Recent Features
Post-Black, Post-Racial… Post-Trayvon

The sense that a cohesion of group identity was no longer a defining factor of black life had taken a firm hold in America. Then Trayvon Martin was killed.

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Who Authenticates the Blogged Word? The Publishers or the Readers?

Is the publishing industry steering the reading masses towards blogs? Or is the groundswell in the blogger’s popularity amongst readers forcing publishers to take note?

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The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of 18th-Century Scientific Adventure

Herein are the tales of three dangerous Venus Transit voyages that risked every mortal peril—a quest that raced to an unforgettable climax, when the universe suddenly became much larger than anyone had dared to imagine.

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Sherlock Holmes, Dirk Gently and the Case of the Eccentric Detective

With two TV shows returning Arthur Conan Doyle's creation to our screens, Sherlock Holmes has never seemed more influential. But for the good of detective fiction, it might be time to look elsewhere for our unorthodox investigators...

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Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup

In 1953, the American and British intelligence agencies launched a coup in Iran against a bedridden 72-year-old man. Muhammad Mossadegh's crimes had been to flirt with communism and to nationalize his country's oil industry, which for 40 years had been in British hands. Mossadegh must go.

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21 May 2012 // 11:00 PM

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.

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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?"

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Sergio Leone: Something to Do with Death

Britain’s pop culture knight, Christopher Frayling, offers the definitive biography and interpretation of the Spaghetti Western maestro, Sergio Leone.

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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.

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Systemic and Subjective: The Violence of ‘The International’ and the Global Financial Order

The weapons deals in The International and the back-door negotiations between corporate lobbies and Congress are two sides of the same coin; both use overwhelming systemic violence to further their ends.

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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.

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International Beats: The Desire for the Foreign in Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’

With the film adaptation of On the Road just a month away, it's important to once again define what characterized the Beat movement: an infatuation with the foreign.

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2 May 2012 // 11:00 PM

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.

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The Bloody Ballad of Charlie and Ira Louvin

The Louvin Brothers made heavenly sounds, but the road they took to get there was Hell on Earth.

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Enjoy Orientalism-Lite with ‘Stranger Magic’

Stranger Magic is an exhaustive compendium of the various tales in the Arabian Nights collection, as well as a robust and energetic investigation into how these stories of “Oriental” myth and folklore have seeped into the European imagination from the 18th century onward.

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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.

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‘Lord of the Flies’ Still Reigns

Fear and brutality inherent in the human condition and the drive to survive are themes that have never gone out of fashion. The stakes get even higher when those involved are children, and that's obviously a big seller.

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Where Angels Fear to Tread: Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’

Is it worst to be killed by a crazed mob wielding machetes or to die via conveyor belt and filing system? The Better Angels of Our Nature keeps falling victim to the halo effect, creating an aura around reason itself.

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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.

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That Thing That Makes Funk Funky: ‘The One: The Life and Music of James Brown’

James Brown – an untrained musician, mind you, operating on not much more than feel, instinct and desire – revolutionized black pop music, setting off depth charges that would still be exploding a decade hence.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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