We all know those stories that are too bizarre to be true roasted babies, vanishing hitchhikers, scuba divers in trees but have you heard about the ice man or the bullet baby? This comprehensive and compellingly readable reference work will answer all your urban legend questions, offering alphabetical entries on every aspect of the subject, including descriptions of hundreds of individual legends and their variations, legend themes, and scholarly approaches to the genre. Other entries discuss the relationship of urban legends to literature, film, comic books, music, and many other areas of popular culture. A Booklist Editors' Choice 2001 Reference Book. "Unlike most encyclopedias, this one may be read cover to cover." Choice "Compiled by the foremost authority on this form of contemporary folklore....Superb." Library Journal"
From the author of the highly acclaimed heavy metal memoir, Fargo Rock City, comes another hilarious and discerning take on massively popular culture--set in Chuck Klosterman's den and your own--covering everything from the effect of John Cusack flicks to the crucial role of breakfast cereal to the awesome power of the Dixie Chicks. Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don't even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation. Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he'll make you laugh, and he'll drive you insane--usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but--really--it's about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, "In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever 'in and of itself.'" Read to believe.
"A powerful book, hard to forget . . . Carcaterra is an excellent writer, changing pace here and there but never letting the reader go. . . . Sensitive, humorous, and harrowing, featuring dialogue with perfect pitch."--The Denver Post "A gut-wrenching piece of work . . . Lorenzo] Carcaterra's graphic narrative grips like gunfire in a dark alley."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "A terrifying account of brutality and retribution, searing in its emotional truth, peopled with murderers, sadists, and thugs, but biblical in its passion and scope."--People
"Too often, writing about the online world lacks emotional punch, but Katz's obvious love for his 'lost boys' gives his narrative a rich taste."--The New York Times Book Review Jesse and Eric were geeks: suspicious of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. High school had been an unbearable experience and their small-town Idaho families had been torn apart by hard times. On the fringe of society, they had almost no social lives and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers and every spare moment online. Nobody ever spoke of them, much less for them. But then they met Jon Katz, a roving journalist who suggested that, in the age of geek impresario Bill Gates, Jesse and Eric had marketable skills that could get them out of Idaho and pave the way to a better life. So they bravely set out to conquer Chicago--geek style. Told with Katz's trademark charm and sparkle, Geeks is a humorous, moving tale of triumph over adversity and self-acceptance that delivers two irresistible heroes for the digital age and reveals the very human face of technology. Praise for Geeks
"Ultimately, Geeks is not a story about the Internet or computers or techies. It is a story about personal bonds, optimism, access to opportunity, and the courage to dream."--Salon "An uplifting and hugely compassionate book."--Philadelphia Inquirer
"A story of friendship, optimism, social despair, and an updated version of that American icon, the tinkerer."--USA Today
'Don't Think of an Elephant' offers analysis of the key issues in the 2004 U.S. election and beyond, discussing how progressives need to better examine issues in order to counter conservative arguments.
Citizens of the Empire probes into the sense of disempowerment that has resulted from the Left's inability to halt the violent and repressive course of post-9/11 U.S. policy. In this passionate and personal exploration of what it means to be a citizen of the world's most powerful, affluent, and militarized nation in an era of imperial expansion, Jensen offers a potent antidote to despair over the future of democracy.
In a plainspoken analysis of the dominant political rhetoric-which is intentionally crafted to depress political discourse and activism-Jensen reveals the contradictions and falsehoods of prevailing myths, using common-sense analogies that provide the reader with a clear-thinking rebuttal and a way to move forward with progressive political work and discussions.
With an ethical framework that integrates political, intellectual, and emotional responses to the disheartening events of the past two years, Jensen examines the ways in which society has been led to this point and offers renewed hope for constructive engagement.
Praise for Citizens of the Empire:
"He couples his opinions with a solution for those progressive thinkers who want to help, making the book a sort of handbook for people who are looking for new ways to engage fully in the democratic process of citizenship."--Publishers Weekly
" . . . a small, thoughtful, eminently accessible book, Citizens of the Empire is intended to be a citizen's manual of sorts, an encouragement to a thinking, effective electorate. Jensen's message is meant to be one of optimism, an antidote to the resignation and despair about the future of democracy in the face of increasingly mindless group-think on the part of the electorate and unresponsive policy-making on the part of their elected leaders. The conclusion of this slim volume is to urge the reader, whether or not s/he shares Jensen's political views, to get up and get actively engaged, to reclaim the rights of a citizen of this country, and of the world, in a decisive election year."--Chapel Hill News
Finalist for Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
Soccer is much more than a game, or even a way of life. It is a perfect window into the cross-currents of today's world, with all its joys and its sorrows. In this remarkably insightful, wide-ranging work of reportage, Franklin Foer takes us on a surprising tour through the world of soccer, shining a spotlight on the clash of civilizations, the international economy, and just about everything in between. How Soccer Explains the World is an utterly original book that makes sense of our troubled times.
Following the publication of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War comes award-winning Gore Vidal's long-awaited conclusion to his landmark, best-selling trilogy. Now, Vidal has written his most devastating exploration of Imperial America to date. "Not since the 1846 attack on Mexico in order to seize California" Vidal writes, "has an American government been so nakedly predatory." Bush's apparent invincibility, and what he might or might not know--especially about those new "black box" voting machines being installed all over the country--is one of the central themes of "State of the Union 2004," a magnificent and witty Olympian survey of American Empire, where the war on terror is judged as nonsensical as the "war on dandruff," where America is an "Enron-Pentagon prison," a land of ballooning budget deficits thanks to the growth of a garrison state, tax cuts for the privileged, and the creeping totalitarianism of the Ashcroft justice department. Collected in this volume are Vidal's earlier State of the Union addresses, a tradition inaugurated on the David Susskind show in the early seventies as a counterpoint to "whoever happened to be president."