Recent Features
Carl Van Vechten, America’s First White Negro

What was Van Vechten really writing about during the Harlem Renaissance; black culture as it existed in its own right, or how he viewed it through his own complicated prism?

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What Embers Still Burn in the Beautiful Ruins of Riot Grrrls Past?

Riot grrrls wrote, recorded and produced a wealth of cultural objects. They left trails of scribbles, screams and lipstick traces in MP3 blogs and online archives, awaiting release.

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Of Art and Magic: An Interview with Novelist Porochista Khakpour

What happens when magical thinking really consumes a person or even a society?

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The Streets of San Francisco: Policing and the Creation of a Cosmopolitan Liberal Politics, 1950-72

When the police began using their discretion with African American gang leaders, gay and lesbian bar owners, Haight-Ashbury hippies and other postwar San Franciscans, a rise in liberal cosmopolitism would follow throughout America.

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Shakespeare’s Wit and Humor, Pathos and Anger Remains Vital, 450 Years After His Birth

As the creator of iambic fictions, Shakespeare is the ultimate meme. His name stirs a cascade of associations, memories and feelings in all who are touched by his work.

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16 May 2014 // 1:10 AM

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Mad World celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the ‘80s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period including Duran Duran, New Order, the Smiths and here, OMD.

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Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

There's the world as most understand it and the world as it's actually evolving, towards an extreme form of capitalism occuring across international borders—to devastating effects.

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A Broken Hallelujah: Rock and Roll, Redemption, and the Life of Leonard Cohen

This is a portrait of an artist attuned to notions of justice, lust, longing, loneliness, and redemption, and possessing the sort of voice and vision commonly reserved for the prophets.

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Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America’s Favorite Spectator Sport

In the late 1800s, America’s most popular spectator sport wasn’t baseball, boxing, or horseracing—it was competitive walking. Indeed, when a New York arena overbooked, fans rioted.

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4 Apr 2014 // 1:15 AM

Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World

From Benjamin Franklin's hoax about the the death of his rival to Abbie Hoffman’s attempt to levitate the Pentagon to Stephen Colbert’s “news reporting”, pranksters, hoaxers, and con artists use humor to underscore larger, pointed truths about society.

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Civilized Murders: An Interview with Hugh Fleetwood

Hugh Fleetwood’s chilling and dark mysteries deal with psychologically-damaged characters, ones whose actions are usually the result of some personality disorder often undisclosed to everyone but the reader.

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‘The Age of Atheists’ Considers That Beyond Reason or Religion, Our Quest for Meaning Endures

Who will choose this enriching and rewarding removal from reality TV and manufactured distraction? Who will walk the course mapped in these heady pages, along a sobering path of self-awareness of our fragile presence surrounded by darkness and mystery?

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21 Mar 2014 // 1:15 AM

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment

In the last 20 years, America’s incarceration rates have risen 500 percent. Sentences are harsh, prisons are overcrowded, life inside is dangerous, and rehabilitation programs don't work. Do we want our prisons to be this way?

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A New Book Calls for a More Activist Black Church—But That Might Be Easier Said Than Done

The difference between churches of service and activism is seen by the degree to which they hold to the philosophies of black theology, a school of religious thought that emerged in the wake of the racial tumult of the ‘60s.

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In Defense of Reading Books, Not E-Readers

Even if an e-reader might be more practical than a heavy book, there isn't an electronic screen on the planet that rivals the prestige attached to such a time-tested medium.

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14 Mar 2014 // 1:15 AM

Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution

Sex Scene suggests that what we have come to understand as the sexual revolution of the late '60s and early '70s was actually a media revolution.

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The Drowning Pool: When Great Writers Are Drunks

Berryman, Carver, Cheever, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Williams; none could tend the flame of their talent with anything but liquor and devastation.

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The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age

Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee "Tennie" Claflin -- the most fascinating and scandalous sisters in American history -- were unequaled for their vastly avant-garde crusade for women's fiscal, political, and sexual independence.

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Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Uncharted puts the "big data" of Google Books through the lens of a tool called Ngram, but the meaning of the results, and even their validity, turn a great read into a cautionary tale.

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Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear

Martin Luther King, Jr., narrowly escaped a mob attack; protesters were teargassed by state police; Lyndon Johnson refused to intervene; and Stokely Carmichael led the chant that would define a new kind of civil rights movement: Black Power.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Hozier + Death Cab for Cutie + Rock Radio 104.5's Birthday Show (Photo Gallery)

// Notes from the Road

"Radio 104.5's birthday show featured great bands and might have been the unofficial start of summer festival season in the Northeast.

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