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Features > Books

Thursday, December 6 2012

Oliver Sacks’ ‘Hallucinations’

Hearing voices? Don’t worry, the revered Dr. Oliver Sacks assures, in that regard at least, you’re perfectly sane.


Thursday, November 29 2012

‘The First Four Notes: Beethoven’s Fifth and the Human Imagination’

Music Historian Matthew Guerrieri traces the origins and influence of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, weaving a fascinating piece of musical detective work.


Thursday, November 15 2012

Reinventing Bach

An electrifying story of how musicians of genius have made Bach’s music new in our time, at once restoring Bach as a universally revered composer and revolutionizing the ways that music figures into our lives.


Wednesday, November 14 2012

The Critic As Artful Gadfly: Pauline Kael

At her best, Pauline Kael was everything a film critic should be: passionate, knowledgable, in love with the movies and writing about them, willing to defend her reviews, and vicious. She was also everything movie goers despise in a critic: well-educated, argumentative, stubborn, and vicious.


Thursday, November 8 2012

The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century

Using the life and career of her father, an early Hollywood actor, New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot tells the thrilling story of the rise of popular culture through a transfixing personal lens.


Thursday, November 1 2012

Instant: The Story of Polaroid

Instant tells the tale of a one-of-a-kind invention-from Polaroid's first instant camera in 1948, to its meteoric rise in popularity and adoption by artists such as Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close, to the company's bankruptcy in the late '90s and its unlikely resurrection in the digital age.


Sunday, October 28 2012

The Ladylike-Defying, Guitar Playing Debra Devi and ‘The Language of the Blues’

For aficionados of American history, music and etymology, the blues is the ideal confluence of all three fields. Devi's book is a roadmap for observing how their paths overlap.


Thursday, October 25 2012

Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

Halloween has spread around the globe to places as diverse as Russia, China, and Japan, but its association with death and the supernatural and its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most misunderstood holidays.


Wednesday, October 24 2012

Fit to be Tied: An Interview with Philippe Petit

Best known for being the subject of Man on Wire, wire-walking, knot-tying, street-juggling, magician Philippe Petit talks to PopMatters about his forthcoming book Why Knot?.


Sunday, October 21 2012

Micro Frustrated, Macro Happy: An Interview with Demetri Martin

Dropping his usual punchline-a-sentence persona, comedian and author Demetri Martin speaks to PopMatters all about his influences, his frustratingly unfinished projects, and how he can never drift from stand-up for too long ...


Thursday, October 18 2012

The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies

At first, film was a waking dream, delivered for a nickel to huddled masses sitting in the dark. But soon movies began transforming our societies and our perceptions of the world.


Thursday, October 11 2012

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious—or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food.


Thursday, September 27 2012

The Missile Next Door: The Minuteman in the American Heartland

How rural Americans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by living with nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that tells us about enduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending.


Thursday, September 20 2012

The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns

Armed with research from behavioral psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do.


Sunday, September 16 2012

Dead of Winter: Snowy Graves in Contemporary Horror Comics

If low temperatures don't bring death in today's horror comics, they're almost always the ideal setting for it.


Thursday, September 13 2012

Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop

An exploration and celebration of a controversial tradition that, contrary to popular opinion, is alive and active after more than 150 years.


Thursday, September 6 2012

A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain

Owen Hatherley writes with unrivalled aggression about the disarray of modern Britain, and yet this remains a book about possibilities remembered, about unlikely successes in the midst of seemingly inexorable failure.


Thursday, August 30 2012

The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s

Dissecting close to 250 songs, Peter Doggett traces the major themes that inspired and shaped Bowie's career, from his flirtations with fascist imagery and infatuation with the occult to the creation of his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust.


Wednesday, August 29 2012

Steam-Powered Hard Drive: Sherlock Holmes As Modern Superhero From 1887-2012

As the world continues to celebrate Sherlock Holmes, PopMatters takes readers on a tour of the famous fictional phenomenon that spans books, radio, television and films.


Thursday, August 23 2012

The Last Bohemia: Scenes from the Life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Tight, passionate, and provocative, The Last Bohemia is at once a celebration of the fever dream of bohemia, a lament for what Williamsburg has become, and a cautionary tale about the lurching transformations of city neighborhoods.


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