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Thursday, January 2 2014

What Happened When the War on Drugs Replaced the Great Society’s War on Poverty?

The Punishment Imperative doesn't obscure the authors' sympathy for those who have suffered during America's war on crime and drugs.


Tuesday, December 31 2013

Rob Delaney’s Zany, Surrealist, and Frequently Ribald Humor

Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. is the laugh riot one would hope for, coming from Twitter comedian extraordinaire, Rob Delaney.


Monday, December 30 2013

At First ‘Raw: A Love Story’ Doesn’t Seem to Be Aiming for the Intellect

Raw digs into a world of fake tans, fake breasts and faker personalities 'til you finally realize that this is in fact satire of the highest order.


Friday, December 27 2013

Eat, Pray, Become a Scientist

Those willing to give themselves to The Signature of All Things without preconceptions will leave it feeling as if they, too, have discovered one of life’s biggest treasures.


Thursday, December 26 2013

‘White Girls’ Is a Critical Analysis of How Black Men and Women Have Confronted White Privilege

Hilton Als’ gift is his reinvention of famous figures, but from the angle of how well they succeeded or failed to confront white supremacy and privilege, or in their (in)abilities to give blacks a voice.


Tuesday, December 24 2013

‘Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore’ Is One of Those Books You Don’t Want to See End

Can a bunch of Googlers solve a mystery that book lovers have been trying to solve for over 500 years?


Monday, December 23 2013

How Did Prohibition Save Pretzels?

From the peanut butter and tomato sandwich to the reinvention of breakfast, Abigail Carroll explains the "state of the American meal" in Three Squares.


Friday, December 20 2013

Hate for Orson Welles, Italian Style

Orson Welles In Italy is a key corrective resource for an under-examined portion of Welles' career. If America was resentful of his talent, Italy was downright mean.


Thursday, December 19 2013

Want a Copy of the Wicked Witch of the East’s Death Certificate for Christmas?

The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion covers every possible aspect that might enrich Oz lore.


Wednesday, December 18 2013

Although Contemptuous of Theory, Hitler Fancied Himself a Philosopher

That such bullshit could ever be taken seriously by large numbers of German intellectuals shows that, even in highly educated circles, social and political forces easily trump reason.


Tuesday, December 17 2013

This Memoir by Steely Dan’s Keyboardist Is a Tell-Some, Not a Tell-All

The facts at least those they’ve chosen to reveal in Eminent Hipsters, are often wrapped in sarcasm, smartass-ery, and good ol’ fashioned throwing the dogs off the scent.


Monday, December 16 2013

The Ever-Lasting Ellington Effect

Teachout explains Duke Ellington's self-taught method of composing; as much a study in human temperament as it was a discerning assembly of instrumentation.


Thursday, December 12 2013

Why Are So Many Still Fascinated with ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’?

Cover to cover, Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a solid collection, well rounded, well researched, and written in an accessible tone.


Wednesday, December 11 2013

Waters and Pink Floyd, Brick by Brick by Tantalizing Brick

It takes a complex writer to capture the complexity of Roger Waters, and to shine light on what we admire and dislike about this musical genius.


Albert Camus: A Good Man in Dark Times

In the contest of character, Camus bests Sartre time and time again.


Tuesday, December 10 2013

Are You Gonna Eat That?

Anything That Moves pushes past Bourdanian blood and guts to challenge commonly held ideas of edibility: bugs, ant larvae, “hornless goat” (dog), and tailless whip scorpion.


What Do Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Kermit the Frog’s Bike and McFly’s Hoverboard Have in Common?

More than a canonical list, Rosebud Sleds and Horses' Heads is the author's trip with the movie objects that shaped him.


Monday, December 9 2013

When It Comes to Sex We’re No Longer Sinful, but Are We Irrational?

Near the conclusion of The Pleasure's All Mine: A History of Perverse Sex, this cultural historian of sexuality wonders if any taboos are left.


‘The Girl Factory’ Stays Focused on the Personal at the Expense of the Bigger Picture

It’s always tough to criticize a memoir – this is someone’s life after all, so show a little respect – but it’s also necessary.


Friday, December 6 2013

Whovian Heaven

Doctor Who: The Vault: Treasures from the First 50 Years offers a visual treasure trove and plenty of history for even the most devout Whovian.


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