Reviews > Books
‘Real Love No Drama’ Is Longer on Praise for Mary J. Blige Than Context

One hopes Real Love No Drama will not be the last word on one of the most culturally significant black stars to emerge since hip-hop went pop in the late ‘80s.

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‘Small Town Talk’ Both Celebrates and Interrogates Woodstock’s Past

If you're looking for a true-to-life portrait of the way cultural memory evolves and is shaped within the context of a small town, this is a profound case study.

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Anti-Education: Nietzsche on Our Learning Institutions

In these lectures Nietzsche is not yet philosophizing with a hammer, but the hammer is certainly within arm's reach.

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‘City of Thorns’ Is a Clear, Painful Look Inside the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

City of Thorns is a stunning and welcome antidote to simplistic treatments of refugee crises and the equally simplistic solutions sometimes offered for them.

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Madonna Isn’t That Interesting, But Alina Simone Is

Madonnaland is not the end-cap of Simone's existential musings; it's an intense jewel in the already sparkly crown of a consistently perceptive critic.

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A Famous Beauty Is Uncovered in ‘The Real Traviata’

Opera aficcionado Rene Weis pulls back the curtain on one of the stage's most enduring characters, Marie Duplessis.

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‘Small Town Talk’ and the Rise and Fall of Woodstock

Small Town Talk offers an in-depth look at the rise and fall of not only the town of Woodstock, but also those who made an icon of '60s idealism.

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‘We Have the Technology’ Bumps Up Against the Present Limits of the Human Brain

Have you ever wondered what the little voice inside your head would sound like if you could actually hear it out loud?

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The Empty Apocalypse of Style

Muslim's short story collection, Age of Blight, is conceptually interesting but stylistically and thematically shallow.

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‘The Smith Tapes 1969-1972’ Offers an Insider Report and Perspective on Numerous Cultural Events

The Smith Tapes 1969-1972 offers a fascinating glimpse, through first-hand accounts, of an era often overly romanticized by hindsight and a rose-colored view of the Age of Aquarius.

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‘Guapa’: Lost Within Pockets of Hope

Saleem Haddad’s unwavering dedication to detail, narrative arc, and consequence make Guapa necessarily poignant, uncomfortable, and meaningful.

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‘Incarceration Nations’ Suggests Americans Reconsider Their Prisons

What good does a conviction do the victim if the perpetrator feels no remorse?

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‘The Other Woman’ Tells of Class, Status, and Ambition in Gender Relations

This is a small gem of a novel, translated from Swedish, that looks at class and heterosexual desire, as well as female friendship, from the perspective of a dissatisfied and lonely young woman.

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‘Of Beards and Men’ Is a Fascinating Through-line of Social and Cultural History

Senior lecturer in history at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio Christopher Oldstone-Moore leads the reader through a sober but thought-provoking history of facial hair -- and not just men's.

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‘Keith Richards: A Life in Pictures’ Makes Addictive Eye Contact With the Living Legend

A lot of rock stars are hard to look at, either because when one gets up close you can see they've got simply too much crazy-eye, or dead-eye, or entitled-eye.

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‘Heads’ Traverses the Intracranial Landscape of Minds Set Loose By Myriad Chemical Compounds

In his sprawling exploration of psychedelic America, Jarnow finds himself ensconced within the Deadhead camp, often to the disservice of other acid-forged scenes.

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‘Hurt People’, Fractured Book

There are sinister elements at work in Cote Smith's debut novel that mark it as an honest horror story of the best kind. If only they didn't also compromise it so fundamentally.

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An Epoch of Annihilation Whose Consequences Still Reverberate

In Fire and Blood, Historian Enzo Traverso sets his sights on two concepts: the facile equation of totalitarianisms, and the equally facile belief in the inevitability of historical progress.

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Dave Stewart’s Charmed Life, Page by Page

The Eurythmics co-founder gives an in-depth account of how he went from being a football-loving kid to one of our greatest writers and producers. And man, has he got a lot of friends.

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Is the Search for Bigfoot Just Another Act of Faith?

Those who spend their days scouring the woods for Bigfoot are no different from those who put their full trust and belief in an all-seeing, all-knowing deity in the sky.

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Measuring Success: The Unsatisfying Notion of "Good Endings" and "Bad Endings"

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"Sometimes stories need to end badly in order to be really good.

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