The Eiffel Tower—this symbol of industrial development and the French Republic is now associated with a romantic vacation in Paris. Nelson Mandela—the hero of the struggle against apartheid was featured in a British Airways magazine article called “The Power of Brand Mandela.” This book explores these and other contemporary cultural icons that, over time, have been endowed with a complex and powerful layering of meanings. The authors analyze the way in which such icons, whether objects or persons, living or mythical, are constructed and disseminated. They also critically investigate the implications, in semiotic and cultural terms, of the accretion of meaning and popular recognition attached to them, their moral and aesthetic ambiguity, and their enduring appeal to a fascinated public. This slim and provocative volume is ideal for courses in and related to cultural studies.