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Monday, July 1 2013

Sounds of War: Music in the United States During World War II

While Dinah Shore, Duke Ellington, and the Andrew Sisters entertained civilians and G.I.s with swing and boogie-woogie, Fauser shows it was classical music that truly distinguished musical life in the wartime United States.


Thursday, June 27 2013

That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick: National Lampoon & the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream

Ellin Stein’s book goes behind the jokes to witness the fights, the parties, the collaborations—and the competition—among this fraternity of the self-consciously disenchanted.


Thursday, June 20 2013

Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music

Revealing how music mediates both the ideology and the lived experience of race, Hidden in the Mix challenges the status of country music as "the white man’s blues."


Thursday, June 13 2013

Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman.


Monday, June 10 2013

Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Matters

George R.R. Martin's series looks and feels like a historical drama, except the audience doesn't know how the story will turn out. Martin's 'fantasy' is preoccupied with power -- its relations, differentials and dynamics -- because he's interested in the way 'history' is really made.


Thursday, June 6 2013

Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation

Is Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, Japanoise? Is it even music at all?


Sunday, June 2 2013

A Ton of Feathers: Behind Enemy Lines with the Sonnet

Without doubt, the sonnet offers rich terrain for rhetorical hijinks and abbreviated exposition. You might rightly ask then, why entrust such a tightly-wound machine to muddle-headed poets?


Thursday, May 30 2013

A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley

The supreme irony of Robert L. Ripley’s life, which was dedicated to exalting the strange and unusual, is that he may have been the most amazing oddity of all.


Tuesday, May 28 2013

Meeting the Novelist: An Interview with “Flat Water Tuesday’s” Ron Irwin

"Ron Irwin's protagonist is not only a prodigious oarsman, but a lover of two memorably realized women," Nobel Laureate for Literature J.M. Coetzee writes. But the real story goes much, much deeper.


Thursday, May 23 2013

The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon

As the apotheosis of feminine charm and American careerism, the stewardess subtly bucked traditional gender roles and paved the way for the women's movement.


Thursday, May 16 2013

Mojo Hand: The Life and Music of Lightnin’ Hopkins

In a career that took him from the cotton fields of East Texas to the concert stage at Carnegie Hall and beyond, Lightnin’ Hopkins became one of America’s greatest bluesmen.


Tuesday, May 14 2013

In Defense Of… The Greatness of the Gatsby

Kathryn Schulz’s failure to appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork, as professed on Vulture.com, is a contemporary case study for how not to assess literature.


Thursday, May 9 2013

Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century

This insightful and entertaining look at the history of music piracy offers invaluable background to the hot-button issue of creativity and the law.


Thursday, May 2 2013

Should Hollywood Lie Low or Sound the Alarm? ‘Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939’

Between 1933 and 1939, representations of the Nazis and the full meaning of Nazism came slowly to Hollywood, growing more distinct and ominous only as the decade wore on.


Thursday, April 25 2013

Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific

Hello Kitty is one aspect of "pink globalization"—the spread of goods and images labeled cute (kawaii) from Japan to other parts of the industrial world.


Tuesday, April 23 2013

An Awesome Guy!: An Interview with Dallas Clayton

Dallas Clayton once made a small little homemade book for his son. Then he put it online. Then, it became a worldwide smash. Heralded by celebrities, subject of a Google ad, and inspried by his son, PopMatters speaks to author Robert Alford about modern-day publishing, maintaining your center, and the importance of keeping your family close at all times.


20 Questions: Ben Greenman

Have you ever seen a juggler on a moving sidewalk? Ben Greenman, whose latest, The Slippage (released today), ponders this and other wonders of life in his response to PopMatters 20 Questions.


Thursday, April 18 2013

The People’s Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle

Bernhard Rieger examines culture and technology, politics and economics, and industrial design and advertising genius to reveal how a car commissioned by Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche became an exceptional global commodity on a par with Coca-Cola.


Thursday, April 11 2013

eGods: Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming

"If humans are by nature lovers of fantasy, then little may be lost if they consider all their gods to be fantasies."


Thursday, April 4 2013

Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South

Gavin Wright's work makes clear that the material benefits of the civil rights acts of the '60s are as significant as the moral ones—an especially timely achievement as these monumental pieces of legislation, and the efficacy of governmental intervention more broadly, face new challenges.


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