AltWeeklies Wire

'That Infernal Little Cuban Republic' Dissects the Shared History of Cuba and Americanew

Lar Schoultz focuses on the Castro years, which he reconstructs in impressive detail, fleshing out such well-known events as the doomed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion with eye-opening depth. Better yet, often-glossed questions are aired with the fullness of Schoultz's four decades of wrestling with the Cuba question. Still, there's something missing.
The Texas Observer  |  Mike Kanin  |  08-12-2009  |  Nonfiction

Ivor Davis Rereleases Definitive Tome on the Manson Family & Remembers the 1969 Murdersnew

Many have credited Davis' 1970 book Five to Die, co-authored with the late Jerry LeBlanc, as the tool that helped Vincent Bugliosi prosecute Manson, long before the legendary attorney produced his own memoirs of the trial.
Ventura County Reporter  |  Paul Sisolak  |  08-10-2009  |  Author Profiles & Interviews

Take a Seat: How the Adirondack Chair Became a Classicnew

What started as a regional, functional craft is now mass-produced in countries thousands of miles from the Adirondacks and bought by people who couldn't locate the majestic park on a map. But this emblem of rural industry still means something to the people whose lifestyles inspired the chair more than 100 years ago.
Seven Days  |  Lauren Ober  |  07-31-2009  |  Recreation

'The East, the West, and Sex': Orientalism Unleashednew

The East, the West, and Sex, which is organized both by time period and by country, examines the idea of masculine Western colonization creating an idealistic portrayal of Asian culture, particularly those aspects dealing with heterosexual eroticism.
Sacramento News & Review  |  Kathleen Jercich  |  07-30-2009  |  Nonfiction

Looking Back on Walter Cronkite, the Last Man to Unite Us as Americansnew

Cronkite was the last newsman to make us feel that we were one country. We saw ourselves as united in a voyage of discovery, having to fend off evil and outside perils, and on a mission to make our lives and the world we lived in better. We were basically a good people who sometimes screwed up, but we were trying to make a living and make sense of this world together.
Metro Times  |  Jack Lessenberry  |  07-28-2009  |  Media

Eduardo Galeano's 'Mirrors' Rewrites Human Historynew

It's hard to think of another living author who would have the nerve to consider writing a book like Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. But for Uruguay's Eduardo Galeano, this collection of vignettes, covering the breadth of human history, was a natural fit.
The Georgia Straight  |  Derrick O'Keefe  |  07-27-2009  |  Nonfiction

Woodstock Co-creator Michael Lang Shares His Memoriesnew

Four decades of nostalgia, hallucinogens, and box sets make us forget that the Woodstock Music & Art Fair didn't descend from a sky of positive vibes and land softly atop a field of dancing hippies. Michael Lang, co-creator of the festival, returns to the scene of the grime in his new book The Road to Woodstock.
Boston Phoenix  |  Rob Turbovsky  |  07-23-2009  |  Author Profiles & Interviews

An Odd Way to Honor Daniel Burnhamnew

The man behind the Plan of Chicago was a doer, a pragmatist, a builder of consensus. The folks behind the architectural component of his centennial tribute must've been thinking of someone else.
Chicago Reader  |  Lynn Becker  |  07-20-2009  |  History

'Public Enemies' Takes Historical Liberties but is Still Captivatingnew

Michael Mann continues to be a master of stylistic crime drama. Public Enemies stands alongside his Heat, Collateral and Manhunter in the genre.
Tucson Weekly  |  Bob Grimm  |  07-08-2009  |  Reviews

Elijah Wald Explains How the Uncool Music of Yesteryear Shapes Today's Tunesnew

No one makes music in a vacuum, completely detached from the pop mainstream and his or her potential audience. Wald argues that nobody should be trying to, since how many people music appeals to in its own time is at least as important as how many rock writers it appeals to in 30 years.
Chicago Reader  |  Miles Raymer  |  06-15-2009  |  Nonfiction

The Strange Saga of Geronimo's Skullnew

Out there somewhere, lost for 146 years, there really is the head of a great Apache leader, taken in the most violent and ignominious means imaginable. With the exception of his family and a few historians, no one knows a thing about him.
Tucson Weekly  |  Leo W. Banks  |  06-11-2009  |  History

The Units Punked the System, Played JC Penneynew

I've been dwelling on San Francisco's punk roots a lot lately after stumbling into an excellent new collection of out-of-print material by San Francisco's original synth punks. The group's music and mantra provide interesting angles from which to view an era of rapid technological and artistic progress -- much like the one we're in now.
SF Weekly  |  Jennifer Maerz  |  06-10-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

Mark Rudd: Political Organizer, Ex-Federal Fugitive, Pseudo-Stepdadnew

Mark Rudd and his sort-of stepson recently chatted over crackers and hummus about Rudd's days in SDS, the Weather Underground -- and about the biggest mistakes he made along the way.
Weekly Alibi  |  Simon McCormack  |  06-01-2009  |  Author Profiles & Interviews

'Harvard Beats Yale 29-29': For a Moment, Football Was the Worldnew

Forty years later, players remember the Harvard-Yale game of 1968 in the context of a nation in turmoil.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  02-23-2009  |  Reviews

Ted Gioia's 'Delta Blues' Catalogs the Bluesnew

Delta Blues rambles from Mississippi to Memphis, from Chicago to New York and across Europe, just like the musicians it documents.
Jackson Free Press  |  Walter Biggins  |  02-19-2009  |  Nonfiction

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