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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.


Tuesday, August 21 2012

The Love of Light: Gore Vidal, 1925 - 2012

We must approach any consideration of Gore Vidal's vast body of work with fear and trembling, because if we do not properly understand and absorb his wisdom, we will have missed yet another opportunity to truly grasp American history and identity.


Thursday, August 16 2012

In ‘America the Philosophical’ We Learn That America Is to Philosophy What Italy Is to Art—Really

America today towers as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, an unprecedented marketplace of truth and argument that far surpasses ancient Greece or any other place one can name. Don’t believe it? Read on!


Wednesday, August 15 2012

Man on Ledge: An Exclusive with Gregg Hurwitz

With his most recent novel, The Survivor, comics- and screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz underlines his already incredible mastery of transmedia and charts a new course for the American psyche after the last horrific decade…


Sunday, August 12 2012

Abandoned ‘Star Wars’ Plot Points, Episode I: The Ties That Surround Us, Bind Us and Penetrate Us

To celebrate the added "layers" of unnecessary 3D onto both the Prequel and Original Trilogies, here are some actual plot layers straight out of George Lucas' old plans that just might have made Star Wars a more engrossing saga (in somebody's mind, anyway).


Thursday, August 9 2012

Dyn-o-mite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times—A Memoir

Starting in small clubs and eventually opening for Black Panther rallies, Jimmie Walker became an icon, playing J. J. on Good Times. He was the first successful young black sitcom star, and his catchphrase -- “Dyn-o-mite!” -- remains an indicator of the era.


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