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Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia
Imperial America
Reflections on the United States of Amnesia
Hardcover      ISBN: 1560255854

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."



The Encyclopedia of Stupidity
The Encyclopedia of Stupidity
Paperback      ISBN: 1861891970

Matthijs van Boxsel believes that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. In The Encyclopaedia of Stupidity he shows how stupidity manifests itself in all areas, in everyone, at all times, proposing that stupidity is the foundation of our civilization.
In short sections with such titles as The Blunderers Club, Fools in Hell, Genealogy of Idiots, and The Aesthetics of the Empty Gesture, stupidity is analysed on the basis of fairy tales, cartoons, triumphal arches, garden architecture, Baroque ceilings, jokes, flimsy excuses and science fiction. But Van Boxsel wants to do more than just assemble a shadow cabinet of wisdom; he tries to fathom the logic of this opposite world. Where do understanding and intelligence begin and end? He examines mythic fools such as Cyclops and King Midas, cities such as Gotham, archetypes including the dumb blonde, and traditionally stupid animals such as the goose, the donkey and the headless chicken.
Van Boxsel posits that stupidity is a condition for intelligence, that blunders stimulate progress, that failure is the basis for success. In this erudite and witty book he maintains that our culture is the product of a series of failed attempts to comprehend stupidity.
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Salvation: Black People and Love
Salvation
Black People and Love
Paperback      ISBN: 0060959495

"A manual for fixing our culture...In writing that is elegant and penetratingly simple, hooks] gives voice to some things we may know in our hearts but need an interpreter like her to process."--Black Issues Book Review

Bestselling author, acclaimed visionary and cultural critic bell hooks continues her exploration of the meaning of love in contemporary American society, offering groundbreaking, critical insight about Black people and love.

Written from both historical and cultural perspectives, Salvation takes an incisive look at the transformative power of love in the lives of African Americans. Whether talking about the legacy of slavery, relationships and marriage in Black life, the prose and poetry of Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, and Maya Angelou, the liberation movements of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, or hip hop and gangsta rap culture, hooks lets us know what love's got to do with it.

Combining the passionate politics of W.E.B. DuBois with fresh, contemporary insights, hooks brilliantly offers new visions that will heal our nation's wounds from a culture of lovelessness. Her writings on love and its impact on race, class, family, history, and popular culture raise all the relevant issues. This is work that helps us heal. Salvation shows us how to create beloved American communities.

The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings
The Vanishing Hitchhiker
American Urban Legends and Their Meanings
Paperback      ISBN: 0393951693

Folklore scholar Jan Harold Brunvand assembles the best-known urban legends--including "The Hook," "The Spider in the Hairdo," and "The Baby-Sitter and the Man Upstairs"--and provides an enlightening and entertaining analysis of their variants and evolution. The Vanishing Hitchhiker was Professor Brunvand's first popular book on urban legends, and it remains a classic. The culmination of twenty years of collection and research, this book is a must-have for urban legend lovers.

The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'Oh! of Homer
The Simpsons and Philosophy
The D'Oh! of Homer
Paperback      ISBN: 0812694333

This unconventional and lighthearted introduction to the ideas of the major Western philosophers examines The Simpsons TV s favorite animated family. The authors look beyond the jokes, the crudeness, the attacks on society and see a clever display of irony, social criticism, and philosophical thought. The writers begin with an examination of the characters. Does Homer actually display Aristotle s virtues of character? In what way does Bart exemplify American pragmatism? The book also examines the ethics and themes of the show, and concludes with discussions of how the series reflects the work of Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, and other thinkers."

Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis
Early Downhome Blues
A Musical and Cultural Analysis
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0807844829

Hailed as a classic in music studies when it was first published in 1977, Early Downhome Blues is a detailed look at traditional country blues artists and their work.

Combining musical analysis and cultural history approaches, Titon examines the origins of downhome blues in African American society. He also explores what happened to the art form when the blues were commercially recorded and became part of the larger American culture. From forty-seven musical transcriptions, Titon derives a grammar of early downhome blues melody. His book is enriched with the recollections of blues performers, audience members, and those working in the recording industry.

In a new afterword, Titon reflects on the genesis of this book in the blues revival of the 1960s and the politics of tourism in the current revival under way.

Dreaming War
Dreaming War
Paperback      ISBN: 1560255021
When Gore Vidal's recent New York Times bestseller Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace was published, the Los Angeles Times described Vidal as the last defender of the American republic. In Dreaming War, Vidal continues this defense by confronting the Cheney-Bush junta head on in a series of devastating essays that demolish the lies American Empire lives by, unveiling a counter-history that traces the origins of America's current imperial ambitions to the experience of World War Two and the post-war Truman doctrine. And now, with the Cheney-Bush leading us into permanent war, Vidal asks whose interests are served by this doctrine of pre-emptive war? Was Afghanistan turned to rubble to avenge the 3,000 slaughtered on September 11? Or was "the unlovely Osama chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan?" After all he was abruptly replaced with Saddam Hussein once the Taliban were overthrown. And while "evidence" is now being invented to connect Saddam with 9/11, the current administration are not helped by "stories in the U.S. press about the vast oil wealth of Iraq which must- for the sake of the free world- be reassigned to U.S. consortiums."
Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market
Reefer Madness
Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market
Paperback      ISBN: 0618446702

America's black market is much larger than we realize, and it affects us all deeply, whether or not we smoke pot, rent a risqu video, or pay our kids' nannies in cash. In Reefer Madness the best-selling author of Fast Food Nation turns his exacting eye on the underbelly of the American marketplace and its far-reaching influence on our society. Exposing three American mainstays -- pot, porn, and illegal immigrants -- Eric Schlosser shows how the black market has burgeoned over the past several decades. He also draws compelling parallels between underground and overground: how tycoons and gangsters rise and fall, how new techonology shapes a market, how government intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, and how big business learns -- and profits -- from the underground.
Reefer Madness is a powerful investigation that illuminates the shadow economy and the culture that casts that shadow.

Killing Yourself To Live: 85% Of A True Story
Killing Yourself To Live
85% Of A True Story
Hardcover      ISBN: 0743264452

For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock 'n' roll all the way. Within the span of twenty-one days, Chuck had three relationships end -- one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion. He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard. From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted to know why the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing...and what this means for the rest of us.

Growing Up With Dick and Jane: Learning and Living the American Dream
Growing Up With Dick and Jane
Learning and Living the American Dream
Paperback      ISBN: 0006492460

They're back

Growing Up with Dick and Jane reunites us with two old friends, Dick and Jane, who, for forty years, taught so many of us to read. Here's the all American brother and sister team. Look It's Dick, in his striped polo shirts and shorts, always ready for an adventure. Look Look It's Jane, in her pretty dresses, eager to have fun and learn about life. There's silly, mischievous Baby Sally, and Spot, America's favorite spaniel. Growing Up with Dick and Jane brings to life the cast of characters who are emblems of the American Dream. And side by side with the story of Dick and Jane is an entertaining and informative text that tracks important historical, social and educational events of the "Dick and Jane era."

Here's your chance to step back into the innocent watercolor world of Dick and Jane, where night never comes, knees never scrape, parents never yell and the fun never stops. Remember holding a Dick and Jane primer for the first time and the thrill you felt when you knew you could read? Growing Up with Dick and Jane traces the Dick and Jane phenomenon from their birth during the Depression to their retirement in the stormy 1960s. It explores the influence these little books had on education and the evolving American Dream. Packaged with a sampler of original Dick and Jane stories and cutout dolls of Dick and Jane, Growing Up with Dick and Jane stirs memories of home, school and what it was like to grow up when childhood felt like one long summer day.

Carole Kismaric and Marvin Heiferman produce innovative visual books and museum exhibitions. Lookout, their company, has created: Talking Pictures (Chronicle), a book and popular multimedia exhibition; Loyalty and Betrayal: The Story of the American Mob (CollinsSanFrancisco); the bestselling Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood (Hyperion) with William Wegman; and the cult classics Mr. Salesman (Twin Palms) with Diane Keaton and I'm So Happy (Vintage).

Bob Keeshan, known to generations as Captain Kangaroo, is one of the most beloved performers and influential innovators of children's television. The first Clarabell on The Howdy Doody Show, Keeshan went on to create Captain Kangaroo, the longest-running network children's series. An advocate of children's causes, Keeshan's unique blend of education and entertainment has influenced his followers, on screen and off.