With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.
There's a lot of anger in the ugly, infuriatingly stupid, and implacable discourses of our political culture, to say nothing of the distorting, amplifying, and accelerating effects new media has for our anger. Perhaps it's time to revisit Martha Nussbaum's Anger and Forgiveness.
Matthew Bowman provides a dutiful if rather too clinical examination of how Americans have clashed or convened as to what Christianity encompasses and how this concept alters as the nation debates itself.
As a history of ideas, this work is especially good at mapping the Vienna Circle's fascinating afterlife in the English-speaking countries where many prominent thinkers landed and flourished in the 20th century.