Cultural Studies

Between the World and me

Between the World and me

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER - NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE - PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST - NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST - ONE OF OPRAH'S "BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH" - NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT

Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race" (Rolling Stone)

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN - NAMED ONE OF PASTE'S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - O: The Oprah Magazine - The Washington Post - People - Entertainment Weekly - Vogue - Los Angeles Times - San Francisco Chronicle - Chicago Tribune - New York - Newsday - Library Journal - Publishers Weekly

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

DRUNKARD'S WALK: HOW RANDOMNES

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FOOL'S ERRAND: CREATING THE NA

FOOL'S ERRAND: CREATING THE NA

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Founding Director Lonnie Bunch's deeply personal tale of the triumphs and challenges of bringing the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to life. His story is by turns inspiring, funny, frustrating, quixotic, bittersweet, and above all, a compelling read.

In its first four months of operation, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture surpassed one million visits and quickly became a cherished, vital monument to the African American experience. And yet this accomplishment was never assured. In A Fool's Errand, founding director Lonnie Bunch tells his story of bringing his clear vision and leadership to realize this shared dream of many generations of Americans.

Outlining the challenges of site choice, architect selection, building design, and the compilation of an unparalleled collection of African American artifacts, Bunch also delves into his personal struggles--especially the stress of a high-profile undertaking--and the triumph of establishing such an institution without mentors or guidebooks to light the way. His memoir underscores his determination to create a museum that treats the black experience as an essential component of every American's identity.

This inside account of how Bunch planned, managed, and executed the museum's mission informs and inspires not only readers working in museums, cultural institutions, and activist groups, but also those in the nonprofit and business worlds who wish to understand how to succeed--and do it spectacularly--in the face of major political, structural, and financial challenges.

Horror: A Literary History

Horror: A Literary History

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Horror is unlike any other literary genre. It seeks to provoke uniquely strong reactions, such as fear, shock, dread or disgust, and yet remains very popular. Horror is most readily associated with the film industry, but horrific short stories and novels have been wildly loved by readers for well over two centuries. Despite its persistent popularity, until now there has been no up-to-date history of horror fiction for the general reader. This book offers a chronological overview of the genre in fiction and explores its development and mutations over the past 250 years. It also challenges the common misjudgement that horror fiction is necessarily frivolous or dispensable. Leading experts on Gothic and horror literature introduce readers to classics of the genre as well as exciting texts they may not have encountered before. The topics examined include: horror s roots in the Gothic romance and antebellum American fiction; the penny dreadful and sensation novels of Victorian England; fin-de-siecle ghost stories; decadent fiction and the weird; the familial horrors of the Cold War era; the publishing boom of the 1980s; the establishment of contemporary horror auteurs; and the post-millennial zombie trend."
On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears

On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears

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Hailed as "a feast" (Washington Post) and "a modern-day bestiary" (The New Yorker), Stephen Asma's On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual history of monsters--how they have evolved over time, what functions they have served for us, and what shapes they are likely to take in the future. Beginning at the time of Alexander the Great, the monsters come fast and furious--Behemoth and Leviathan, Gog and Magog, Satan and his demons, Grendel and Frankenstein, circus freaks and headless children, right up to the serial killers and terrorists of today and the post-human cyborgs of tomorrow. Monsters embody our deepest anxieties and vulnerabilities, Asma argues, but they also symbolize the mysterious and incoherent territory beyond the safe enclosures of rational thought. Exploring sources as diverse as philosophical treatises, scientific notebooks, and novels, Asma unravels traditional monster stories for the clues they offer about the inner logic of an era's fears and fascinations. In doing so, he illuminates the many ways monsters have become repositories for those human qualities that must be repudiated, externalized, and defeated.

SECONDHAND: TRAVELS IN THE NEW

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SO BLACK AND BLUE: RALPH ELLIS

SO BLACK AND BLUE: RALPH ELLIS

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So Black and Blue is the best work we have on Ellison in his combined roles of writer, critic, and intellectual. By locating him in the precarious cultural transition between Jim Crow and the era of promised civil rights, Warren has produced a thoroughly engaging and compelling book, original in its treatment of Ellison and his part in shaping the history of ideas in the twentieth century."—Eric J. Sundquist, University of California, Los Angeles

The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump

The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump

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An illuminating and thought-provoking history of the growth of Hispanic American Republican voters in the past half century and their surprising impact on US politics

In the lead-up to every election cycle, pundits predict that Latino Americans will overwhelmingly vote in favor of the Democratic candidate. And it's true--Latino voters do tilt Democratic. Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in a "landslide," Barack Obama "crushed" Mitt Romney among Latino voters in his reelection, and, four years earlier, the Democratic ticket beat the McCain-Palin ticket by a margin of more than two to one. But those numbers belie a more complicated picture. Because of decades of investment and political courtship, as well as a nuanced and varied cultural identity, the Republican party has had a much longer and stronger bond with Hispanics. How is this possible for a party so associated with draconian immigration and racial policies?

In The Hispanic Republican, historian and political commentator Geraldo Cadava illuminates the history of the millions of Hispanic Republicans who, since the 1960s, have had a significant impact on national politics. Intertwining the little understood history of Hispanic Americans with a cultural study of how post-World War II Republican politicians actively courted the Hispanic vote during the Cold War (especially Cuban émigrés) and during periods of major strife in Central America (especially during Iran-Contra), Cadava offers insight into the complicated dynamic between Latino liberalism and conservatism, which, when studied together, shine a crucial light on a rapidly changing demographic that will impact American elections for years to come.

The Resurrectionist

The Resurrectionist

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An extraordinary biography. A gallery of astonishing work. The legacy of a madman.

Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages--and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia's esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world's most celebrated mythological beasts--mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs--were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black's magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray's Anatomy for mythological beasts--dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus--all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England

Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England

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Stories of witchcraft and demonic possession from early modern England through the last official trials in colonial New England

Those possessed by the devil in early modern England usually exhibited a common set of symptoms: fits, vomiting, visions, contortions, speaking in tongues, and an antipathy to prayer. However, it was a matter of interpretation, and sometimes public opinion, if these symptoms were visited upon the victim, or if they came from within. Both early modern England and colonial New England had cases that blurred the line between witchcraft and demonic possession, most famously, the Salem witch trials. While historians acknowledge some similarities in witch trials between the two regions, such as the fact that an overwhelming majority of witches were women, the histories of these cases primarily focus on local contexts and specifics. In so doing, they overlook the ways in which manhood factored into possession and witchcraft cases.

Vexed with Devils is a cultural history of witchcraft-possession phenomena that centers on the role of men and patriarchal power. Erika Gasser reveals that witchcraft trials had as much to do with who had power in the community, to impose judgement or to subvert order, as they did with religious belief. She argues that the gendered dynamics of possession and witchcraft demonstrated that contested meanings of manhood played a critical role in the struggle to maintain authority. While all men were not capable of accessing power in the same ways, many of the people involved-those who acted as if they were possessed, men accused of being witches, and men who wrote possession propaganda-invoked manhood as they struggled to advocate for themselves during these perilous times. Gasser ultimately concludes that the decline of possession and witchcraft cases was not merely a product of change over time, but rather an indication of the ways in which patriarchal power endured throughout and beyond the colonial period.

Vexed with Devils reexamines an unnerving time and offers a surprising new perspective on our own, using stories and voices which emerge from the records in ways that continue to fascinate and unsettle us.

WOMEN, RACE, & CLASS

WOMEN, RACE, & CLASS

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A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.