Monday, April 29 2013
Renowned cultural critic and historian Richard Slotkin discusses his new book, The Long Road to Antietam, and shares his thoughts on the future of American Studies. He indulges us with his favorite movies, too.
Sunday, April 28 2013
Grove was the hippest and most important publisher of books that broke sexual taboos, plotted revolution, and kept millions of young intellectuals across the US in touch with the avant-garde and revolutionary politics throughout the world.
Monday, April 22 2013
Norman Ball’s How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? and The Frantic Force are stalked, ever so subtly, by the fraught subtext of a father and daughter’s haltingly convergent kinship. Surely this is a writer Dad and I could break conciliatory bread over.
Sunday, April 14 2013
The success of Hugh Howey’s self-published Wool series points to a complete upending of publishing paradigms. Much like Amanda Palmer in music, Howey has created a whole new model of how authors relate to readers.
Wednesday, April 10 2013
This meticulous work of research and analysis attempts something beyond the scope of power-to-the-people flashbacks of Afros, dashikis and raised fists: it takes the Black Panther Party seriously as a political entity taking dead aim on American laws and values.
Sunday, March 31 2013
From the Kickstarter-fuelled resurrection of Veronica Mars to Amanda Palmer's 'art of asking', the influence of crowdsourcing is impossible to ignore. Can it provide a new perspective on the relationship between art and money?
Thursday, March 28 2013
Sibling authors Carole E. and John Barrowman likely have been “collaborators” since childhood. Today their grown-up collaboration brings science fiction and adventure stories to life on the page and, perhaps soon, to the screen.
Sunday, March 24 2013
Betsy Prioleau's Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them provides an enjoyable and eminently readable portrait of consistent and effective themes in seduction throughout human history.
Thursday, March 14 2013
In storytelling, the past dictates the future. Plots are laid out like traps that our heroes inevitably fall into. And we, watching Bruce Willis in Looper, or reading of Dream in The Sandman, are thus fated, as well.
Wednesday, March 13 2013
I never would have thought it possible, but George W. Bush’s recently revealed attempts at creating art have had the incredible effect of forcing me to see him as a human being.
Monday, March 4 2013
Forget Bates the valet and his perfect Windsor knots. Agent Gates wields a gun, kicks ass, and otherwise protects Devonton Abbey from unsavory spies.
Sunday, March 3 2013
Black people had plenty to say about slavery -- especially slaves themselves -- and as soon as they learned to write, they did.
Wednesday, February 20 2013
New Orleans to swing, swing to bop, bop to cool, cool to hard bop, hard bop to free jazz—"jazz style periods" are so often presented like this. But jazz's transformation often shifted independently of cultural happenings, and those shifts were far from linear.
Tuesday, February 19 2013
Lawrence Wright’s devastating, impeccably researched history of Scientology’s “Prison of Belief” vividly illustrates the ability of this “Church” to successfully prey upon nearly every dark strain in the modern American psyche, from celebrity-worship to ego-mania and the lust for power and money.
Thursday, February 7 2013
Leonard Cohen endures and conquers. But does he mean something different to Millenial audiences than he did to their parents? Can the legend of Cohen escape its own clichés?
Sunday, February 3 2013
A mother attempting to stab her own daughter, an exorcism, a school suspending a student -- author Bernadette Barton describes growing up in the religious South.
Monday, January 21 2013
The biggest difference between the Black Chicago Renaissance and the Harlem Renaissance is brand awareness. The fact is, from roughly the early ‘30s to the ‘50s, Chicago was black America’s most fruitful cultural capitol.
Tuesday, January 15 2013
As the world is increasingly filtered through computers there is emerging a reliance on data as a belief system. Groups like Anonymous are pushing us further towards data, as they highlight the divide they see between belief and information.
Thursday, January 10 2013
Fiction lets us to explore our weirdest speculations and darkest fears about the person who sits in the White House. Is reality, under America's current president, worse than fiction?
Thursday, January 3 2013
Back when Martha (Reeves) and the Vandellas and the Marvelettes would have one big hit and then nothing much for months, and the Supremes didn’t have a hit among their first nine releases, Mary Wells was Motown’s reigning pop star, queen and cash cow.