Recent Features
An Unmerciful Consideration of Anne Lamott’s Book on Mercy

The profession of teaching has taught me that Lamott’s view of merciful action is impractical and improper.

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On Norman Mailer, Jack Henry Abbott, and the Legacy of Going Too Deep Into the Belly of the Beast

How Norman Mailer, while preparing 1979's The Executioner's Song, collaborated with Jack Henry Abbott and opened doors that should have remained shut.

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David Sedaris’ ‘Theft By Finding’, Truth or Elaboration, Matters Not

David Sedaris' decades-spanning collection of his diary entries reveals the growth of one of America's most beloved humorists.

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Contrary to Popular Belief, the Blues Were Not Born on the Mississippi Delta

Historians Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff debunk myths about the origins of blues music, locating them not in the Mississippi Delta but in southern black vaudeville.

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T Bone Burnett: Don’t Let the Form Distract You From the Content

Lloyd Sachs explores the life, times, and endless journeys of singer-songwriter-musician T Bone Burnett.

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Resist, Artfully: On the Subversive but Compromised Role of Art

In a world stripped of enjoyment -- a fractured existence broken on the wheel of pointless progress, determined domination, and wasteful and wasted work -- pleasure becomes the most determinate form of rebellion and liberation.

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On Georgette Heyer’s Debonair, Polished Butchery

Heyer perfected the art of banter and her social engagements on the page often read like David Campton and Edward Albee plays -- sans the existential subversions.

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Joy Kogawa’s Latest Asks: Is There a Limit to Our Capacity to Forgive?

From the atomic bombing of Nagasaki to her father's pedophilia, Kogawa embarks on a brutally honest and personal exploration of the nature of guilt and forgiveness.

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I Can’t Bear to Watch, I Must Watch: Revisiting McLuhan, Postman, and DeLillo in These Heady Days

Americans' voyeuristic attraction for scarlet-stained murder spectacles spills over into our need for similarly doomed entertainment in our highest national political office.

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Detachment and Re-attachment: The Mind of a Hermit No More

Christopher Knight disappeared into the woods at the age of 20 and returned at 47 without a masterpiece, without a testimony of life’s greater purpose, without anything profound to convey.

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Istanbul: From Emperors to Street Vendors

Historian Thomas F. Madden's Istanbul leaves one with a sense of awe for how much of the human experience is on display in this one city, in this part of the world.

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Authenticity and Unbroken Chains in Rick Massimo’s ‘I Got a Song’

This book is about true believers who kept the torch burning for “authenticity” in folk music at any cost; even if it meant cultural appropriation and commercial compromising.

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Alfred Hitchcock May Be a Moralist, but He Does Not Moralize

Hitchcock’s Moral Gaze argues that Hitchcock examined the darkest edges of his characters to help his audience understand their connection with the act of watching, gazing, and sometimes not connecting.

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What Can Today’s Activists Learn From the Vietnam Anti-war Movement?

The lessons of the Vietnam peace movement are at risk of being distorted and forgotten, argues one of its founding voices.

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Tina Turner Got It Right: We Don’t Need More Heroes

Jordan Flaherty's No More Heroes argues that the greatest danger to progressive movements often comes from within.

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What Is It About Teens Behind Closed Doors That Scares Us So?

Jason Reid’s Get Out of My Room! takes us inside the private enclaves of the adolescent being, revealing both individual and collective anxieties and expectations.

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‘Egg’: Bloomsbury’s Eggscellent Mission

Does Humpty Dumpty freak you out more or less than salmonella? Bloomsbury's Object Lessons books offer fodder for daily mindfulness.

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How Far Will an Incomplete Woman Go to Obtain Her Sense of Self?

Much in the way the women of Persona and 3 Women assimilate into lives of their objects of affection, the women of Single White Female experience a similar fatal mutualism.

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Has Corporate Malfeasance Signaled an End to Law and Order in America?

Has the US become a country where crime pays? Could the corporate death penalty help rein in America's criminal banks?

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These ‘70s Avant-Garde Jazz Musicians Blew Freely, Fiercely, and Reverently

These cats blew all night and day a new, astonishing page into the jazz lexicon. What they couldn't do was get gigs in jazz clubs.

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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Pilot X Puts a Crimp on the Business in 'The Mysterious Airman'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Mystery writer Arthur B. Reeve's influence in this film doesn't follow convention -- it follows his invention.

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