Recent Features
The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power

Kaiser Wilhelm II's oriental fixation had... the feeling of a love affair, as he courted the affections of the various peoples of the Ottoman Empire... Wilhelm wanted Germans to lead the way in 'civilizing' the Middle East, reinvigorating its moribund economy and integrating it with Europe’s.

READ more
20 Questions: Steven Johnson

Pop thought guru Steven Johnson taps into neurobiology and pop culture -- with a few stops in-between -- to explore what fuels those "Eureka!" moments in his new book, Where Good Ideas Come From.

READ more
The 24-hour News Cycle Rhetoric Yields to Something Far More Human in ‘The Promise: President Obama’

This book works because it doesn't skimp on details: the reason behind every major Obama Year One decision is explained, and the result is fascinating. If only Alter toned down the declarative statements...

READ more

17 Oct 2010 // 9:00 PM

Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London

Private Billy Cox stood near an open window of Service Club 1, where he heard a solo guitar playing in a wildly unique manner, as if Beethoven and John Lee Hooker had merged. The guitarist: Private Jimi Hendrix.

READ more
20 Questions: Mark Mustian

The Gendarme author, attorney and city commissioner Mark Mustian reveals to PopMatters 20 Questions a deep sensitivity to life for the average person; from the struggles of his Depression-era father to the modern working man, just trying to pay his utility bills.

READ more
They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in Nazi Germany

He was deep behind the lines, and, remarkably, the enemy headquarters he spied was not that well guarded. On his belly, .45 in hand, he slithered forward.

READ more
Philip Roth’s ‘Nemesis’: The Case Against God and Man

Here is Philip Roth in his familiar, brutal finery, his most biting and honest eloquence: the great existential wondering which has tormented so many of his characters.

READ more

11 Oct 2010 // 9:00 PM

In Praise of Copying

Vuitton is a mass-producer of luxury, artisanal, unique individual bags, faking the faking of its own products at an art exhibition, while zealously pursuing the prosecution of the actual fakers through police action and courts of law around the world.

READ more
‘A Cambodian Odyssey’: Haing Ngor Was Among the Most Consequential Actors of His Time

It isn't often that a brutal personal account of mass murder, slavery, torture and the obliteration of a sovereign nation causes a reader to meditate on the art of acting, but then, Haing Ngor's was no ordinary life.

READ more

7 Oct 2010 // 9:00 PM

Bob Dylan in America

Over Coppertone-slicked bodies on Santa Monica Beach and out of secluded make-out spots and shopping-center parking lots and everywhere else American teenagers gathered that summer, it seemed that the ba-de-de-bum-de-bum announcing Dylan’s hit about getting stoned was blaring from car radios and transistor radios.

READ more
What’s The Upside, Doc?: Interview with Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely

In The Upside of Irrationality, author, and self-described “social hacker", Dan Ariely calls attention to what he terms “the basic dilemma we have in life – there’s lots of stuff that’s really unpleasant for us in the short term, but really good for us in the long term.” And perhaps more importantly, he suggests what we can do to change that.

READ more
‘The Grapes of Wrath’: The Specter of Tom Joad Emerges From America’s Dark Past, Once Again

With the current economic climate -- increasing rates of foreclosure, evictions, unemployment, poverty and misery -- this classic story dangerously impinges upon the present to reveal the specter of Tom Joad emerging from the darkness, once again.

READ more
Chasing the Ghost of Graham Greene in Contemporary Vietnam

My suite had a balcony overlooking the square and the Municipal Theatre. The hotel has a central open courtyard for breakfast dining. Wrought iron chairs. Glass-topped tables with bamboo place mats. A small fountain. Lacy white spheres hanging from spindly branches. It was easy to imagine Greene at work here, too, under the trees.

READ more

4 Oct 2010 // 9:00 PM

Apathy for the Devil: A Seventies Memoir

Music remains the only key that can unlock the past for me in a way that I can inherently trust.

READ more
Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life

Where there’s equality, there’s so much more in an affluent country to see, to taste, to touch… There’s more order. But it’s the order of not having the disorder of mass poverty. [In Europe], in the really social democratic parts, I can inhale whole cities like banks of violets.

READ more
Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World

A journalist enters the dystopian world of Franz Kafka in an attempt to journey to Gaza to study the local surf scene.

READ more
20 Questions: Sam Hoffman

Sam Hoffman is the author of Old Jews Telling Jokes, based on the enormously popular website of the same name. He has worked with such legends as Woody Allen and has produced, directed, and assistant-directed movies such as The Royal Tenenbaums, School of Rock, Dead Man Walking, Groundhog Day, and Curse of the Jade Scorpion.

READ more
Bring on the Books for Everyone: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture

Apparently, the love of literature can now be fully experienced only outside the academy and the New York literary scene, out there somewhere in the wilds of popular culture.

READ more
20 Questions: Tao Lin

American poet, novelist, short story writer, and artist Tao Lin’s new book, Richard Yates releases this week. Lin tells PopMatters 20 Questions that he’s never hired a hit man, or been on a spa vacation, or used Prozac. Honestly.

READ more
For Tomorrow: William Gibson, ‘Zero History’ and The Present… The Interview

William Gibson's recent Zero History, rounds out a trilogy of novels that began in the wake of the 911 terror attacks, and spanned the decade. In a meditative encounter with PopMatters, Gibson shares his thoughts on Zero History, the Bigend Trilogy, and the enduring present.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Eat to Live: The 35th Anniversary of 'Pac-Man'

// Moving Pixels

"The story of Pac-Man is the story of America.

READ the article