Current Events
Featured Items
Disinformation Book of Lists: Subversive Facts and Hidden Information in Rapid-Fire Format
Disinformation Book of Lists
Subversive Facts and Hidden Information in Rapid-Fire Format
Paperback      ISBN: 0972952942

Can you name five military leaders who were transgendered?
Twelve cases of involuntary human experimentation by the U.S. government?
How about the four porn novels written by famous authors, 11 books left out of the Bible and over 50 side effects of NutraSweet that have been reported to the FDA?

In 1977, David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace published The Book of Lists, causing an immediate sensation. Not only did it lead to three direct sequels (in 1980, 1983 and 1993), it also created a new genre. Soon, shelves were lined with The First Original Unexpurgated Authentic Canadian Book of Lists (1978), The Book of Sports Lists (1979) and Meredith's Book of Bible Lists (1980), among many others. Using this popular, enduring format, Russ Kick's Disinformation Book of Lists delves into the murkier aspects of politics, current events, business, history, science, art and literature, sex, drugs, death and more. Despite such unusual subject matter, this book presents hard, substantiated facts with full references.

Among the lists presented:

  • Innocent People Freed from Prison
  • Members of the Skull & Bones Secret Society at Yale
  • Drugs Pulled Off the
  • Market After They Killed Too Many People
  • Legal Substances that Will Get You High
  • Scenes that Were Cut from Movies
  • Raunchy Songs that Were Never Released
  • Military Officers, Government Officials, Astronauts, and Airline Personnel Who Say UFOs Are Real
  • Words and Phrases No Longer Allowed in Textbooks
Consuming Russia: Popular Culture, Sex, and Society Since Gorbachev
Consuming Russia
Popular Culture, Sex, and Society Since Gorbachev
Paperback      ISBN: 0822323133

With the collapse of the Soviet empire in the late 1980s, the Russian social landscape has undergone its most dramatic changes since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, turning the once bland and monolithic state-run marketplace into a virtual maze of specialty shops-from sushi bars to discotheques and tattoo parlors. In Consuming Russia editor Adele Marie Barker presents the first book-length volume to explore the sweeping cultural transformation taking place in the new Russia.
The contributors examine how the people of Russia reconcile prerevolutionary elite culture-as well as the communist legacy-with the influx of popular influences from the West to build a society that no longer relies on a single dominant discourse and embraces the multiplicities of both public and private Russian life. Barker brings together Russian and American scholars from anthropology, history, literature, political science, sociology, and cultural studies. These experts fuse theoretical analysis with ethnographic research to analyze the rise of popular culture, covering topics as varied as post-Soviet rave culture, rock music, children and advertising, pyramid schemes, tattooing, pets, and spectator sports. They consider detective novels, anecdotes, issues of feminism and queer sexuality, nostalgia, the Russian cinema, and graffiti. Discussions of pornography, religious cults, and the deployment of Soviet ideological symbols as post-Soviet kitsch also help to demonstrate how the rebuilding of Russia's political and economic infrastructure has been influenced by its citizens' cultural production and consumption.
This volume will appeal to those engaged with post-Soviet studies, to anyone interested in the state of Russian society, and to readers more generally involved with the study of popular culture.

Contributors.
Adele Marie Barker, Eliot Borenstein, Svetlana Boym, John Bushnell, Nancy Condee, Robert Edelman, Laurie Essig, Julia P. Friedman, Paul W. Goldschmidt, Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, Anna Krylova, Susan Larsen, Catharine Theimer Nepomnyaschy, Theresa Sabonis-Chafee, Tim Scholl, Adam Weiner, Alexei Yurchak, Elizabeth Kristofovich Zelensky

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
Paperback      ISBN: 1400034639

Hedges, a veteran correspondent, has reported on the front lines in the Balkans, the Middle East and Central America. Here, he discusses how friends, enemies, colleagues and strangers can become intoxicated and even addicted to the heady brew of war.

James Dean Died Here: The Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks
James Dean Died Here
The Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks
Paperback      ISBN: 1891661310
James Dean Died Here takes you on a journey across North America to the exact locations where the most significant events in American popular culture took place. It's a road map for pop culture sites, from Patty Hearst's bank to the garage where Apple Computer was born. Featuring hundreds of photographs, this fully illustrated encyclopedic look at the most famous and infamous pop culture events includes historical information on over 600 landmarks--as well as their exact location. James Dean Died Here is an amazing portrait of the bizarre, shocking, weird and wonderful moments that have come to define American popular culture.
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Techno Logy
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Techno Logy
Paperback      ISBN: 0679764895

Finalist for Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

Pronged ants, horned humans, a landscape carved on a fruit pit--some of the displays in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology are hoaxes. But which ones? As he guides readers through an intellectual hall of mirrors, Lawrence Weschler revisits the 16th-century "wonder cabinets" that were the first museums and compels readers to examine the imaginative origins of both art and science.
Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories
Stranger Than Fiction
True Stories
Paperback      ISBN: 0385722222

Chuck Palahniuk's world has always been, well, different from yours and mine. In his first collection of nonfiction, Chuck Palahniuk brings us into this world, and gives us a glimpse of what inspires his fiction.At the Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival in Missoula, Montana, average people perform public sex acts on an outdoor stage. In a mansion once occupied by The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson reads his own Tarot cards and talks sweetly to his beautiful actress girlfriend. Across the country, men build their own full-size castles and rocketships that will send them into space. Palahniuk himself experiments with steroids, works on an assembly line by day and as a hospice volunteer by night, and experiences the brutal murder of his father by a white supremacist. With this new direction, Chuck Palahniuk has proven he can do anything.

The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties
The Dream Life
Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties
Paperback      ISBN: 1565849787

In what the New York Times's A.O. Scott called a "suave, scholarly tour de force," J. Hoberman delivers a brilliant and witty look at the decade when politics and pop culture became one.

This was the era of the Missile Gap and the Space Race, the Black and Sexual Revolutions, the Vietnam War and Watergate--as well as the tele-saturation of the American market and the advent of Pop art. In "elegant, epigrammatic prose," as Scott put it, Hoberman moves from the political histories of movies to the theater of wars, national political campaigns, and pop culture events.

With entertaining reinterpretations of key Hollywood movies (such as Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch, and Shampoo), and meditations on personages from Che Guevara, John Wayne, and Patty Hearst to Jane Fonda, Ronald Reagan, and Dirty Harry, Hoberman reconstructs the hidden political history of 1960s cinema and the formation of America's mass-mediated politics.

Trust Us, We're Experts Pa: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future
Trust Us, We're Experts Pa
How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future
Paperback      ISBN: 1585421391

The authors of Toxic Sludge Is Good for You unmask the sneaky and widespread methods industry uses to influence opinion through bogus experts, doctored data, and manufactured facts.

We count on the experts. We count on them to tell us who to vote for, what to eat, how to raise our children. We watch them on TV, listen to them on the radio, read their opinions in magazine and newspaper articles and letters to the editor. We trust them to tell us what to think, because there's too much information out there and not enough hours in a day to sort it all out.

We should stop trusting them right this second.

In their new book Trust Us, We're Experts : How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, authors of Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, offer a chilling expos on the manufacturing of "independent experts."

Public relations firms and corporations know well how to exploit your trust to get you to buy what they have to sell: Let you hear it from a neutral third party, like a professor or a pediatrician or a soccer mom or a watchdog group. The problem is, these third parties are usually anything but neutral. They have been handpicked, cultivated, and meticulously packaged in order to make you believe what they have to say--preferably in an "objective" format like a news show or a letter to the editor. And in some cases, they have been paid handsomely for their "opinions."

For example:

You think that nonprofit organizations just give away their stamps of approval on products? Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $600,000 to the American Heart Association for the right to display AHA's name and logo in ads for its cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol. SmithKline Beecham paid the American Cancer Society $1 million for the right to use its logo in ads for Beecham's Nicoderm CQ and Nicorette anti-smoking ads.

You think that a study out of a prestigious university is completely unbiased? In 1997, Georgetown University's Credit Research Center issued a study which concluded that many debtors are using bankruptcy as an excuse to wriggle out of their obligations to creditors. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen cited the study in a Washington Times column and advocated for changes in federal law to make it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy relief. What Bentsen failed to mention was that the Credit Research Center is funded in its entirety by credit card companies, banks, retailers, and others in the credit industry; that the study itself was produced with a $100,000 grant from VISA USA, Inc. and MasterCard International; and that Bentsen himself had been hired to work as a credit-industry lobbyist.

You think that all grassroots organizations are truly grassroots? In 1993, a group called Mothers Opposing Pollution (MOP) appeared, calling itself "the largest women's environmental group in Australia, with thousands of supporters across the country." Their cause: A campaign against plastic milk bottles. It turned out that the group's spokesperson, Alana Maloney, was in truth a woman named Janet Rundle, the business partner of a man who did P.R. for the Association of Liquidpaperboard Carton Manufacturers--the makers of paper milk cartons.

You think that if a scientist says so, it must be true? In the early 1990s, tobacco companies secretly paid thirteen scientists a total of $156,000 to write a few letters to influential medical journals. One biostatistician received $10,000 for writing a single, eight-paragraph letter that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A cancer researcher received $20,137 for writing four letters and an opinion piece to the Lancet, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and The Wall Street Journal.

Rampton and Sta...

Work and Other Sins: Life in New York City and Thereabouts
Work and Other Sins
Life in New York City and Thereabouts
Paperback      ISBN: 0143034944
From the New York Times bestselling author of Detroit: An American Autopsy

"Except for a few drinks, nothing is free in Charlie LeDuff's blunt and touching Work and Other Sins. The laughter and wisdom are hard won, the lessons are often painful... the sad tales and wit from the bar rail are endless and timeless." --The New York Times Book Review

Charlie LeDuff is that rare breed of news reporter--one who can cover hard-to-get-at stories in a unique and deeply personal style. In Work and Other Sins, he gives his incomparable take on New York City and its denizens--the bars, the workingmen, the gamblers, the eccentrics, the lonesome, and the wise. Whether writing about a racetrack gambler, a firefighter with a broken heart, or a pair of bickering brothers and their Coney Island bar, LeDuff takes the reader into the lives of his subjects to explore their fears, faults, and fantasies as well as their own small niches of the globe. The result is an at turns riotous, dirt-under-the-nails, contemplative, salty, joyous, whiskey-tinged, and utterly unique vision of life in the Big Apple.
Vermeer in Bosnia
Vermeer in Bosnia
Hardcover      ISBN: 0679442707

From the master chronicler of the marvelous and the confounding-author of "Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder"-here is a much-anticipated new collection of more than twenty pieces from the past two decades, the majority of which have never before been gathered together in book form.
Lawrence Weschler is not simply a superb reporter, essayist, and cultural observer; he is also an uncanny collector and connector of wonders. In "Vermeer in Bosnia," whether he is reporting on the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars (and noticing, for example, how centuries earlier Vermeer had had to invent the peace and serenity we so prize in his work today from a youth during which all of Europe had been as ravaged as Bosnia) or dissecting the special quality of light in his beloved hometown of Los Angeles, Weschler's perceptions are often startling, his insights both fresh and profound.
Included here is Weschler's remarkable profile of Roman Polanski-written years before the release of The Pianist, yet all but predicting the director's confrontation with the Holocaust in that film-alongside an equally celebrated portrait of Ed Weinberger, a young designer crushed and yet hardly bowed by an extreme form of Parkinson's disease. Here is Weschler limning his own experience as the grandson of an eminent Weimar-era composer, and then as the befuddled father of an eminently fetching daughter. Here is Weschler on Art Spiegelman, David Hockney, Ed Kienholz, and Wislawa Szymborska.
Here, in short, are some of the most dazzling pieces from Lawrence Weschler's own brimming cabinet of marvels.