Ronald Brownstein’s ode to ’70s Los Angeles is, like so many California stories, less about a sustained moment than a bright and briefly thrilling mirage.
When coupled with punk in the late 1970s to create folk punk, folk music’s most enduring and endearing traits—DIY, inclusivity, and proud amateurism—shined bright.
Writing in the Margins: Prize-Winning French Novelist Alice Zeniter on the Legacies of French Colonialism
Alice Zeniter’s excellent novel, The Art of Losing, tells the story of an Algerian Harkis family and the reaching effects of French Colonialism.
Black Against Empire attempts something beyond the scope of power-to-the-people flashbacks of Afros, dashikis, and raised fists: it takes the Black Panther Party seriously as a political entity taking dead aim on American laws and values.
Cowpunk is a reaction against conventional country music, yet embodies some of its distant and deepest traits. Likewise, it's also a reaction against punk, yet manifests as one of its purest expressions.
Reading comedian and classicist Natalie Haynes' book about women in Greek mythology, Pandora's Jar, is like listening to a good storyteller relating the latest gossip to you over drinks at a club, with all the colloquial jokes and asides.
When America developed the hydrogen and atom bombs in WWII, the Atomic Age's eyes opened upon our species. They have yet to blink. Judy Irving's Dark Circle is now available for on-line viewing from First Run Features.
Yang Jisheng's remarkable historical autopsy, The World Turned Upside Down, is scrupulous in detailing the Cultural Revolution's horrors and insanities but too often leaves out the human side of history.
Éric Vuillard's engaging The War of the Poor takes a literary approach that is more art than history, but that is a wonderful way to convey important historical events and their long reach into our troubled times.