"Have You Seen...?": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films


David Thomson - 2008
    Not content to choose his own top films (though they are here), Thomson has created a list that will surprise and delight you—and send you to your best movie rental service.But he also probes the question: after one hundred years of film, which ones are the best, and why?“Have You Seen . . . ?†suggests a true canon of cinema and one that’s almost completely accessible now, thanks to DVDs. This book is a must for anyone who loves the silver screen: the perfect confection to dip into at any point for a taste of controversy, little-known facts, and ideas about what to see. This is a volume you’ll want to return to again and again, like a dear but argumentative friend in the dark at the movies.

Super Soldiers: A Salute to the Comic Book Heroes and Villains Who Fought for Their Country


Jason Inman - 2019
    They frequently recreate the actions of presidents, military leaders, and soldiers. From Captain America punching Hitler in the jaw on his very first cover, to The Punisher surviving the battle of Firebase Valley Forge, there are countless instances when the military has crossed over to the pages of comic books.Soldiers and superheroes: A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Jason Inman re-discovered his childhood love of comic books during long days at the Tallil Air Base in southern Iraq. He couldn’t help but ask why so many comic books are filled with service members. Maybe it’s their loyalty to everyday citizens and the never-ending quest for justice. The men and women who lace up their books and sacrifice their lives know that battle can change a person. What kinds of soldiers were these fictional characters, and how were they changed by war?Discover the super soldiers in Marvel comics, DC comics and beyond: Super Soldiers: A Salute to the Comic Book Heroes and Villains Who Fought for Their Country looks at the intersection between war and pop culture to understand these questions and more. Each chapter revisits military comic book characters and compares them to personal stories from Inman’s military career. Describing superhero soldiers from DC comics and Marvel comics, including lesser-known characters lost to time.

The Classic Ten: The True Story of the Little Black Dress and Nine Other Fashion Favorites


Nancy MacDonell Smith - 2003
    Incorporating sources from history, literature, magazines, and cinema, as well as her own witty anecdotes, Smith has created an engaging, informative guide to modern style.

The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism


Fredy Perlman - 1984
    This is an essential essay for a critical understanding of nationalism.The idea that an understanding of the genocide, that a memory of the holocausts, can only lead people to want to dismantle the system, is erroneous. The continuing appeal of nationalism suggests that the opposite is true-er, namely that an understanding of genocide has led people to mobilize genocidal armies, that the memory of holocausts has led people to perpetrate holocausts. --from the pamphlet

Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell WWI Nurse


Terri Arthur - 2011
    At the request of a brilliant but hot-headed surgeon, Edith went from London to Brussels to create Belgium's first school of nursing. At the height of her success, the German army marched into neutral Belgium and took over her hospital and school. Swept up in the struggle to survive under the repressive and brutal control of the German occupiers, Edith was forced to make a decision when two wounded British soldiers came to her seeking asylum. If she took them in, she would put herself in danger. If she didn't, they would most likely die of infection or by the hands of the Germans. Her decision plunged her into the dangerous and clandestine world of the Belgian underground, where she became an important link in the rescue of Allied soldiers. For nine months, this quiet, religious nurse, went about saving over a thousand soldiers under the very noses of the German command. What happened next is both shocking and suspenseful. It caused a worldwide outrage, shaped American public attitudes of the war, and rocked the German government. Edith Cavell's story is about the profession of nursing, the brutality of war, and the risks of commitment. It is a testament to one woman's courage, resilience, intelligence, and determination to make some sense out of the violence of war. "Patriotism is not enough," said Edith.

Grant Morrison: The Early Years


Timothy Callahan - 2007
    Along the way, he also addressed Batman with his multi-layered ARKHAM ASYLUM and his literary "Gothic" storyline. Callahan examines all five works in detail, drawing out their evolving themes and exploring Morrison's sometimes difficult texts in plain language. Rounding out the volume: an exclusive interview with Morrison, a foreword by popular comics writer Jason Aaron, and an appendix addressing Morrison's even earlier, shorter work. From Sequart Research & Literacy Organization. More info at http: //Sequart.org

Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland


Jeremy B. Jones - 2014
    He takes a job alongside his former teachers in the local elementary school and sets out on a search to understand how this ancient land has shaped its people—how it shaped him. His search sends him burrowing in the past—hunting buried treasure and POW camps, unearthing Civil War graves and family feuds, exploring gated communities and tourist traps, encountering changed accents and immigrant populations, tracing Wal-Mart's sidewalks and carved-out mountains—and pondering the future. He meshes narrative and myth, geology and genealogy, fiddle tunes and local color about the briskly changing and oft-stigmatized world of his native southern Appalachians.Somehow, these journeys continually lead him back to the mystical Bearwallow Mountain, a peak suddenly in flux.

Herman Melville


Elizabeth Hardwick - 2000
    Melville's Moby Dick continues to be the quintessential American masterpiece. Despite the modern-day acclaim Melville has received, much of his work was misunderstood and badly received at the time of its publication. Hardwick explores the tumultuous career of Melville, from his dangerous days as a whaler off the coast of the South Sea Islands, to his employment as a customs inspector in New York City, his failure to achieve literary success, his ill health, debts, and ultimately, his steadfast refusal to stop writing. Though his masterfully-wrought work was rediscovered in the 1920's, Melville was not to see the fruits of his labor in his lifetime. He died in poverty and obscurity.

In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town


Richard Adams Carey - 2015
    Lawyer Vickie Bunnell had been shot and killed by a local carpenter wielding an assault rifle. By then, three more people were already dead or dying. More mayhem was to ensue in an afternoon of plot twists too improbable for a novel. The roots of the incident stretch back twenty-five years, with tendrils deep in the history of New England’s North Country. These bloody events shocked America and made headlines across the world. Hundreds of local citizens became unwilling players in the drama—friends and colleagues of the dead, men and women who were themselves real or potential targets, along with their neighbors in law enforcement—but the town and its inhabitants were never passive victims. From the first shot fired that day, they remained courageously determined to survive. This is the story of that town, those people, and that day. In the Evil Day is a moving portrait of small-town life and familiar characters forever changed by sudden violence.

The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music


Rob Young - 2009
    Now some of that knowledge has been distilled into The Wire Primers: a comprehensive guide to the core recordings of some of the most visionary and inspiring, subversive and radical musicians on the planet, past and present. Each chapter surveys the musical universe of a particular artist, group or genre by way of a contextualizing introduction and a thumbnail guide to the most essential recordings. A massive and eclectic range of music is celebrated and demystified, from rock mavericks such as Captain Beefheart and The Fall; the funk of James Brown and Fela Kuti; the future jazz of Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman; and the experimental compositions of John Cage and Morton Feldman. Genres surveyed and explained include P-funk, musique concrète, turntablism, Brazilian Tropicália, avant metal and dubstep. The Wire Primers is a vital guide to contemporary sounds, providing an accessible entry point for any reader wanting to dig below the surface of mainstream music.

Tiepolo Pink


Roberto Calasso - 2006
    The life of an epoch swirled around him - but though his contemporaries appreciated and admired him, they failed to understand him.Few have even attempted to tackle Tiepolo's series of thirty-three bizarre and haunting etchings, the Capricci and the Scherzi, but Roberto Calasso rises to the challenge, interpreting these etchings as chapters in a dark narrative that contains the secret of Tiepolo's art. Blooming ephebes, female satyrs, Oriental sages, owls, snakes: we will find them all, including Punchinello and Death, within the pages of this book, along with Venus, Time, Moses, numerous angels, Cleopatra and Beatrice of Burgundy - a motley, gypsyish company always on the go.Calasso makes clear that Tiepolo was more than a dazzling intermezzo in the history of painting. Rather, he represented a particular way of meeting the challenge of form: endowed with a fluid, seemingly effortless style, Tiepolo was the last incarnation of that peculiar Italian virtue sprezzatura, the art of not seeming artful.

Why Baseball Matters


Susan Jacoby - 2018
    Despite remaining popular and profitable into the twenty-first century, the game is losing young fans, among African Americans and women as well as white men. Furthermore, baseball’s greatest charm—a clockless suspension of time—is also its greatest liability in a culture of digital distraction. These paradoxes are explored by the historian and passionate baseball fan Susan Jacoby in a book that is both a love letter to the game and a tough-minded analysis of the current challenges to its special position—in reality and myth—in American culture. The concise but wide-ranging analysis moves from the Civil War—when many soldiers played ball in northern and southern prisoner-of-war camps—to interviews with top baseball officials and young men who prefer playing online “fantasy baseball” to attending real games. Revisiting her youthful days of watching televised baseball in her grandfather’s bar, the author links her love of the game with the informal education she received in everything from baseball’s history of racial segregation to pitch location. Jacoby argues forcefully that the major challenge to baseball today is a shortened attention span at odds with a long game in which great hitters fail two out of three times. Without sanitizing this basic problem, Why Baseball Matters remind us that the game has retained its grip on our hearts precisely because it has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to reinvent itself in times of immense social change.

There and Back Again: JRR Tolkien and the Origins of the Hobbit


Mark Atherton - 2012
    Tolkien’s own fiction. For decades, hobbits and the other fantastical creatures of Middle-earth have captured the imaginations of a fiercely loyal tribe of readers, all enhanced by the immense success of Peter Jackson’s films: first The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and now his newest movie, The Hobbit. But for all Tolkien’s global fame and the familiarity of modern culture with Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam, the sources of the great mythmaker’s own myth-making have been neglected.  Mark Atherton here explores the chief influences on Tolkien’s work: his boyhood in the West Midlands; the landscapes and seascapes which shaped his mythologies; his experiences in World War I; his interest in Scandinavian myth; his friendships, especially with the other Oxford-based Inklings; and the relevance of his themes, especially ecological ones, to the present day.

America


Ralph Steadman - 1974
    Thompson collaborator Ralph Steadman delivers a heaping helping of anti-American vitriol with trademarked bombast, based on his travels throughout the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

Bad Signal, Volume 1


Warren Ellis - 1999
    Warren Ellis' e-mail column "Bad Signal" shows that he is a modern master of the short form essay, as his biting wit makes even the most esoteric of topics into must-read material. By his own admission, BAD SIGNAL is Warren Ellis on the move, emptying his head of thoughts and shoving them into a handheld computer with a wireless modem plugged into it, so that he can instantly bug four thousand people with useless e-mail from public toilets all over the world. This first volume collects his humorous and insightful columns from 2001-2002.