Recent Features
Producing Country: The Inside Story of the Great Recordings

The story of country music told through hit records by Hank Williams, George Jones, Patsy Cline, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and many others.

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Everything You Think You Know About Human Rights Is Wrong

Human rights movements, says Samuel Moyn, have done a poor job protecting and fighting for social and economic rights.

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The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC: Back in Black

It's one of the biggest selling albums of all time and, according to former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, "the greatest resurrection of a band in history". But how much of Back in Black was the work of the late Bon Scott?

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The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC: Riff Raff

Powerage is regarded by aficionados, including Keith Richards and Gene Simmons, as the band's finest album. But its commercial failure had major repercussions behind the scenes.

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Philadelphia Cartoonist Box Brown Explores the Man Who Lived the Myth of Andre the Giant

In telling his story in such an accessible and sympathetic way, Box Brown helps even non-wrestling fans understand what made Andre "the Giant" Roussimoff so unforgettable.

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On Those Who Must Work as Whores, and Those Who Can Afford to Just Play at It

The debate about sex work is usually about the spectacle that accompanies “sex”, rather than about the sex workers and the work of sex. That needs to change.

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The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style

Soul Train boldly went where no show had gone before, showcasing young African Americans and the fashions and music that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel.

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Magnus Hirschfeld and the Struggle for Transformation, Not Tolerance

Sexual rights in America remain both provisional and cynical; we know everyone should have them, but we are beholden to cowardly, outmoded, theocratic institutions that are fearful of egalitarianism.

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Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film

Artisanal chocolate. Mustaches. Locally sourced vegetables. Etsy. Birds. Flea markets. Cult films. Horn-rimmed glasses. Twee.

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Nobody Should Feel Embarrassed to Read YA Fiction

Young Adult literature is not just for kids, and it fills an important niche left vacant by much of contemporary "adult" fiction.

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11 Jun 2014 // 1:30 AM

Eve Babitz, with Los Angeles at Her Feet

As the cynosure of the counterculture, Eve Babitz knew everybody worth knowing; slept with everybody worth sleeping with and better still, made herself felt in every encounter.

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Pronounced Dead: The Art of Cultural Assassination

Two critical catfights are claiming to have buried art-forms which have shaped our civilisation for decades and centuries apiece. Are they entitled to do that?

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Invisible Factory Billionaire: The Minting of a New Post-Colonial Literary Darling Tash Aw

With the publication of his third novel, Tash Aw's celebrity status is now assured. But do the books equal the hype?

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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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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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