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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.

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.

Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief
Kooks
A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0922915679
A rich compendium of looniness!
Change Your Underwear Twice a Week: Lessons from the Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrip
Change Your Underwear Twice a Week
Lessons from the Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrip
Paperback      ISBN: 1579652638

In the pre-Internet, pre-VCR--oh, go ahead, call them prehistoric--days of baby boomers' grade school, the high art of audiovisual classroom programming was the filmstrip. If you're old enough, you remember the darkened room, the hum of the projector, and the beeep that signaled the teacher to turn to the next frame.

If you weren't busy shooting spitballs, filmstrips might even have taught you something about science, hygiene, the great bounty of American farms and factories. With simple illustrations and quaint photographs that evoke a more innocent era, Change Your Underwear Twice a Week is the first book to collect dozens of these filmstrip treasures together, creating a panorama of four decades of overlooked graphic design, popular culture, and inadvertent humor.

Readers from the Internet generation will get a good chuckle over what appears to be electronic cave art. But you'll also discover one of the great subtexts of postwar American life. From the mid-1940s until the late 1960s, filmstrips were the coming attractions of capitalism and the American way, teaching youngsters how society wanted them to view the world.

Filmstrips celebrated our foundering railroads ("Tommy Takes a Train Trip"), the space program ("The Moon, Our Nearest Neighbor"), and our trusted friend the butcher, the milkman, the mailman, and the cop. They taught us not to sit too close to our new TV sets and why we should change our underwear twice a week (presumably, Commies did this only once a week).

A chronicle of America's filmstrip experience, Change Your Underwear Twice a Week is also a glimpse into the companies and eccentric pioneers who created these graphic gems and how they influenced several generations of American youth.

The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview
The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy
The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview
Paperback      ISBN: 0812695887

The Chronicles of Narnia series has entertained millions of readers, both children and adults, since the appearance of the first book in 1950. Here, scholars turn the lens of philosophy on these timeless tales. Engagingly written for a lay audience, these essays consider a wealth of topics centered on the ethical, spiritual, mythic, and moral resonances in the adventures of Aslan, the Pevensie children, and the rest of the colorful cast. Do the spectacular events in Narnia give readers a simplistic view of human choice and decision making? Does Aslan offer a solution to the problem of evil? What does the character of Susan tell readers about Lewis's view of gender? How does Lewis address the Nietzschean "master morality" embraced by most of the villains of the Chronicles? With these and a wide range of other questions, this provocative book takes a fresh view of the world of Narnia and expands readers' experience of it.

Sleepers
Sleepers
Paperback      ISBN: 0345404114
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The extraordinary true story of four men who take the law into their own hands.

This is the story of four young boys. Four lifelong friends. Intelligent, fun-loving, wise beyond their years, they are inseparable. Their potential is unlimited, but they are content to live within the closed world of New York City's Hell's Kitchen. And to play as many pranks as they can on the denizens of the street. They never get caught. And they know they never will.

Until one disastrous summer afternoon.

On that day, what begins as a harmless scheme goes horrible wrong. And the four find themselves facing a year's imprisonment in the Wilkinson Home for Boys. The oldest of them is fifteen, the youngest twelve. What happens to them over the course of that year--brutal beatings, unimaginable humiliation--will change their lives forever.

Years later, one has become a lawyer. One a reporter. And two have grown up to be murderers, professional hit men. For all of them, the pain and fear of Wilkinson still rages within. Only one thing can erase it.

Revenge.

To exact it, they will twist the legal system. Commandeer the courtroom for their agenda. Use the wiles they observed on the streets, the violence they learned at Wilkinson.

If they get caught this time, they only have one thing left to lose: their lives.

Praise for Sleepers

"Undeniably powerful, an enormously affecting and intensely human story . . . Sleepers is a thriller, to be sure, but it is equally a wistful hymn to another age."--The Washington Post Book World

"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
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.

Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity
Citizens of the Empire
The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity
Paperback      ISBN: 0872864324

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

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Fast Food Nation
The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Paperback      ISBN: 0060938455

In hisNew York Times bestseller, National Magazine Award-winning journalist Eric Schlosser charts the fast food industry's enormous impact on our health, landscape, economy, politics and culture as he transforms the way America thinks about what it eats.

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