores his childhood, the latter focuses on the notorious 2005 trial and his transformation from a reigning pop star to an erratic recluse. Additionally, Jefferson cleverly scatters a few of her unique interpretations of the pop star’s visually arresting performances and unforgettable music videos throughout. In the beginning, Jefferson makes known the cruelty and pain of Jackson’s hollow childhood despite the glamour of singing lead in the Jackson 5. Interestingly enough, the gem of the book lies in the transformation and trial, as it suggests the King of Pop’s methods. Although the book is well written, in the end, I found it incredibly disturbing. Jefferson’s last few pages leave us utterly startled, speechless, and disillusioned. Frankly, after being exposed to this monstrosity, I genuinely wish I would have watched Jackson’s lighthearted American Bandstand performance of “Abc” with his brothers and not gone beyond that. – Eddie S. ‘17

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