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When Chicago Became a Shoppers' Paradise for Women, Men Had to Step Aside

Creating a culture of consumption in 20th century Chicago meant making space for shoppers, which meant integrating women into public life, in a downtown dominated by men. Historian Emily Remus revels in the ramifications of that cultural shift in A Shoppers' Paradise.

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The 2011 Looking Glass Awards: Anger Is an Energy

Welcome to the 2011 Through the Looking Glass awards, the Anger Is An Energy edition. This was the year the whole earth shook, sending shock waves in all directions. We don't mean to imply that the seismic shifts were of equal magnitude: not every violent disturbance registered the same on our Richter scale.

Books

To Serve God and Wal-Mart by Bethany Moreton

As conservative Christianity focused more intently on reaffirming that a woman's real work was domestic and reproductive, Wal-Mart became an ideological ally.

Music

Activity Placement: Why Kanye Needs Us and We Need Him

Kanye West is a bona fide hit-maker. But his real genius lies in his ability to match songs to consumer behavior, marketing his music less as a product and more as the perfect accompaniment to the activities of daily life.

Books

Brand New China by Jing Wang

Written like a college textbook and packaged like a novel, this book blurs the line between storytelling and statistical analysis, making for an interesting, complex read.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Tourists of History by Marita Sturken

The idea of education as liberation is a poor one; education might allow a critical perspective on cultural practices, but asserting that ironic frame helps an individual grieve, or mourn, or live a richer and fuller life, is a mistake.

Books

Dont Panic by Cassandra Wilkinson

Wilkinson gives an interesting and challenging look at what's good about capitalism.

David Pullar
Books

The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille

The Culture Code is American to its core.

Graziella Jackson
Reviews

Getting Loose by Sam Binkley

Binkley does more than simply mark the transition from Yippy to yuppie.

Vince Carducci
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The Power of Negative Thinking

Some semi-idealistic, optimistic ways to be negative.

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