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41. The Shipcarvers' Art : Figureheads
$75.60 list($120.00)
42. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion
$55.00 $44.95
43. Dancing at Halftime: Sports and
$37.80 $34.94 list($60.00)
44. The Beatles Anthology
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45. Hip Hop America
$19.99 $13.17
46. The Book Of Tiki
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47. The Wilco Book (with CD)
$39.95 $26.75
48. The Ultimate Pop Rock Fake Book:
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49. Fruits
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50. Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring
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51. The Cultural Creatives : How 50
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52. Vice Dos & Don'ts : 10 Years
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53. Reading Specialists in the Real
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54. Positively Fifth Street
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55. Batman: Cover to Cover : The Greatest
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56. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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57. The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook
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58. Practices of Looking: An Introduction
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59. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs :
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60. No Lifeguard: The Accidental Life

41. The Shipcarvers' Art : Figureheads and Cigar-Store Indians in Nineteenth-Century America
by Ralph Sessions
list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691120811
Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 54824
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Among the most popular and ubiquitous sculptures in nineteenth-century America were the ship's figurehead and the cigar-store Indian. The vast majority of these engaging human figures were created by shipcarvers-highly skilled artists celebrated for their masterful figureheads but who collectively made tens of thousands of shop figures as well, from fanciful representations of American Indians to firemen, baseball players, and fashionable women.

Shaped by nineteenth-century Anglo-American values, this artwork reflects the tenor of the times, including racial and gender stereotyping, America's emerging popular culture, and the birth of modern advertising techniques.

The Shipcarvers' Art is the first book to assess the artistry and history of these two closely related genres in a single volume. Richly illustrated and elegantly written, it reveals the intertwining of art, commerce, and shipcarving in nineteenth-century America. On March 22, 1856, for example, only four months after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Hiawatha was first published, the clipper Minehaha was launched at an East Boston shipyard. Its figurehead depicted a renowned English actress in her role as Hiawatha's wife, Minehaha. Central to the festivities surrounding the event were poet, actress, and shipbuilder--and a fictional image of the Native American.

Ralph Sessions not only highlights the work of shipcarvers throughout the eastern United States and Canada but also presents new information on carving workshops in New York City, America's key shipbuilding center from around 1820 until after the Civil War.

Just as they were vanishing from the bows of ships and city streets around the turn of the twentieth century, figureheads and shop figures began to experience renewed interest as museum pieces and collector's items. Representing a milestone in scholarship on the subject, The Shipcarvers' Art magnificently brings them alive once more for art lovers of the twenty-first century.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome addition to the canon
I collect figures. I have read the books that are used for reference. I have seen the exhibit that was chaperoned by Mr. Sessions (Sandwich,MA., NYC,NY & Baltimore,MD). I am a student of the art he describes! I was impressed by his scholarship, his easy east coast art scene style of writing, his photography/graphics, his hommage to Ms. Sanburn, Mr. Pendergast & Mr. Fried (I knew him). This is not a picture atlas. This is not a coffee table book. I would have liked to seen/read more especially regarding the social relevance of color race &c.(the folly of the time theirs & ours) but this is another matter! I RECOMMEND this book to all who treasure american sculpture.The vulgar artist is finally getting his place(WELL DONE Mr Sessions! What is next?). ... Read more


42. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue
by Grace Coddington, Michael Roberts, Anna Wintour
list price: $120.00
our price: $75.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3882438185
Catlog: Book (2002-09-15)
Publisher: Steidl Publishing
Sales Rank: 114612
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cool fashion book
This book is cool. Vogue is definitely the place to see all the latest and greatest fashion trend and the art of photograhing and show them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful & informative
I just recently purchase this book, at a time when I was getting a bit discourage as a stylist. It helped me to realize that there are good days and bad days and to keep my head up! I believe that the book chosed me at that very moment. It is very helpful in terms of preparation for production shoots. Also informative in knowing the different ways each photographer preps and how Mrs. Coddington binds with each photographer's concepts. I have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Coddington as a model, and I can confirm that she is a down to earth person which makes one feel comfortable when working for her. Thank you for sharing your 30 yrs!

5-0 out of 5 stars stylist supreme
Grace: Thirty years of fashion in Vogue is a delightful collection of some of the most memorable and influential fashion photographs since the nineteen seventies.....all of them touched by the imaginative and chic eye of super stylist and editor Grace Coddington. The range of fashion fantasies is impressive. From the tough erotic chic of helmut newton, whimsical femininity of sarah moon on thru the joyful, innocent sexiness of bruce weber, Miss coddington helps each image become something entertaining and memorable. The printing is terrific , layouts are elegant , plus, perfectly boxed in a delicious and very chic pumpkin. Well worth it's luxe weight.... ... Read more


43. Dancing at Halftime: Sports and the Controversy over American Indian Mascots
by Carol Spindel
list price: $55.00
our price: $55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0814781268
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: New York University Press
Sales Rank: 770010
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Subtle,Profound--Extremely well-written
I'm an alumna of the University of Illinois, and was never very comfortable with the concept of "Chief Illiniwek." But I had no idea the role that Indian sports mascots have had in obscuring and distorting both the history and current status of Native peoples. Spindel's book examines the unique nexus of the history of Native peoples, football, the Big Ten, land grant universities, anthropology, wild west shows and photography, among others. In a careful and quiet way, she weaves these areas together to explore why these "mascots" are so demeaning to us all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uncovering the truth behind the myth
During my high school unit on Native American history and culture last fall, I used the Illiniwek issue to show my students the subtleties of racism. I wish at the time I had Spindel's book to drive her best point home: that white America needs its Native American symbols to justify our presence here on this continent and to forget a significant part of our shameful history. We also refuse to acknowledge the issues present day Native Americans face because then we would have to face up to the crimes of our founders. That it why supporters of Chief Illiniwek refuse to listen to the very people they claim to honor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Racist Indian Mascots Exposed
An excellent analysis of the Indian mascot controversy in general and cheif illiniwek in particular. Very well researched and presented in an interesting and compelling manner.

4-0 out of 5 stars The real story of chief illiniwek
This topic is extremely controvesial and Carol Swindel handles the topic very well. She takes time to present both sides of the issue including a history of both the Illini Indians and chief illiniwek. It's difficult to read this book and not be affected by both sides of the issue. I applaud Swindel for having the courage to write a comprehensive study of the use of racist mascots in America. A must read if you are a Big Ten or Illini fan.

3-0 out of 5 stars The truth about the chief
For fans and foes of the cheif illiniwek controversy, this book is a must. Spindel takes the time to research the history of the Illini Indians, their culture and their demise. She has also researched the history of the University's symbol and presents and unbiased documentary of the origins. It's diffcult to read this book and not change your opinion on the issues. Well worth the time and money invested in reading this work. ... Read more


44. The Beatles Anthology
by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811826848
Catlog: Book (2000-10-05)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 10012
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music, which has been a part of so many of our lives, this landmark release is warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story. Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare, vintage images. Includes over 340,000 words and over 1300 images, including unseen photographs and personal memorabilia. ... Read more

Reviews (203)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
I was going to give this book 4 stars, until half-way through I was struck by the pure genius of it all. Why? It's like a cover song - when someone else plays a Beatles song, does it ever really sound as good as the original? Rarely. "Anthology" is a huge tome of a book comprised entirely of interviews and snippets from the Fab Four themselves, with a very few extras from their manager, studio producer, etc. It seems like a coffee table book, but it certainly isn't - over 350 large pages of fine print.

The reason why this book ALMOST got 4 stars is because of the inherent nature of a book made entirely of quotes - natural conversation doesn't translate well onto the printed page, especially when so many people are quoted from different periods in their lives. The book never says "In 1964, the Beatles recorded Rubber Soul" or anything like that. Instead, the quotes gradually roll around to telling you, until you realize "Oh, we're in the studio again". Often this book is disjointed and hard to follow, especially if you don't anything about the Beatles.

However, few people know nothing about the Beatles! After the first 30 pages, you get used to the style of presentation, and later on you realize the beauty of it all - these boys are down-right inspiring. Worked in with all the tours and stories and pranks and bad rumors and other nonsense are wonderful descriptions of their music and how it was written, what its inspiration was, and the trials that were faced to create it. The Beatles didn't idolize themselves, not like their fans do, so the words just flow out effortlessly and pure, just like their music did. This was their lives, no big deal, this is what they did. The creativity is catchy.

If you are a die-hard Beatles historian, I'm positive that nothing new is said in this book. There is no "myth-making" in these pages - their fights and disagreements are very bluntly presented - but you can see a "No Big Deal" kind of attitude formed. It's is only natural, the survivors are turning 60, after all. Like the video series and the CDs, this version of Anthology is a warm revisit of a wonderful little rock'n'roll band. Check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Chronicle At Last
Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles, but it is
crushingly obvious when reading this Anthology volume that by far the
best one would naturally come from the bandmembers themselves. [The
price] seems like an incredible bargain considering the size and
quality of this work, which covers the years 1940 (the birth of Ringo
and John) to the breakup in 1970. At 368 coffee-table sized pages
it's already huge, but the small print makes it almost double that
size.

The book would be worth it just for the photos alone, which
are beautifully reprinted--many from the early years are actually in
color--chronicling dozens of previously unpublished, intimate moments
taken straight from the group's personal archives. But what really
makes this one essential is the text itself, which is taken from
interviews conducted with Paul, George and Ringo in the 90s and an
exhaustive compilation of Lennon quotes from all points in his life (I
recognized many, but there were also some I've never seen before).
Even after the dozens upon dozens of biographies which have recounted
the group's earth-shattering tale ad nauseum, you feel like you're
reading it for the first time. All four bandmembers speak with a
thousand times more wit, frankness and detail than all of their
previous biographers combined; in fact, they manage to offer up
juicier tales, and more interesting spins on already known events,
than anything you've read before even in the most gossipy bios--and
you get it this time knowing that it's honest (you know it's honest
when you hear conflicting memories about certain events!).

"Anthology" is especially revealing when it comes to the
childhoods and Hamburg era: you get to hear about the first time
George got laid (right in front of the other three bandmembers!), or
when Ringo was a member of the Dingle gang, or what they did at
teenage parties. The detail is so thorough and vividly recalled for
the early years (and butressed by the photos) that you feel like
you're living it as it actually happened. No stone is left unturned
about the famous years, either: George and Ringo philosophize about
their first LSD trips and the meaning of "Tomorrow Never
Knows", the Maharishi controversy is finally put to rest (hint:
he never made a pass at anybody), and new insight is shed on the
evolution of the friendships between John and the other three. More
is made about the breakup than was on the "Anthology"
videos, including Yoko's presence and the business hassles, as well as
the making of "Abbey Road". Finally, all of this is told
with such an elegant sense of Beatle humor that even the heaviest
moments are a joy to read. Also included are excerpts from Stu
Sutcliffe and Brian Epstein's personal diaries. With this volume now
finally released, the only other essential Beatle books to get are
Lewishon's "Beatles Chronicle" and Miles' "The Beatles:
A Diary", both of which give exact reference dates and
descriptions for every live show, radio, recording and filming session
(as well as more great photos).

5-0 out of 5 stars Magical mystery tour through the Beatles' career
This book purports to tell the Beatles's story in their own words (though augmented by memories from people close to them like Brian Epstein, producer George Martin, roadies Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, and publicist Derek Taylor), and does the job quite well.

I would estimate that at least 80% of the information contained in this book is already old hat for die-hard Beatlemaniacs who have memorized Mark Lewisohn's "Complete Beatles Chronicle" and read every Beatle book out there. But it's not so much the substance of the information as the way in which it is told--it's great to be able read about these events from the Beatles' point of view, even as seen through the prism of the thirty to forty years that have passed. And I am grateful that George was able to participate in the whole Anthology project before his untimely death in 2001.

The modern-day comments from Paul, George, and Ringo were apparently taken from the interviews from the Beatles Anthology circa 94-95 (if you watch the entire video/DVD and compare it to the text in the book it's pretty obvious). Hard-core fans will be able to recognize where many of the other quotes came from, although they aren't sourced, unfortunately--after each such quote there's merely a superscript such as "64" or "70" showing the year it was said, with no reference to the publication or interview it was taken from. That said, the editors had an incredible job piecing this thing together; they could almost be listed as co-writers!

There's a great deal of eye-candy (photographs, memos, handwritten notes, drawings, etc.), which are fascinating to look at. Sometimes, though, the arrangement of text, typeface, and photographs on the page seems rather random and thrown together, and even can make it difficult to read (for example, page 177, which tells about George and John's first LSD trip is printed on a background of garish red with magenta and orange text that all but obliterates the actual text). But it's never dull.

Despite the fact that it may be a bit of a chore to read, since it's large and heavy (even in paperback), it is a joy to read and I heartily recommend it to all Beatle fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Beatles!
This book transcends its overt purpose of being an anthology of the Beatles.

Anyone who loves the music the Beatles gave us will find much rewarding material here. Those who want to know about how success can be accomplished in popular music will be riveted. Those who like to look back on popular culture in times past will have a happy trip. If you just love exciting photography, there is much to attract you to this volume. I found myself singing the Beatles' songs to myself as I read the text and looked at the illustrations. That was the best part!

To me, the most thought-provoking part of this book was its rags-to-genius quality. The Beatles were unlikely candidates to become leading musical innovators. Most of them were so poor that their families lacked indoor bathrooms when they were growing up. None of them could read music. The combined number of music lessons they had was less than ten in total. They could not afford musical instruments. Their families could not afford to subsidize their careers. Yet they were observant about the new, in contact with what moved their hearts, listened intently for better music, and worked with a never-ending frenzy to fulfill their passion for the music. It's vastly more heartwarming and fascinating than any rags-to-riches story ever can be.

I had never understood John Lennon's complaints about the "packaged, predictable" Beatles until I read in this book about the type of band they were while evolving their style. Particularly in the Hamburg gigs, they were more like a jazz combo that played rock and roll. The music was free form, and they stretched some songs into being as long as an hour and a half.

In fact, their commercial success was a tremendous tragedy for their artistic success because they were probably at the edge of developing a whole new musical genre that would have become the dominant one today. I'm sorry it never happened. I feel even more sorry for them, in realizing that they knew what they lost and must feel it very deeply.

I was also moved by the story of their tempestuous friendship. These guys went through tremendous stresses, strains, and deprivations together. They fought, they disagreed, they slugged each other, and they appreciated each other. Yet, there was a strong enough pull towards each other that allowed the group to continue through its amazing journey, despite the difficulties. To have had such friendships, even if they are eventually lost, must be an amazing experience. Few will know this closeness in their lives.

I came away from this book with a new appreciation for the Beatles. Before this book, the Beatles were all about (for me) how they sounded and looked, and how I reacted to that. Now, I see them as being role models for important aspects of human experience that we should all appreciate.

Before closing, I do have two words of caution. This book is very open about the major and minor vices of life. As such, this book could make the wrong impression on adolescents. They don't need too many new ideas about how to rebel, and this book could be read that way. That's not what the Beatles were doing, but a 13 year old could see it that way.

Second, as revealing as the book is, more is ultimately still hidden below the surface than is revealed. These young men knew a lot of pain, and that pain was an important source of their brilliance. Don't be offended that they did not share more. It was probably very painful to share as much as they did.

I would like to give the editors major credit for developing a successful dialogue style in the book that included quotes from John Lennon. It must have been the dickens to read through all of his many quotes, and to weave them into material comparable to what can be developed in a simple interview where the others could be aware of what each other said.

"Take a sad song, and make it better."

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent production.
I thought the book was excellently produced, but would have liked more input from non-Beatles and from sacked drummers (nudge nudge wink wink). For instance, Lennon and McCartney recount the time they finished up "I Wanna Be Your Man" for the Rolling Stones; I'd like to have had a word from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards about that experience as well.

To the reviewer who complained that they were still slamming Pete Best's drumming ability and mental acuity, or lack thereof, forty years on--that's not strictly true. Pretty much all the statements in the book on that subject are at least 35 years old. But I'd still like to have seen some more input from Pete, as well as a page or two regarding his post
Beatles musical career. He did actually have one, and did fairly well for a couple of years. But, as this book presents him, he was basically a non-entity, just the last in a long line of drummers who occupied the Beatles' drum stool before Ringo came along.

There have been some conflicting reports on the musical skills of the various members of the band, ca. 1962. McCartney's own brother said of the group at that time, none of them was a rocket scientist, musically speaking, and it could have been any one of them fate could have chosen to go. Granted that statement was a bit disingenuous in retrospect, but wrt Pete Best it seems as if there was always an official policy in the Beatles' organization to purge his memory. For instance, when the BBC tapes were put on CD, the first two shows, with Pete Best, were omitted due to problems with the 'sound quality'. I've heard some of those performances, and the sound was fine. The drumming wasn't fantastic, but seemed more than adequate in the context. ... Read more


45. Hip Hop America
by Nelson George
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140280227
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 19883
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, Hip Hop America is "an invaluable, entertaining and well-written account from one who has not only witnessed the evolution of hip-hop, but who. . . has had a hand in shaping it, as well."--The New York Times Book Review

From the award-winning author of The Death of Rhythm and Blues comes Hip Hop America, the history of hip hop from its roots in the late 1970s to its emergence as the cultural force that today influences everything from movies to fashion, advertising to sports. It's the story of a society-altering collision between black youth culture and the mass media--and it's very big business.

Called "the most insightful hip hop writer on the planet" by Rolling Stone, Nelson George offers an insider's tour through a multimedia phenomenon of which rap music is only the audible manifestation, and also includes drugs, fashion, incarceration, basketball, entrepreneurship, technology, and language. Examining hip hop as music, a style, a business, a myth, and a moral code, he turns hip hop over to look at the ways it has been treated by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street to reach not just young black consumers but all young people. Hip Hop America shows us why, against all odds, hip hop has held a steady grip on American popular culture for over twenty years.

"I love hip-hop more than I love my mother-- and Nelson George writes about hip-hop with heart, soul, and insight." --Chris Rock

"An immensely readable survey of rap and its wide cultural impact."--The Philadelphia Inquirer
... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars I rate it 6 out of 5 stars! A must-read!!!
Of all the Hip Hop related works that I've read (and that's many), none can reach the insightful level of Nelson Georges's "Hip Hop America", which not only covers the history of the culture, but more importantly, delivers the sociological aspects of it, explaining not only "when", but also "how" and "why". It made me an instant fan of Nelson George. It's a very informative, sincere and to some extent analytical book, with plenty of facts and informations and first-hand experiences from the man "who has not only witnessed the evolution of hip-hop, but who. . . has had a hand in shaping it, as well." (The New York Times Book Review).
I could really write a long review for this great book, but I'll probably do that after my second reading, which starts NOW!

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough, exciting and involving.
I am one of those people who claim to be a hip hop fan, but being only 22 years of age, and British, I can hardly say that I was around 'back in the day'. I felt that I owed it to myself to do some research into the subject so I was extremely happy to come across this book. Nelson George had interested me since I saw him on a Channel 4 hip hop documentary. After reading the book I'm still not a font of all rap knowledge, but I am onsiderably more learned in one of my favourite styles of music. It is obvious that Nelson loves hip hop more than anything else. The book is written with power and insight, as well as emotion. This emotion can sometimes blur the facts, but this is bound to happen in a book written by someone who is so close to their subject matter. The only real criticism I could level at the book is that it tails off a bit at the end, it doesn't really end with a bang. Then again, there is no real end to the story seeing as how rap is still thriving and reinventing itself. Maybe it's best to see this book as an extract, plucked from the movement at particular moments in time. And, looked at in this way, this book is a wortrhwhile read for anyone remotely interested in hip hop music. It is an absolutely essential purchase for people out there who believe that rap music begins and ends with Eminem and Tupac.

4-0 out of 5 stars Especially good on the early days of hip hop
I read this book for an African-American Studies class at UNC. At first I did not like it at all. I did not connect with George's choice of language, which seemed outdated and out of touch with current hip hop lingo.

But as I got into the book, I realized that this outdated language was not George's fault. After all, as George himself points out in a section about hip hop movies, trends and lingo in hip hop change too quickly for anyone to keep up without a very detailed scorecard. So if you can get past him using somewhat outdated language, this is a great book.

George manages to discuss a wide array of topics, from graffiti to break dancing to production and distribution of records to hip hop themed movies to hip hop lingo to the proliferation of hip hop around the world. Despite the very diverse topics, George manages to tie everything to a common theme, the impact of hip hop on American culture.

If I had to pick one aspect of the book that was especially good, I would have to choose his discussion of the roots of hip hop and its early days. As a native of New York during hip hop's formative years, George is very well informed on the topic and indeed was a witness to many key events in the early days of hip hop. He also has connections with many key figures, throughout the time period covered in the book, and he is able to recall these connections to tell unique stories you cannot find anywhere else.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of hip hop. It is a quick, enjoyable, and informative read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant review of hip hop and black culture in America
This book is as good as anything I've read about hip hop culture in America, and how it weaves into other elements of African-American culture: basketball, feminism, the ghetto, racism, the drug wars, and more. It's extremely interesting and detailed in its close look at the way key trends in hip hop have unfolded since its founding -- the key players etc. Intelligent and thoughtful. If you are interested in contemporary music, hip hop is *the* major creative force of the last 20 years. This book is the key text. Too much writing out there is very ephemeral on this subject, about the latest hot act; this is the reference. Search Google for a longer review I wrote on postconsumer dot com with the terms "george nelson hip hop america amol sarva". I can't fit it in here.

4-0 out of 5 stars A lot of memories and some intersting views
Wow! reading this book and reflecting back on much of the culture brought up from back in the days really had me feelin' this book. Although I didn't agree with all of the authors views in this book, he did bring some insight and depth to some things I really never thought of. As a whole this book was great...everything from graffiti to music buisness to hip hop moguls to politics...for real...read this book. ... Read more


46. The Book Of Tiki
by Sven Kirsten
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 382282433X
Catlog: Book (2003-07-31)
Publisher: Taschen
Sales Rank: 30338
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and educational
It does not happen often that a new facet of American pop culture that has not been recognized before gets discovered. With his Book of Tiki Sven Kirsten succeeds in establishing a style that has been overlooked by art critics and historians alike. Through an amazing amount of visuals Kirsten proves how Tiki in it's heyday influenced every walk of American life, from architecture, design and graphics to food and drink.

In addition to the rich imagery (which affords the viewer an almost physical experience of the phenomenon) Kirsten's writing traces back the origins of the style to the Western fascination with Polynesia and, without becoming too analytical and dry, enlightens the reader on the motives for this escapism.
The chronicler's ironic enthusiasm for his subject saves him from becoming judgmental and falling for easy, politically correct conclusions.
We are guided through the history of Polynesia as an eternal metaphor for an earthly Eden up to the point where Americans fell in love with this vision.
Here Kirsten conveys how the post-war need for more moral freedom coincided with the tales of Pacific war theater veterans and the 50s idealization of Hawaii as a dream vacation destination.
In taking the guise of an urban archeologist who (as is done in classic archeology) discovers a lost culture through it's objects and artifacts, Kirsten accomplishes to throw light on a fascinating chapter of American pop that has so far lingered in obscurity.

5-0 out of 5 stars it's tiki-tastic!
What a fabulous book! The definitive book on tiki culture! I can't imagine that anyelse could ever surpass the excellent work done by Sven Kirsten. This book is truly a joy. I'll often rush through a new book but I took my time with this beauty. Entertaining, absorbing and stylish, it's just as much fun to merely look at as it is to read it. Each page is an adventure. I was impressed by the scope of the book - it deals with not just restaurants but with motels, apartment buildings, home entertaining, etc. Sven Kirsten also profiles the major innovators and originators of tiki culture. The best part is that the book is presented (tongue in cheek) as a guide to the urban archaeologist, interested in uncovering the remmnants and traces of the now-extinct tiki culture.

A must-have book!

5-0 out of 5 stars More Tiki Than You Can Shake A Torch At
Like all Taschen books, this book is visually STUNNING! Just leafing through the pictures never gets boring. The real treat is the book is also jam packed facts, folklore, drink recipies, and so much more. More information about Tiki than I ever knew existed.

Plenty of eye-candy in this book, but very well balanced with informative and fun content. A must have for the Tiki enthusiast!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on Tiki, though a bit artsy
This book is a must have for anyone interested in Tiki or kitsch art. Describing themselves as "urban archaeologists" seeking remnants of Tiki culture, the authors provide a fun and informative look at this vanishing art form. The book does an acceptable job presenting the evolutionary history of Tiki, from the 1920s to the present. Key events, such as the establishment of Trader Vic's, and the Kon Tiki craze of the late 40s, are looked at in further detail. There is also a good look at the "artifacts" of Tiki art and architecture throughout the United States. The book is packed with color photos of Tiki mugs, matchbooks, buildings, and much more.

However, the book does lean a bit too much towards making the book eye candy. The Book of Tiki uses intense colors, and ultra-hip page compositions that make it difficult to read (typically Taschen, but I still found it distracting). Also, a consolidation of information would have made it easier to reference, such as a table differentiating the different "Trader" Tiki businesses. Also, some of the text ("Exotica and the Tiki style were denounced as contrived rituals of the imperialist establishment at the same time that the Vietnam war developed into and ugly mistake, with native huts and palm trees burning on TV."), had me wondering if they were being tounge-in-cheek, or were actually serious.

Nevertheless, this book is the current bible for Tiki aficionados, and is well worth having on your bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the start of things to come
This is an excellent picture book filled with great stories about the good old days. It will bring back memories of a tiki age gone. Why dont we have these kinds of places anymore? Maybe that will change soon but in the mean time this is a great book for all who love this period in our American History or for the island dreamer. ... Read more


47. The Wilco Book (with CD)
by Wilco, Dan Nadel, Peter Buchanan-Smith
list price: $29.95
our price: $17.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971367035
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: PictureBox, Inc.
Sales Rank: 297
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Amazon.com

Between all the critical acclaim, Greg Kot's book on the band, and the introspective I Am Trying to Break Your Heart documentary, you'd think that pretty much everything has already been said about Wilco. But The Wilco Book--the influential rock band's own scrapbook of photos, observations, and random notes--has more than a few revelations for fans. Here we get beautiful photographs of musical instruments (taken apart, being fixed and played) interspersed with quotes about their studio, their performance and recording habits, and their songwriting. Some may think a close-up of a Gibson guitar is a mundane affair, but to Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, that tool of the trade is an important element in the music-making process, worthy of plenty of attention. In addition, there are numerous shots of the band, random images by Fred Tomaselli, a new essay on the ensemble by Rick Moody, and "The Angel Is My Watermark," a piece by Henry Miller that resonates with the group. The enclosed 12-track CD contains previously unheard tracks from the A Ghost Is Born sessions. A couple tunes ("Diamond Claw," "What Good Am I") rank with Wilco's best work, while the rest show the band in the midst of the creative process, making aural sketches. All-told, the poignant randomness of The Wilco Book unfolds like a great Wilco album: it's a wonderful mix of compelling experimentation and heartfelt sentiment. A must-have for Wilco lovers. --Jason Verlinde

Tweedy Talks
Amazon.com Music Editor Jason Verlinde talks with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy about the book, the band's music, and more in our special audio interview:

  • Jeff Tweedy on The Wilco Book
  • Jeff Tweedy on Wilco's fame and status

    Wilco on Record
    Looking for more Wilco? Check out Amazon.com's complete list of Wilco on CD. ... Read more


  • 48. The Ultimate Pop Rock Fake Book: Over 500 Songs for Piano, Vocal, Guitar, Electronic Keyboards & All "C" Instruments 1955 to Present (Fake Books)
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $39.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 079357000X
    Catlog: Book (1996-07-01)
    Publisher: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation
    Sales Rank: 30727
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars great book
    This is truely the ultimate pop/rock fake book. Almost every single song is the best and there are over 600 songs in this book(4th ed) the books uses plastic comb style binding for easy handling. if you are looking for a pop/rock fake book, look no further, this is the one!
    btw, the full song listing can be found in hal leonard website(the publisher of the book)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Pop fake book
    I was more than pleased with this book. It has so many songs that I recognize, I can just flip through it and play new songs any time. It's a great tool for practicing because you can always practice a new song. I choose this book because I wanted songs I knew well since I'm a beginner at the piano. ... Read more


    49. Fruits
    by Shoichi Aoki
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $18.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0714840831
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-06)
    Publisher: Phaidon Press
    Sales Rank: 3534
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    If you ever wondered where the catwalk got its claws, then the portraits gathered in photographer Shoichi Aoki's book Fruits, from the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo, point the way to an extraordinarily imaginative and invariably stunning glut of mongrel fashion heists. A best-of collection from the fanzine of the same name, and published for the first time outside Japan, Fruits keeps its style clean: front-on, razor-sharp images, ranging from the deadpan to the manic, of the sharpest collages of sartorial influence that, usually, little money can buy. From off the peg to off the wall, kitsch to bitch, each person bears a combination and philosophy as distinctive as DNA. All shades of aesthetic are raided, with exquisite, scrupulous attention to detail. Punk is a favorite, as is, appropriately, Vivienne Westwood, alongside Milk and Jean-Paul Gaultier, and the occasional Comme des Garçons. Many of the outfits, though, are second-hand or self-assembly, such as a skirt drooping petals of men's silk ties, Wa-mono, when tradition Japanese clothes are topped with, say, an authentic bowler hat, EGL (elegant gothic Lolita), and a swathe of tartans, pinks, and turquoises. The most malleable feature, unsurprisingly, is hair, with dreadlocks, mohicans, back-combing, and crops dyed an irradiated spectrum. While the eye is drawn, obediently, to the mannequins, the background is often worth a look, either for the vending machines against which a number are shot, or the ubiquitous Gap store and bags, a constant reminder of the global mass market.

    One enterprising man wears a genuine British paperboy's delivery bag, and, to pick but one profile, Princess, 18, is trying to be a doll and is currently preoccupied with body organs. Mmm. All the subjects are asked the source of their clothes, as well as their "point of fashion" and "current obsession." The scope for sociopsychological discussion is vast, particularly with the preponderance of infantilization, through dolls, bonnets, pop socks, and Barbie, but this is a joyous documentation of the innovative, celebrating the inspirational polytheism of street fashion, captured with provocative, political zeal. Best let the street cats prowl. --David Vincent ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Truly captures how young Japanese Teens dress
    After visiting Japan last year and having spent most of my time in Harajuku (where most of these pix were taken)--all i can say is this book truly captures how young Japanese teens dress. Hypercolored clothing, crazy extreme mismatching, a gaggle of plastic accessories, technotoys and unnatural hair color is standard-- it's anime character meets candyraver meets barbie in Super Mario land.

    You may think these teens are the few "extreme" dressers in their society, but you're wrong. I would estimate that 80% of teens in Japan's metro areas dress this way, if not more extreme.

    In fact, the teens in Fruits are a bit *subtle* compared to what is going on in Japanese fashion today. It's not uncommon to see girls in elaborate french maid outfits with metallic makeup walking out of the train station. Walking everywhere you see these hello kitty psycho sweethearts, riddled with fake blonde hair, white lipstick, and mile-high op-art platforms. I've turned a corner and seen gangs of japanese guys and girls looking like Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill, replete with fake black tan, dreads, ghetto fabulous hip hop gear and all. Scrupulous attention is paid to every part of the body. Only about 5% of Japanese girls i observed did NOT wear some kinda of intricate rainbow patterned/bejeweled nail art. And the best part is seeing all these vividly dressed youths swarming all around you in hordes.

    Fruits, although on target for year 2001, is almost out of style now, given that Japanese fashion trends change every minute. If you can't get enough of Fruits, then you really need to take a trip to Japan (Tokyo) which I stress is vital for anyone in the fashion, arts, or other trend industry. It's like living in the future--talking toilets, automatic servamatrons, futurism galore, towns called Sunshine City, bridges named Rainbow Bridge--it's pop-culture infantilism crossbred with sophisticated technology, the most fascinating hybrid found only in Japan. I guarantee you will be visually stimulated and inspired to no end at the hallucinatory flourescence that is Japanese youth culture. Now go book that ticket.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye popping fashion passion (with a healthy does of humor)
    From the highly worshipped pages of Japan's premiere street fashion bible comes FRUITS, from the magazine of the same name, created and photographed by Shoichi Aoki. From its beginning in 1994, FRUITS magazine covered the wide world of street fashions sported by young Japanese crowd of the Tokyo suburbs. This edition of FRUITS, from Phaidon publishing, is a collection of full page portraits from the magazine. It's the first time many of these images have been published in the western world.

    Be prepared to enter the wild and wacky world of Japanese street style; a mixture of thrift store chic, designer handbags and accessories, anime and manga color, traditional Japanese clothing and home created "couture", sure to grab your attention, if not to make you laugh out loud. Creativity and ideas abound (notice I didn't say they were all "good" ideas.) Witness fever pitched fashion passion, eye popping cartoon creations worn with complete self confidence. Getting your picture in FRUITS magazine is your fashion street cred badge of honor, and these kids pursue it with all the style muscle they can muster.

    Rasta cowboys, EGL (elegant gothic Lolita) baby dolls, anime space cadets, rockabilly punks, designer samurais; these are but a few of the style hybrids on display. Mixing vintage finds, designer labels (like W<, Jean Paul Gaultier and the prolific influence of Vivienne Westwood), and their own customized experiments, these Japanese teens create a world where the only limit to style is their own imagination.

    You need this book. It's that good.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Fruits is a Fraud
    Fruits purports to be photos of people picked at random from the streets based on their unusual outfits. In my opinion, all the subjects are models, dressed by a designer. Maybe they thought that westerners would not notice that all or most of the women and men subjects are photographed more than once. Some show up again and again. In my opinion, the photographs are staged and the outfits are not the creations of the people who are photographed. Notice too, how all the outfits are top notch from head to toe. You would expect to see a few ugly or poor decisions if the photos were of real people. Take a look if you are interested in how to try and dupe the public.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Selling Japanese Fruit to the World
    I love the work by my fellow photographer Shoichi Aoki. Like me, he shoots the cool trendsetters on the streets of Tokyo. Since he started his magazine FRUITS in the mid-90s he has taken countless of photographs of the coolest street fashion that the world has seen sofar. The best of these shots are compiled in this book.

    Aoki first started documenting street fashion in London in the mid 80's. He has told me that he taught himself how to take photographs from books. At the time Japanese fashion wasn't free at all. Inspired by the free street fashion of London the young Aoki decided he wanted to do something about Japanese staleness.

    In the early to mid 90's things were beginning to change in Japan. The Harajuku area in Tokyo had its main thoroughfare closed off on Sundays and this was attracting more and more bands and show offs. The 'pedestrian heaven' (hokoten) as it was called became a laboratory and incubation center for new trends in music and fashion.

    "In Japan," Aoki told me recently, "everybody had always dressed the same. Whatever was popular was worn by everyone. Everybody would wear Comme des Garçons or Ivy or whatever brand was 'in'. But suddenly Harajuku became free. People started to feel that it was cool to coordinate your own clothes. Harajuku fashion became really interesting and fun." He recalls: "You had this small group of trendsetters, perhaps 10 to 20 people. Whenever they came up with something new, others would soon imitate them. But these imitators weren't as cool as the original trendsetters so the trendsetters didn't want to be identified with them."

    "To differentiate themselves again they came up with new things. It just escalated. They kept on trying to escape from their imitators right into "decora" (fashion style sporting lots of decorative stuff and strong bright colors). They figured nobody would follow them into wearing clothes that crazy."

    FRUITS shows these 'crazy' trends in all their details. The book has virtually no text, just page after page of exquisitely printed color photographs. Aoki's photographs are unique in that he shows the full body, from head to toe, in actual street situations. This is much better than shots done in the studio. It is like photographing animals in the wild opposed to photographing them in the zoo.

    Full body shots makes it possible to not only see the pants, skirts, dresses, coats and sweaters, but also the shoes, socks, stockings, hats and wild hairdos in all their glory.

    Short descriptions explain what each person is wearing, their age and their 'obsession'.

    If you want to put to rest the myth that Japanese people are not creative and original, you just have got to read this book. You'll find it a great inspiration.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fruits
    This book rocks the crazy street styles. Great source for design for anime or comic book characters. ... Read more


    50. Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About the "Great Good Places" at the Heart of Our Communities
    by Ray Oldenburg
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1569246122
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-09)
    Publisher: Marlowe & Company
    Sales Rank: 175363
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    Book Description

    After a long day at work or a lazy afternoon at home, many of us seek solace and distraction in a place where the magical combination of comfort, familiarity, and good company transform an ordinary hangout into our special "third place." In his landmark work, The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg identified, portrayed, and promoted those third places. Now the time has come to celebrate the many third places that dot the American landscape and foster civic life. Celebrating the Third Place brings together nineteen firsthand accounts by proprietors of third places, as well as appreciations by fans who have made spending time at these establishments a regular part of their lives. The scope of places profiled—from an historic tavern in Washington, D.C., and a garden shop in Massachusetts to a coffeehouse in North Carolina and a bookstore in Michigan—make Celebrating the Third Place a must-read for everyone who has or wants a third place they can call their own. ... Read more


    51. The Cultural Creatives : How 50 Million People Are Changing the World
    by PAUL H. PHD RAY, SHERRY RUTH ANDERSON
    list price: $25.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0609604678
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-03)
    Publisher: Harmony
    Sales Rank: 231007
    Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Do you "give a lot of importance to helping other people and bringing out their unique gifts?" Do you "dislike all the emphasis in modern culture on success and 'making it,' on getting and spending, on wealth and luxury goods?" Do you "want to be involved in creating a new and better way of life for our country?" If you answered yes to all three of these questions--and at least seven more of the remaining 15 in Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson's questionnaire--then you are probably a Cultural Creative.

    Cultural Creative is a term coined by Ray and Anderson to describe people whose values embrace a curiosity and concern for the world, its ecosystem, and its peoples; an awareness of and activism for peace and social justice; and an openness to self-actualization through spirituality, psychotherapy, and holistic practices. Cultural Creatives do not just take the money and run; they don't want to defund the National Endowment for the Arts; and they do want women to get a fairer shake--not only in the United States, but around the globe.

    On the basis of Ray and Anderson's research, about 50 million Americans are Cultural Creatives, a group that includes people of all races, ages, and classes. This subculture could have enormous social and political clout, the authors argue, if only it had any consciousness of itself as a cohesive unit, a society of fellow travelers. The husband and wife team wrote the book "to hold up a mirror" to the members of this vast but diffuse group, to show them they are not alone and that they can reshape society to make it more authentic, compassionate, and engaged. It is an idealistic call for a new agenda for a new millennium. --I. Crane ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where is the harm in the book?

    I've just read some of the negative reviews of this book and felt compelled to re-post my initial review....where's the harm in wanting to do good? I can't imagine a "Mother Russia" scenario, as one reviewer suggests.

    Oh, well, that's why there's chocolate and vanilla.

    For my money, the 'movement' these authors highlight will most likely run afoul...there is hope for our planet.

    Psychologists Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson have written a handbook for people who are working to make this world a better place. Their book, THE CULTURAL CREATIVES - HOW 50 MILLION PEOPLE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD - is a guidebook for those who are interested in saving the planet, nurturing their personal relationships, and being sensitive without being stomped on. You might be a Cultural Creative if you're into: books and music; arts and culture; stories; social causes, especially issues dealing with women and children; and authenticity. The authors have created an interesting test to gauge where you stand in the mix and use a lot of graphs throughout the book to identify cultural creatives and their issues. If you're from the '60s and you've ever wondered what to do with all the energy created during that period of our lives, this book will open your eyes. If you've sometimes felt like an alien in your own family, the authors will offer you comfort because you're not alone. Even if you're just wondering why cultural creatives are so passionate about their lives, this planet, and their causes, this book will help you put it all together. Cultural Creatives include such personalities as: Pope John Paul XXIII; Martin Luther King, Jr.; The Dalai Lama; Annie Dillard; Georgia O'Keeffe; Marc Chagall; Yo-Yo Ma; Robert Redford; Katharine Hepburn; and Bill Moyers. Pretty good company, don't you think? While the book represents a lot of research on the part of the authors, the data is never presented in a dry, boring format. I found it hard to put the book down. The information resonated with me -- I'm from the 60's -- and it gave me hope for the future of our species and our planet. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 50 Million "Cultural Creatives" Influencing U.S. Agenda
    Every decade or so a book captures the social zeitgeist, the essence of the times, reflecting us as we are and revealing who we are becoming. In the 1980s, books by Alvin Toffler (Future Shock and The Third Wave) and John Naisbitt (Megatrends) took America by storm as they presented leading edge thinking and technology, and foretold how we would live as the millennium ended.

    Now, a book for the 21st Century, Ray and Anderson's The Cultural Creatives, is poised to have the greatest impact on Americans' understanding of themselves - and shaping of their future - since Megatrends. "The Cultural Creatives" is already joining the national lexicon as the name of the substantial American sub-culture - 50 million adults - that the authors identified after more than 100,000 questionnaires, 500 focus groups and scores of personal interviews.

    The Cultural Creatives, who transcend normal demographic boundaries, are characterized by their values. They tend to: love nature and are concerned about its destruction; hold a holistic perspective; value relationships, psychological and spiritual development; support women's and children's issues; be optimistic about the future; be unhappy with both the left and right in politics and seek a new way that's not the "mushy middle." The authors present 18 "values statements" that tend to define the population.

    The Cultural Creatives is not only an immensely important work on American culture at this critical time -- with implications for marketing, politics and most aspects of American life -- it is also a fascinating, easy and accessible read. The authors present complete profiles of America's three sub-cultures -- The Cultural Creatives, The Moderns and The Traditionals -- along with historical context for all the groups and a collection of personal stories of cultural creatives from all walks of life ... and how they found their way into this group that's intent on generating "a future that works for everyone."

    Not to be missed by anyone interested in the personal and social transformation emerging worldwide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, but not perfect.
    This is a fascinating book that I couldn't put down when I first got it. Anderson and Ray write in a style that is both intellectually stimulating and easy for lay audiences to understand. As a "cultural creative" myself, the book had a helpful, optimistic tone.

    But the book is far from perfect. As some other reviewers have astutely pointed out, the authors fail to take into consideration that people might overlap more than one of the three groups outlined in the book. What happens when a "modern" couple from Omaha decide they want to move back to "traditional" Grandpa's farm in the country to raise their kids? Anderson and Ray don't give fair treatment to cross-over between the groups. This is unfortunate, and gives an incomplete picture of the United States.

    Next, as someone who took a good amount of sociology in college, I was disappointed with the book's treatment of how one becomes a modern, traditional, or creative. More individual case studies, instead of a macro-level analysis would have been helpful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you want life to continue on this planet.....
    Just what is a Cultural Creative? Authors Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson conducted a study for the EPA (1998) to ascertain citizen views about the environment. What they discovered was 50 million CC individuals who are changing the world one step at a time. The authors supply a test the reader can use to determine whether they are a 'Traditional' (25 percent of the population); a 'Modern' (50 percent); or a CC (25 percent).

    Using their three "types" to explore cultural values, including attitudes towards the environment, the authors have uncovered a lot of good and bad news. Not surprisingly perhaps, all three groups think the environment is very important (good) while disagreeing about many other cultural issues including the best way to deal with the environmental mess that is killing life on this planet (bad). The authors suggest that while most folks are aware of the attitudes and opinions of the 'Modern' and 'Traditional' types because they can be found arguing in newspapers, on tv and in person, the opinions and activities of the Cultural Creative types are more elusive.

    Ray and Anderson have assembled a huge amount of information and synthesized it into a fairly coherent package. They leave virtually no sociological source untapped as they report on everything from AIDS to Zen. Their book is nicely complemented with survey results and graphs (simple and easy to understand) and plenty of references for further reading. While I don't agree with each and everything these authors say (only 95 percent), I do believe thinking people (especially Moderns..which I used to be) need to read this provocative book.

    I underlined so many passages and pasted sticky markers on so many pages I don't know where to begin to describe the content, except to say this is not a doom and gloom book that will make you want to swallow rat poison. This book offers examples of a better way to live. It offers HOPE for our planet. To put the CC message in a nutshell..if we want life to continue on this planet we must act and act now.

    You may not agree with all you read, but you will probably find the authors arguments compelling and may discover you are already a Cultural Creative or on the way to becoming one through the process of self-actualization (yes, they include Maslow, Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Wicca and Catholic nuns).

    4-0 out of 5 stars A New Paradigm for a New Era
    I'm grateful a friend loaned this book to me. The authors' research identifies a core population that is committed to a series of interrelated movements-- ecology, human rights, glbt rights, access to health care, etc. This group, comprising 50 million, illuminates the deficiencies of the left/right political dichotomy and offers a paradigm to transcend that model. ... Read more


    52. Vice Dos & Don'ts : 10 Years of VICE Magazine's Street Fashion Critiques
    by Gavin McInnes, Shane Smith, Suroosh Alvi
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446692824
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Warner Books
    Sales Rank: 2358
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    53. Reading Specialists in the Real World : A Sociocultural View
    by MaryEllen Vogt, Brenda A. Shearer
    list price: $43.40
    our price: $43.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0205342566
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-25)
    Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
    Sales Rank: 350833
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    54. Positively Fifth Street
    by James McManus
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312422520
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
    Publisher: Picador
    Sales Rank: 3729
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In the spring of 2000, Harper's Magazine sent James McManus to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker, in particular the progress of women in the $23 million event, and the murder of Ted Binion, the tournament's prodigal host, purportedly done in by a stripper and her boyfriend. But when McManus arrives, the lure of the tables compels him to risk his entire Harper's advance in a long-shot attempt to play in the tournament himself. This is his deliciously suspenseful account of the tournament--the players, the hand-to-hand combat, his own unlikely progress in it--and the delightfully seedy carnival atmosphere that surrounds it. Positively Fifth Street is a high-stakes adventure and a terrifying but often hilarious account of one man's effort to understand what Edward O. Wilson has called "Pleistocene exigencies"--the eros and logistics of our competitive instincts.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (89)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Talk About Sensory Overload.....Wow!
    What a wild, rollicking ride of a book! We jump right in with a detailed re-creation of the murder of an heir on one of Las Vegas' great fortunes. It's not just any murder...not when sex, handcuffs, Xanax, heroin and a turkey baster are involved. The victim is Ted Binion, son of Benny Binion, founder of Binion's Horseshoe, the last family-owned casino in Vegas. His accused killers are his live-in girlfriend and one of his employees.

    Call it fate, or perhaps irony, but it turns out that the conclusion of the Binion murder trial will overlap with the 2000 World Series of Poker, which is the Horseshoe's signature event and the richest, most prestigious of the many stops on the big money poker circuit. Enter our hero/author, who is also an avid amateur player. He wrangles an assignment from Harper's magazine to cover the tournament and the trial.

    Although the parallel is inexact, McManus then decides to pull a George Plimpton and use his advance from Harper's as seed money to enter the tournament itself. Only through actual experience, he reasons, can he accurately convey the full sensory impact of this adrenaline-charged event. He resolves to school himself in the subtleties of the no-limit game, though he entertains no illusions about his chances against the experienced pros he'll be facing.

    Without giving anything away, it's fair to say that a combination of luck and skill carry Jim much farther along the road to glory than even he could have imagined in the beginning. And when the trial concludes almost simultaneously with the final hands of the tournament, the whole story seems to come together in one big, gaudy package.

    Along the way, McManus manages to weave in the history of poker, even of the deck of cards itself, autobiographical slices, observations on the poetry of Sylvia Plath....So, this is a book about poker, and about sex. It's also about life, death, love, lust, greed, hopes and dreams....in short, it's about just about everything that makes us who we are.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Some good, some bad, worth reading overall.
    Jim McManus, Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2003)

    Jim McManus made the final table at the World Series of Poker.

    That alone should make any poker player want to pick this book up and read it immediately. It gets better when you realize that McManus went in as the rankest of rank amateurs, the guy whose previous poker career revolved around the $3-$6 Hold 'em game at the local VFW. Yes, folks, Jim McManus is living proof that anyone CAN do it. And, as This American Life host Ira Glass says on the back cover, the poker writing to be found here really is some of the best sports writing you are likely to ever see; McManus' descriptions are easily the equal of Laura Hillenbrand's race descriptions in Seabiscuit (and this is high praise indeed). Its when McManus gets off the subject of poker that things tend to go downhill.

    Unfortunately, this happens often. McManus was in Vegas for the purpose of covering the Murphy/Tabish trial (Murphy and Tabish were accused of murdering Ted Binion, wayward son of the owner of the casino where the World Series of Poker is held*), and much of the book details McManus' attempts to get at the meat of the psyches of Binion, Murphy, and Tabish, in order to write the article. Despite the tenuous connections McManus makes between murder and poker towards the end of the book, these are two separate pieces, and should have been treated as such.

    Worth reading for the cards. Skim the rest. ***

    * For the sticklers in the audience: yes, "is" is the correct tense. Binion's reopened on April 1, 2004.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Stream of Consciousness
    McManus' Harpers article was supposed to do three things: Cover the World Series of Poker; more specifically, cover female professional poker players; and cover the Ted Binion murder trial.

    The first ten pages cover the murder; and there are approximately five more pages throughout the book that are really relevant to the trial. There are maybe a total of three pages in the book that talk about female poker players, and the vast majority of that is descriptions of their breasts. I am not making this up.

    There *is* poker in here, and it's pretty entertaining. However, here's my reconstruction of how this book was "designed". McManus went to Vegas, and kept detailed stream-of-consciousness notes. When he got home, he filled out the notes with research... and left absolutely *nothing* out. The result is unbelievably boring. Boring history of cards, for no reason; boring life stories of several poets, for no reason; ridiculously puerile comparisons between poker and sex, for no reason. On and on and on and on. I would not have thought it possible for a description of a lap dance to be tedious. Turns out it is quite possible.

    The only way to have a positive experience with this book is to leaf through it, and read only the passages describing actual poker play. Even then, you have to be prepared for obvious errors in terminology (e.g., according to the Appendix, a "blank" is the same as a "rag," false) and betting sequence (according to the seating chart, McManus must already have acted, but he has himself fold later in the round).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Premise - Disappointing Results
    "Hey," I thought when I saw this book at a local store - "What a neat idea for a book!" Interested in gambling and all things Vegas, I bought it. The author is a good storyteller and he weaves adroitly between the tales of his unexpected run at the World Series of Poker and the trial of the two people charged with murdering casino operator Ted Binion, whose Binion's Horseshoe Casino hosts the annual WSOP.

    For poker fans, including the thousands (millions?) of new enthusiasts introduced to the game by all the recent televised poker, it's a good read. The author also provides a decent account of the trial and the events leading up to it. But where he fails is in his interjecting of his own strong personal views about the principals involved. His blatant dislike of the defendants (he finds them both "guilty" in the book's opening pages), their attorneys (including the mayor of Las Vegas), and others, taints the story and attemtps to influence opinion instead of just presenting the facts. I was further disappointed at the author's political railings, which are totally unrelated to the story, at the end of the book.

    Nonetheless, the poker and courtroom action are quite revealing and interesting. If the author had stuck more to the tournament and the trial and less to his political beliefs and family history, this could have been an even better read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good
    I was skeptical when i first noticed this book. I skimmed through it and still wasnt sure. But when i actually purchased it and started reading it, i got into it. Alittle uninteresting at first but when i got to the part where he describes his experience at the WSOP i couldnt put it down!! A well put book when suspenful poker action ...A must read at an inexpensive cost! ... Read more


    55. Batman: Cover to Cover : The Greatest Comic Book Covers of the Dark Knight (Batman)
    by Various
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $26.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 140120659X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Sales Rank: 138522
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book!! A Tribute To The Dark Knight!!!
    I just recently received this book,and I can tell you it is well worth having. True, there are definitely some covers that are missing (in my opinion all of Jim Lee's covers should have been here from the Hush series. OUTSTANDING!!!) A beautifully done book to add to your Batman collection. This book does not cover all of Batman's many comic book covers, but this was not to be expected. Instead they point out some of his most daring and bold covers. Batman has had the benefit of being drawn by some of the greatest comic book artist ever. I beleive you will find it truly amazing how each one has their own distinctive style on creating the Dark Knight. So make sure you own this one. You won't be sorry. Hey, maybe they'll make a volume 2.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's about time, for someone like Batman
    Well first, it's Batman; that might be enough reason to buy it, even for the price. (I'm a collector anyway, so what's some bucks?) Anyway, it features a number of cool and "forgotten" covers done over the 65+ years of Batman being in comics. I was even surprised some of the covers of War Games got in, really nice. There are some well-written commentaries too, by artists and editors and the like, and what cover they picked.

    The cover of the book itself is great. I thought it was just a hardbound book; it turns out, the dust jacket reveals some more to it. I was in awe when I opened it, well done.

    My only rant, not all of the covers I wished to be there was not there. Well, that's how it is. Tec#700 and Strange Apparitons, I think, should've been in the list. Well, all in all if you have the money and would really have something to keep for a number of years, get this. Well, if not, I hope you can browse through it when you get a chance. It would be great.

    ... Read more


    56. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories (Modern Library)
    by HUNTER S. THOMPSON
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679602984
    Catlog: Book (1998-05-05)
    Publisher: Modern Library
    Sales Rank: 15198
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in The New York Times, it has "a kind of mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer's An American Dream left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out."
    This Modern Library edition features Ralph Steadman's original drawings and three companion pieces selected by Dr. Thompson: "Jacket Copy for Fear and Loath-
    ing in Las Vegas," "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan," and "The Kentucky Derby Is Deca-
    dent and Depraved."

    ... Read more

    Reviews (35)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book made me get into reading; I picked it up because
    of the simple fact that it involved drug abuse and that was something that excited me very much at that time (that was sophomore year in high school, I'm a senior now) but I discovered the pure ferocity and scholarly humor this book contained, the good doctor created something that he himself has never been able to recreate, now don't get me wrong, I love his other books, I'm just saying that this one is his best book. It tells the tale of Raoul Duke, Hunter's alter ego and his lawyer Dr. Gonzo, who is based on Oscar Acosta and their adventures during a trip to Las Vegas to cover the Mint 400 race, it takes place around 1971, the year is very important because, well, do I actually have to say anything? Anyway, because of Hunter, I myself have chosen to undertake journalism as a career, it changed my life, why not try it, can't hurt, can it?

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best True Story, Drugs are only part of the story!
    This book (I can tell you from experience) is a very real account of what goes on in the life of a SMART full blown drug addict. I say smart because Hunter S. Thompson is an intelligent guy who knows enough to analyze what happens to himself when takes such drugs as mescaline and acid. He is able to put it down on paper and give you the stunning reality in such a way that you can feel Dr. Gonzo wave that knife in your face in a drug crazed frenzy. Some will say that the story is embellished, and they are just saying that because they have never lived life the same way as Thompson has. Nobody can describe in such grave detail the world of drug abuse without having done it. There is also a plot that lies in the story that others never saw. A plot that has nothing to do with drugs. This plot is about the greed that lies within the people of america today. If your not going to be too horrified by the drug abuse to see this grim reality that the book portrays, then you will see what I am talking about. The book is also about psychology and analyzes the mind and the way that people think, but says it in such a way as to be amusing for the reader.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gonzo to the max
    Though I wasn't around for its inital debut, I am still aware of the impact Fear and Loathing has had on anyone who cared to listen.
    This is a truly timeless classic that depicts the life and death of an All-American generation. No other piece of literature or journalism can even come close to reliving this unprecidented epic.
    As a journalist, dope fiend and HST fanatic, I can say with conviction that this work will forever remain a priceless journey into the generation of the flower children.
    I mean what else can I say? The world of professional journalism will never be the same... Only a true genious can manage to be both informative and exciting.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wild...
    Very wild and crazy book. Very funny and yet very sick, it is sad how a someone can inflict so much horror to oneself, that is what makes it worth reading. I am just glad it was not me strung out that badly with a buddy who is far more messed up. The book has a rather quick flow, everything moves quickly as if you are also strung out on some of the many drugs the good doctor was on...

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Book
    A Very Interesting Book
    Have you ever heard someone declare that they were living the American dream? This is perceived to be a laid back life where everything goes your way. During the reading of Fear and Loathing, Thompson proclaims to be living it, or maybe it was the drugs that made him escape from reality on the short journey to sin-city. Thompson's documented escapade to Las Vegas may leave D.A.R.E. founders rethinking their motto. The story consists of Hunter Thompson with his Samoan attorney in a fresh and clean convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark," on their way to Las Vegas to cover a story. In their trunk, they stow "two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyl's," which they manage to consume during their short tour. That shows how crazy these two individuals must be. And get this; it is all a true story. The book was made from notes he had taken and recorded in a small recorder during his extraordinary adventure in sin-city.
    The book was probably the most intriguing book that I have ever read. Throughout the whole
    Literature he describes every moment in perfect detail. There never seemed to be a dull moment. Most scenes are centered round paranoia and sudation and at times hallucinations from all of the drugs they consumed while on their journey. I also enjoyed the book because through every escapade it felt like I was right there with him. I found myself looking forward to reading it; usually I don't enjoy reading.
    The book never really gave a basic purpose of what Hunter Thompson was trying to say. Towards the end of the book it just kind of leaves a lot of information out of what was going on. Maybe that's how he was feeling at the time towards the end though. He might of not known exactly what was going on because of all the hallucinogens, uppers, and downers. But, I think that it was supposed to be about a time in a person's life where it is good to escape from reality and act a fool. That was the only shortcoming of the book to me. I found it very interesting and entertaining. I also found myself laughing out loud at the hilarious array of the literature and the situations they were involved in. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading bazaar and funny literature. ... Read more


    57. The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook
    by Hal Leonard
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0634022296
    Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
    Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
    Sales Rank: 2597
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This great collection features all 194 songs written and sung by The Beatles, specially transcribed here for strumming guitarists, from the actual recordings, in the original keys. Each song includes chord symbols, guitar chord boxes and complete lyrics. Also features a helpful playing guide and a full discography. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book -- but why are several songs out of order?
    This book advanced my piano and guitar playing more than several years of lessons; it essentially taught me how to play by chords vs. sight reading. I do, however, recommend a few improvements:

    1) Eleven songs appear out-of-order [check out the Amazon pages above]. Here's a list:
    Dear Prudence (off by 4 pages)
    Golden Slumbers (off by a whopping 36 pages)
    I Am the Walrus (off by 14 pages)
    I've Got a Feeling (off by 24 pages)
    Long, Long, Long (off by 12 pages)
    Maxwell's Silver Hammer (off by 4 pages)
    Old Brown Shoe (off by 24 pages)
    Rain (off by 3 pages)
    Sun King (off by 14 pages)
    The End (off by 2 pages)
    You'll Be Mine (off by 8 pages)

    [Perhaps the songs should have been listed in order by album/recording date?]

    2) The binding is poor, and cannot be used on a music stand.

    3) The key transposition (on songs where the capo is recommended) is a bummer... to play the songs without a capo requires a re-transposition [not too easy to do on-the-fly].

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written
    "The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook" is indeed a wonderful compilation of all of the Beatles original songs complete with the guitar tabs, chords and lyrics. The tabs are easy to read and are well placed. Highly recommend this book to any guitar playing Beatles fans!!!!
    Brian R. Cunningham

    1-0 out of 5 stars Hal Leonard deceived customers
    On its website, Hal Leonard shows that this book contains piano notes as well as those for guitar and vocal, with a picture showing what its content should be like. Yet in reality, there is no piano notes at all! They simply decievied customers into buying their books, and they are unwilling to apologize! Until now, that mistake still exists in their website. They argued that this book is a "fake" book that can be used for piano. What an incredible excuse! Shameless enough. I wonder why such a lousy company can exist till now.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Two pages shy of being truly complete.
    This book is a bare-bones chord structure guide to the songs written and performed by the Beatles in the 1950s and 1960s. It gives no real illustrations as to the exact fingerings used by the Beatles on their records. Titles include official discography rejects like That Means A Lot, You Know What To Do, and You'll Be Mine (all of which made appearances on the Anthology), but, inexplicably, do not include the 1970s Lennon demos-made-Beatles-singles Real Love and Free As A Bird. Seeing as the latter two songs were released as singles and thus should count more as Beatles canon than early-era testbed dross like In Spite Of All The Danger (recorded and released purely by incident), this book is, in my book, somewhat less than complete.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Buena edición.
    Este compilado de las canciones de los Beatles es realmente bueno, es fácil de ejecutar, y los acordes son casi exactos, sin embargo, no están todas las canciones y no presentan las partituras ni tablaturas para usuarios más avanzados. Pero lo recomiendo para uso personal o un regalo muy bienvenido.

    Saludos

    Alain ... Read more


    58. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture
    by Marita Sturken, Lisa Cartwright
    list price: $45.00
    our price: $39.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0198742711
    Catlog: Book (2001-03-15)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 79466
    Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (21)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Read This Book...and then...read more...
    The book Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright joins philosophy and the visual world by analyzing books and essays written by a variety of scholars. Sturken and Cartwright use their theories to analyze the basic concepts under the term "visual culture." In one chapter they look at how the spectator, the gaze, the subject and institution are the basic components in mass media. They present a distinction and relationship between address, the ideal viewer's reception, and the actual viewer's response. Sturken and Cartwright present spectatorship as a theory and provide clear and concise examples and evaluations of information that could take any person several years to get through. I have looked at a handful of these sources. Sturken and Cartwright do an adequate job combining and interpreting them, however if you are really interested in the concepts presented in the book, I would recommend reading the original sources; they are more in depth and engaging.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Chapter 7 Postmodernism and Popular Culture
    What exactly is postmodernism? Out of all the misused words in the English language, postmodernism is used to describe anything that is not modern. Many theorists and scholars have tried to define the broad and ever encompassing theory and term of postmodernism. The most recent explanation of postmodernism that I have received is from reading the book Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright. This is not the best book on postmodernist theory in art; the most complete book on the subject of postmodernism is Postmodernism by Eleanor Heartney.
    I am not an authority on the subject of postmodernism or of the readings of scholarly papers or books. I am just a college art student, an untraditional college student who's been going to school for six years. There are some major problems with Sturken and Cartwright's book. At least they're problems that I have. The first problem I have is that the book is not an easy read, it reads more like stereo or VCR instructions. The theories involved are broken down, but still take a degree of understanding and knowledge. The second problem is the images placed in the book as visual aids are all in black and white, when most of the originals are in color. It seems that if the artist wanted the people to view their work in monochrome they would have done it that way in the first place. One needs to have another book with the artworks in color to grasp the full meaning as well as Sturken and Cartwright's message. Heartney's book is the complete opposite of this, it is an easy read, so it's easy to stay interested and all the reproduced artwork is in color which is the way they were when they were created. Heartney breaks down the hard language of theorist and critics that have contributed to postmodernism in words that are easy to read and understand.
    After reading this book for a college class this is what I felt I do believe there is a better book out there and many will disagree but I think that the book uses the same hard language that the essays and other writing that were used to write the book came from instead of breaking them down into easy to read chunks. I gave this book a 3 because I read it and did not burn it but I would not recommend it to a friend.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Chapter Nine
    As a class assignment, I closely studied chapter nine of Practices of Looking, and researched several of the listed source materials. This chapter is entitled "The Global Flow of Visual Culture" and deals with the globalization of Western media, primarily in the form of television and the internet. The authors explore such topics as the history of media globalization, its effects on non-western cultures, pros and cons of the internet, and possibilities that new global technologies afford us.
    This chapter was well-presented, persuasive, and useful. It offered a cohesive and informative discussion of a broad variety of topics, dealing with each one in satisfactory depth and detail. After researching a few of the listed sources, I found that while some of them seemed to be surplus to the actual chapter content, those that were used were, on the whole, represented accurately and fairly.
    I recommend this book to anyone studying visual culture, due to its detailed and informative treatment of this broad and varied topic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brief on Practices of Looking (with emphasis on Chapter 8)
    In Practices of Looking, imagery in culture is shown to play on the way we perceive, initiate, and direct ourselves in our daily life. This book, indicates that we rely on imagery to guide us daily. This book explains how imagery is the most relied upon role model of today; basically, due to the fact that it is the most direct measure for a humans consumption of information. It provides input on how imagery sells goods through advertising, how images evoke personal memories, and how images can provide us with scientific data. In Society, Imagery can be found in all areas of the social arena. Influence of imagery is never counted alone in any arena. It is quoted in Practices of Looking "That images are never singular, discrete events, but are informed by a broader set of conditions and factors. The identity of science in correlation with imagery is explained in a wide spectrum of social engagements. Anything in the fine arts, film, television, and advertising, to visual data, can provide insight into the way we see things.

    In Practices of Looking, written by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, mediums of influence and expression for Science and Imagery are identified in Chapter 8, Scientific Looking, Looking at Science. This chapter projects ideas with scientific imagery from the early 19th century to modern day. The chapter opens your eyes to the realization that we are constantly being fed ideas from imaging dealing with any subject matter. Whether the ideas are correct or not, most people today take the information and the images they see very seriously, especially when there are relations to science. Maybe due to the fact that science has proved itself in time, at least this is one opinion written in Practices of Looking; life science is seen as the "truth" and is accepted as objective knowledge due to the fact that doctors have a clearer understanding for the body through their experience. The understanding and the experience of Doctors is covered very thorougly throughout this chapter. It explains how imagery even comes into play in arenas we would never correlate influence from imagery, like (law and medicine). This chapter provides us with archival proof, predictions, perspective for current and past issues, time frames, and also developmental measurements. I found this book to be a great resource for understanding the influence that imagery has upon us in society. It really gives one a great look at the daily impact that imagery plays, and how it effects the publics outlook. I would definately recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about "how art and media plays a role in society".

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to visual culture, but with a few problems
    Visual culture is one of the most difficult subjects that I have taken in four years of college. Sturken and Cartwright attempt to combine the study of art, philosophy, and sociology into a single book. Still, I feel that Practices of Looking is overall well written and does a good job at simplifying the writings and ideas of some of the centuries most noteworthy theorists. Each chapter and subject is clearly laid out and described, while examples and images are effectively and abundantly used. Although I felt that the book is a good introduction for those who have no prior background with the subject, I found there to be several problems.

    One problem was that Sturken and Cartwright occasionally either contradicts themselves, or poorly phrases their ideas. For example, on pages 160 and 161, they state that "As distance transmission was facilitated through cables ... long distance broadcasting networks became a reality." However, they later say that "the emergence of cable in the USA reintroduced the narrowcast model." In addition, they state that Black Entertainment Television (received throughout the USA), and Telemundo (more globally received), are two examples of narrowcast television, even though the glossary defines narrowcast media as having "a limited range through which to reach audiences". I would hardly consider a globally received television network to have "limited range."

    Another problem that I found was that there are no in text citations (aside from when a source is directly quoted). This would have been very useful in several instances, especially when I was unsure of the validity or accuracy of the information, or simply wished to further examine the subject. For example, on page 163, they state that "in Germany television was at first more frequently viewed collectively in public spaces. Television emerged during the era of Nazism as a nationalized industry that was used to forge a strong collective ideology. As such, it was a tool of mass persuasion". However, to the best of my knowledge (I may be wrong here...), television was not used in Germany until after World War II, and was only occasionally used (mostly during experiments with the new technology) throughout the world prior to and during the war.

    Still, I found Sturken and Cartwright's book to be a rather good overview and introduction to visual culture and worth reading if you are interested in the subject, but do not know where to begin. ... Read more


    59. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs : A Low Culture Manifesto
    by Chuck Klosterman
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743236017
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-02)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 4415
    Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    There's quite a bit of intelligent analysis and thought-provoking insight packed into the pages of Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, which is a little surprising considering how darn stupid most of Klosterman's subject matter actually is. Klosterman, one of the few members of the so-called "Generation X" to proudly embrace that label and the stereotypical image of disaffected slackers that often accompanies it, takes the reader on a witty and highly entertaining tour through portions of pop culture not usually subjected to analysis and presents his thoughts on Saved by the Bell, Billy Joel, amateur porn, MTV's The Real World, and much more. It would be easy in dealing with such subject matter to simply pile on some undergraduate level deconstruction, make a few jokes, and have yourself a clever little book. But Klosterman goes deeper than that, often employing his own life spent as a member of the lowbrow target demographic to measure the cultural impact of his subjects. While the book never quite lives up to the use of the word "manifesto" in the title (it's really more of a survey mixed with elements of memoir), there is much here to entertain and illuminate, particularly passages on the psychoses and motivations of breakfast cereal mascots, the difference between Celtic fans and Laker fans, and The Empire Strikes Back. Sections on a Guns n' Roses tribute band, The Sims, and soccer feel more like magazine pieces included to fill space than part of a cohesive whole. But when you're talking about a book based on a section of cultural history so reliant on a lack of attention span, even the incongruities feel somehow appropriate. --John Moe ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sex, Drug and Cocoa Puff-a-rific
    Yeah, that title pretty must covers it.

    Klosterman's essays are chock full (and I hate to use this term) of Gen-X references to everything we've grown up loving.

    Now, these aren't essays ON Saved by the Bell and Pamela Anderson, but rather, he uses cultural icons as a jumping off point for rambling, funny and (uh-oh) thought provoking discussions. Klosterman is the kind of guy that you would want to hang out with at a party. Look. You're either going to love this book or you're not. You're either to find the tangential, rambling essays endearing and interesting, or simply tangential and rambling.

    So what kinds of subjects are you in for? How about the Tori Paradox in which Klosterman deconstructs the idea of Tori on Saved by the Bell? One season, after Tiffany Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley had left for more naked pastures, Tori shows up. And then, just before a graduation special that was to air on NBC, Tori was gone. And Kelly and Jessie were back. Klosterman argues that Saved by the Bell is a lot like life. First people are there, and then they're not - gone. Only to be forgotten and at the most, vaguely remember. Of course, Klosterman explains much better than me.

    Just the pure assault of pop-cultural references was enough for me. It's not uncommon for Klosterman to reference such diverse items as the music of Radiohead, Who's the Boss and Trix cereal all in one essay. And I wouldn't be exalting his references if he was just throwing them out. They actually mean something to the people that grew up in the post-Boomer era...

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read
    "When I get up in the morning nothing seems to make sense. At night everything has meaning and seems to be connected. That's why I hate to go to sleep." That's how Chuck Klosterman introduces his series of essays about popular culture, "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs." He has a real knack of teasing profound meanings out of the seeming trash of pop culture. And unlike a lot of other critics who start out writing about rock, he's not trying to prove he's in the Red Guards. He's a philosophical and temperamental moderate. In fact, his analysis of the 1980's rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the L.A. Lakers says that it was a ideological competition between right-wing individualism (Celtics) and corporate liberalism (Lakers); and he sheepishly confesses he's a Celtics man.

    He also writes about John Cusack's irresistable attraction for the women of his generation (and how we love the image of romance, not the real thing.) He proclaims Billy Joel's greatness in spite of Joel's lack of "coolness." He trashes soccer in a very satisfying way for those of us who hate it. He analyzes the strange mythic appeal of "Saved By The Bell"; it's the stupid popular kid's dream of what life should be like. He theorizes that the doom and gloom of "The Empire Strikes Back" could have influenced the famous pessimism of the entire so-called Generation X. On these many subjects Klosterman isn't quite as funny as Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino, but he's more articulate. There's much fun to be had in this book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Meh
    It was impossible to read these essays and not imagine that they were typed as spouted, realtime, by a smart, overcaffeinated english major sitting on a couch in a dormitory. You can almost see the (cheap, industrial) carpeting and hear the 'k-cchunk' of the vending machine in the background.

    This can be fun, but what we all learned in college is that it's important not to take couch-speaker-guy's opinions as seriously as he takes them. That's the case here, too. Klosterman guesses at things when ninety seconds of googling would have given him the facts; he makes assertions and then, rather than backing them up, goes on to further assertions, possibly in hopes that you'll be too busy trying to keep up to start poking holes in his argument; and every now and then, despite his open contempt for people who use words without understanding their meanings, he does this himself (e.g. describing this collection as a 'manifesto').

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tasy Cereal....but with an aftertaste
    "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" is an essay collection that draws comparisons between popular culture and important social and interpersonal issues. It also happens to be extremely witty at times. Chuck Klosterman is a writer for Spin magazine, so he clearly knows pop culture and can write quality essays. The best of his work here truly encapsulates life. Who cannot relate to this quote? - "Every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle, and the individual in power is whoever likes the other person less." That profundity, by the way, is from an essay that discusses the merits of "When Harry Met Sally"; another section proffers the genius of Billy Joel. Yes, Klosterman is a bit of a hipster geek.

    Pop culture references are sprinkled throughout the book, but sometimes it stretches a bit too much for the sake of a clever analogy. In the forward, Klosterman assserts that, at times, he feels as though "everything is completely connected." Unfortunately, he is not adept enough to make all of his essays into a cohesive whole (as other reviewers have noted). Ultimately, the book feels like a loose collection of unrelated but very funny skits. Although that debit doesn't sink the book, it does lessen its impact. In addition, Klosterman is sometimes too self-aware for his own good; several times, he makes reference to liking something "unironically" - such as "Saved by the Bell." His definitive goal seems to be achieving irony. While this credo certainly makes "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" a funny read, it can become rather tedious as well. Overall, I'd recommend this book, but with reservations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    Klosterman's collection of essays never failed to be anything less than humorous, insightful, and thought-provoking. I literally laughed out loud while gaining a new perspective on everything from breakfast cereal, MTV's The Real World, serial killers, sports journalists and born-again Christians. I definitely think everyone should give this book a chance. ... Read more


    60. No Lifeguard: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel
    by Janice Dickinson
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060566175
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: ReganBooks
    Sales Rank: 85265
    Average Customer Review: 3.49 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

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    Reviews (51)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honest memoir by an early super model
    Janice Dickinson was one of the first models who not only broke the mold of the blonde, pale and WASP-y supermodel but turned it on upside down, in the tradition of Gia Carangi, Cindy Crawford and Beverly Johnson. Born with looks that turned heads and drove men to their knees, Dickinson was not as blessed when it came to her personal life and self-image. She seemed destined to self-destruct but somehow managed to recreate herself until time, drugs and her past caught up with her.
    Does this sound like just another dreary tale of a beautiful woman who let fame go to her head. drugs muddle her brain and life pass her by? Think again. Pick this one up and I doubt you'll put it down again till you've read every sentence. FOr one thing, Dickinson has the courage to spill almost all about the ups and downs of her life (although I'd LOVE to read what she doesn't reveal) and that, in itself, is compelling. She's honest about many of her flaws and revealing about the lives of celebrities who cross her path, including Sylvester Stallone, Christie Brinkley, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and others. This makes for a juicy read. I'll leave it to you to decide what is true and what isn't. What I CAN say is that this book definitely isn't boring or dry. CAUTION: There are some nude photos in the photo spread so, depending on your values, you may not want to leave this one lying around the house.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not your average memoir !! Couldn't put it down!!!
    This book was an experience to read! It was BRUTALLY honest in its language and its content. It was both a confessional and an insider view to the world of modeling. This book isn't boring for an instant! She writes not just with honesty, but with HEART! There is no b.s. about Janice! She also has a wickedly wry sense of humor. She can be acerbic and outrageous, yet very sweet and sentimental, especially when she's talking about her two children. I highly recommended this book, though I DON"T recommended it for the faint of heart or the easily offended. There are nude photos throughout and very graphic language. But she uses it to make her points, not gratuitously.
    If you are looking for a refreshingly different memoir, this one is in a class by itself!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Into the world of catwalks
    Janice Dickinson is the bitchy judge on America's Top Model. After reading her autobiography, you understand why and come to respect this woman. She is up-front and in your face, tell it as she likes it. The numerous allusions she makes to the people she knows who later become famous are amazing and tremendously fascinating. This book definitely plunges you right into her world. Janice expects to sympathies just that you know the truth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Politically Incorrect...
    You either love her or hate her. This book is perfect for people who are akin to risk, but want to be a voyeur.
    Her bad language is nothing a bar of soap wouldn't fix.....

    3-0 out of 5 stars I read this for hours straight
    To be honest I wasn't even that interested in the author in the first place, I was more interested in her lifetime adventures and connections such as Mick Jagger, Sly Stallone, Francesco Scavullo, Warren Beatty, Patti Hansen, Bruce Willis and so on. However, I did get to like her more throughout the book despite of her big (and at times very small) ego. She made me laugh a few times that's for sure. And she is very straightforward and honest, she even puts herself down many a time, I felt I could relate to her sincerity. She's a great story teller. Two things that were overused were, the constant blame she puts on her abusive father for all her mistakes and insecurities. Many happy, successful, stable people out there could use her same excuses and go and screw up their lives, but they don't, they just get on with it, it usually takes a long time, but you just do it. I understand how hard and disgusting a lot of it was for her, but how many times can she repeat the same thing. Didn't she get tired of not taking responsibility for her actions after a while? There was overuse of strong profanity too, lots of us swear here and there, but come on, I have to keep this book out of reach (and not only of children!), it could've still been interesting without all the heavy duty swearing. ... Read more


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