Recent Features
I Know Where I’m Going: Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography

Katherine Hepburn’s mother was a suffragette, her father, a prominent doctor. At 13, she discovered the body of her adored older brother Tom, an apparent suicide. From then on, Kate assumed her brother’s birthday as her own and always considered Tom “the most important man in my life.”

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Socially Valuable Knowledge: An Interview with Louis Menand

Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard Professor Louis Menand diagnoses some of the problems in the American university system and makes some proposals for what can be done, all without the alarmism of many of his colleagues.

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30 May 2011 // 10:00 PM

Defending the Imperialist

Ours (Canadians) is not an in-your-face passion-filled ‘clutch your breast in pride’ existence. We are but a country of high hopes and slow lopes, of lofty dreams and starry visions, of mighty pragmatism and irreproachable logic.

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27 May 2011 // 3:40 AM

Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution

Prince imbued his art with his idiosyncratic view of life, turning out music from the mind of a sex-obsessed deviant, a bomb-fearing party-animal, and a God-fearing man searching for a ways to reconcile the spiritual with the sexual… and so much more.

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19 May 2011 // 10:00 PM

The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait

Bob Dylan lurched toward his place onstage wearing a steel harmonica holder around his neck that made him look like a wild creature in harness, blinking at the floodlights, hunching his shoulders to adjust the guitar strap that held the Gibson Special acoustic high on his slender body.

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The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

There is a deep current of cynicism that runs through much of American journalism… It is safe and painless to produce "balanced" news. It is very unsafe… to produce truth.

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How Sherlock Holmes and Isaac Asimov Can Help Purge Your Social Media Addiction

Old books and even older movies can fend off the creeping anxiety of information overload.

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Christopher Newfield’s ‘Unmaking the Public University’

What happens to America's higher education system when humanists meet industrial (and now post-industrial) knowledge managers and technocrats?

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The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes

Despite or even because of its jumble of missing pieces, half-finished recordings, garbled chronologies of composition or performance -- the basement tapes can begin to sound like a map; but if they are a map, what country, what lost mine, is it that they center and fix?

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20 Questions: David Thorne

Humorist and Satirist David Thorne’s book, The Internet is a Playground, published in April. Finally, he gets his biggest break, his surefire launch to celebritydom, here on PopMatters 20 Questions. (The royalty check is in the mail, David.)

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88 Highly Debatable Statements About ‘Reality’ in ‘Reality Hunger’

When I review a book, I like to dog-ear pages that contain interesting passages or noteworthy statements. By the time I was done with Reality Hunger, my paperback was so puffed up by pages that were doubled in width from dog-earing that it looked like I'd dropped it into a hot bath filled with Calgon and then left it to dry on a radiator.

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‘Atheist Manifesto’ Combines Density with Levity

This brisk study encompasses vast learning, marshaled with much wit, considerable venom and steady argument, all doled out in differing amounts.

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20 Questions: Meg Wolitzer

Bestselling author Meg Woliter's The Uncoupling, a humorous novel about female desire, publishes this month. Wolitzer talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about, among other things, the simple pleasures of having one's own man shirt.

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Excerpt from ‘A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS’

Julia and Paul Child were on the front lines of the Cold War in Europe, though Julia could not help feeling that the chill in the air had its origin in the “rampant right wingery” that had seized their own country… Washington was awash in paranoia and suspicion.

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‘Electric Eden’: A Musical Retelling of the Elusive Past

Rob Young, editor at The Wire music magazine, conjures up the contradictions of sound technology harnessed to rural moods, and an urban audience longing for antiquarian lore.

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The Ferocious Morality of David Foster Wallace

Any relationship with Wallace is destined for generosity, spirituality, and given the honesty and vulnerability of the writer, intimacy. It’s also going to be a serious challenge. It will challenge the reader’s intellect, ideology, and most of all, conception of morality.

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How TV Ruined Charlie Brooker

Everything the media told us we now had to question, because Charlie Brooker showed us the truth. But hearts were broken when television's biggest critic was seduced by the boob tube's charm.

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19 Apr 2011 // 8:01 AM

‘Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling’

“We thought sampling was just a way of arranging sounds,” says Chuck D… Public Enemy wanted “to blend sound. Just as visual artists take yellow and blue and come up with green, we wanted to be able to do that with sound.”

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From the Fringe of Islam: An Interview with Michael Muhammad Knight

Famous amongst orphaned Muslims -- teens and adults trying to find a place in a religion known for stringency -- Knight’s first book, The Taqwacores straddles the line between manifesto and coming of age novel.

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‘The Brothers’ Lot’ Reaches Monty Python’s Heights of Nomenclature

Upon this ethical foundation for an entertaining tale, Kevin Holohan follows a satirical tradition which questions authority, undermines cliché, and upends the social order.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Call for Papers: Do You Believe in Life After Auto-Tune?

// Announcements

"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?

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