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Monday, May 21 2012

Charles Dickens Through the Lens of Canonicity

Critical discourse on Charles Dickens – especially late Dickens, most especially of all Bleak House – has gotten out of hand, and finds itself concentrating on virtues that Dickens doesn’t actually possess in a bid to shoehorn him into our notion of what a great writer is and what his writing does.


Thursday, May 17 2012

The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game

Anthropologist John Fox sets off on a worldwide adventure to the farthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancient past to answer a question inspired by his sports-loving son: "Why do we play ball?"


Monday, May 14 2012

20 Questions: Kate Bornstein

"I was a Scientologist for 12 years, which is a lot more embarrassing than saying Hi, I’m a transsexual SM dyke living with borderline personality disorder," Kate Bornstein tells PopMatters 20 Questions on the release of her memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger.


Thursday, May 10 2012

Fat, Drunk, and Stupid: The Inside Story Behind the Making of Animal House

In 1976 the creators of National Lampoon, America’s most popular humor magazine, decided to make a movie.


Wednesday, May 2 2012

Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground

With exclusive new interviews from Velvet Underground, this is a captivating account of one of the most influential groups in rock history.


Thursday, April 26 2012

The Omnivorous Mind: Our Evolving Relationship with Food

We humans eat a wide array of plants and animals, but unlike other omnivores we eat with our minds as much as our stomachs.


Thursday, April 19 2012

Squeeze This!: A Cultural History of the Accordion in America

No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity -- and precipitous decline -- as the accordion. Squeeze This! is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon.


Thursday, April 12 2012

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

A chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.


Thursday, April 5 2012

A Dot, A Messenger, An Icon: An “A to Z” Conversation with Paul Kelly

If Paul Kelly were an American, he'd be regarded as the States' premiere Americana songwriter. He'd be the king of Austin, or Nashville's ruling prince. But Kelly was born in Adelaide, and often places the aforementioned universal themes amidst Australian locales and history.


The Story of English in 100 Words

English language expert David Crystal takes readers on a tour of the winding byways of our language via the rude, the obscure and the downright surprising.


Thursday, March 29 2012

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails.


Thursday, March 22 2012

Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music

Henry Mancini has sold 30 million albums and won four Oscars and 20 Grammy awards. Through Mancini, mere background music in movies became part of pop culture -- an expression of sophistication and wit with a modern sense of cool and a lasting lyricism that has not dated.


Thursday, March 15 2012

Textbook Oppositions and Alternatives: Re-Thinking the Role of Race in ‘60s Rock and Soul Music

Black rock musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and Arthur Lee (Love), as well as white soul musicians in the racially integrated bands playing on recordings of singers like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, existed during the '60s. So why is rock and soul so black and white?


Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents

This reprint of the cult classic memoir, based on Ellen Ullman’s early years as a computer programmer, reaffirms the reach and relevance of her thoughts on technology and creativity. Her insight is also foresight, and her story remains immediate, critical – and very entertaining.


Thursday, March 8 2012

Talk About Getting Lost In a Book: Our Favorite Fiction of 2011

Read this book, pass it on to those who deserve it, and be thankful that the world contains artists like...


Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times

Four jazz musicians from Brooklyn, Ghana, and South Africa demonstrate how modern Africa reshaped jazz, how modern jazz helped form a new African identity, and how such musical crossings altered the politics and culture of both continents.


Sunday, March 4 2012

20 Questions: Ellen Ullman

Technophile, humanist and storyteller Ellen Ullman is touring for her latest, By Blood. The cult classic Close to the Machine and runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, The Bug, are enjoying a resurgence, as well. From the sterile environs of an airport terminal, Ullman recalls a glorious range of artists and intellectuals (and the work they have produced) that have shaped her.


Thursday, March 1 2012

The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness

From gospel to soul, funk to freestyle, Kevin Young sifts through the shadows, the bootleg, the remix, the grey areas of our history, literature, and music.


Sunday, February 26 2012

Learning From Vampires: High Stakes Vampire Literature

What does society's fascination with vampire tales tell us about men, women and relationships? It's time to take one more look.


Thursday, February 23 2012

The Best Non-Fiction of 2011

Books have a long shelf-life. A loved book may outlast its original owner by a generation – or more -- if well cared for. With that in mind, we recall our best loved books of 2011 here, well into 2012. Better late than never...


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