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121. Dividing Classes: How the Middle
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122. Extraordinary Popular Delusions
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123. The Style Engine: Spectacle, Identity,
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124. Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's
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125. Each One Believing: Paul McCartney;
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126. Da Vinci Code Decoded: The Truth
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127. Media/Society: Industries, Images
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128. Anna in the Tropics
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129. Rockin' Out : Popular Music in
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130. Nation of Rebels : Why Counterculture
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131. Unseen Vogue: The Secret History
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132. Billboard Top 1000 Singles - 1955-2000
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133. New York Ricans from the Hip Hop
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134. Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book
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135. Science in Action: How to Follow
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136. Rockin' Out: Popular Music in
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137. In Praise of Slowness : How A
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138. Hating Women : America's Hostile
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139. The Art of Looking Sideways
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140. Graphic Agitation 2 : Social and

121. Dividing Classes: How the Middle Class Negotiates and Justifies School Advantage
by Ellen A. Brantlinger
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 041593298X
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Falmer Press
Sales Rank: 409159
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking book
This book is interesting because of the author's choice to focus on the middle class. Despite the fact that you may disagree with this approach (as i did in the beginning) it pushes one to think about the class positionality of the middle class and one's self as well. I would especially read this book if you are in the middle class and have children who will be or are in school now. ... Read more


122. Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
by CHARLES MACKAY
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 051788433X
Catlog: Book (1995-07-25)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 14570
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A complete repackaging of the classic work about grand-scale madness, major schemes, and bamboozlement--and the universal human susceptibility to all three. This informative, funny collection encompasses a broad range of manias and deceptions, from witch burnings to the Great Crusades to the prophecies of Nostradamus. ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars An important, engaging, shrewd historical treatise.
Charles Mackay's highly recommended Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds was first published in 1841 and studies the psychology of crowds and mass mania throughout history. Mackay included accounts of classic scams, grand-scale madness, and deceptions. Some of these include the Mississippi scheme that swept France in 1720, the South Sea bubble that ruined thousands in England at the same time, and the tulip mania of Holland when fortunes were made and lost on single tulip bulbs. Other chapters deal with fads and delusions that often sprang from valid ideas and causes -- many of which still have their followers today: alchemy and the philosopher's stone, the prophecies of Nostradamus, the coming of comets and judgment day, the Rosicrucians, and astrology. Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds is an important historical treatise that modern readers will find fascinating, engaging, and shrewd as they see how history repeats itself, but that disastrous pitfalls can be avoided by understanding the cycles and patterns of greed based ignorance plays in promoting and perpetuating group hysteria in the fields of business and finance, politics and superstitions.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have book
Goodness knows how many times this book has been reprinted, but it is a classic, it recounts many of the strange and popular freakish and delusional things that crowds have got up to over history. Tulip-mania, witch-hunts, fortune-telling, south-seas bubble. Its fun, fascinating and easy to dip into for a quick read as each chapter is really independent of the others. I re-read parts of this recently having just read Elaine Showalter's very controversial recent book "Hystories". Showalter's book is as much about modern psychological 'hysteria's' (as she calls them) - things like Recovered Memory Syndrome, and Ritual Abuse accusations which she seems to liken very much to popularist crowd behaviour . And while you may or not agree with her, I think it is interesting to read her book after this one. Still if you just want a bit of light read, then this book is definitely right up there - and it is always so much more fun and comfortable to be able to laugh gently at the patent ignorance of these poor deluded historical crowds!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not for the Average Reader
I read a lot of history books and I am a big fan of books dealing with the history of science and economics. Yet, I could not bring myself to finish this gargantuan book. Before you buy this book be aware that it was written in 1841, and in my opinion it did not age very well. If you are a casual reader of history books, this book is probably not for you.

Of the book's 740 pages, the first 100 or so deal with economic bubbles - these initial chapters are relatively engaging and easy to read. In comparison, the following 150 page are simply a LIST of famous alchemists, with a few brief anecdotes about each one. The other subjects covered later on, prophecies, fortunes telling etc. suffer from the same problem. The book contains no analysis, it merely offers a collection of anecdotes, some amusing some not.

The book is written in archaic language, with Latin and French phrases interspersed throughout it. Occasionally, entire Latin paragraphs are used with no English translation. I read a lot, and this is the first book in many years that I was not able to finish.

There is one positive thing I can say about this book: it is a fascinating example of 19th century writing. The approach to the subject matter, the narrative tone and the language used were very instructive and interesting for me. Nevertheless, I was only able to make it to page 323 before giving up. For the casual reader I would suggest more modern books on the topics covered. For example: Tulipomania by Mike Dash is a great book about the Tulip trade Bubble of 1636.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Antithesis of Religious Reverence
Although the Bible teaches that where more than one person gathers, (supposedly in His name), the recognition of the more likely result is that where more than two persons is a crowd for the simple reason that the topic of God and reverence becomes non-existant, and the more persons added, the less godly the environment becomes, because people have not heeded those Biblical instructions, or because they prefer not to have God in their midst in daily life, but prefer the concept of God in their private and personal thoughts only where He will not be subject to being drawn and quartered as portrayed by the Passion of Christ film because of His supposed dominance that threatens the masses, and upsets the balance of power that resides in that narrow, and fragile utilitarian balance of life cultivated. It may well be a lesson of government and of men that if they prefer to have laws rather than men govern them, they need to leave God out of the mix, since God is perceived differently by so many different individuals. Where God exists, there need be no war and little conflict, we are told from the earliest childhood because of the love that God is supposed to bring into life, and daily living. The reality, however, is far from that truth. Where crowds gather, God is much more likely to be abandoned, and the fact that "under God" is allowed to remain in the Pledge of Allegiance and on currency reflects only the reminder that God does exist for the more moral souls who consider that Biblical text a degree of authority in their lives as spiritual guidance. The fact that its presence on currency does not stop the fraud among men that appears to go unabated, appears irrelevant, but would under normal circumstances indicate that its presence is blasphemous for all practical considerations and reflections, a violation of the First Commandment itself since few are thinking about God when that currency is transmitted or collected. Perhaps, this was the complusion that induced Jesus to overturn the temple tables among the moneychangers, and perhaps why God insisted that he be crucified to show the extreme that results when people do not have the concept of total love, or God, in their hearts as they proceed with daily life that always contains the option and the opportunity to show love and mercy, rather than greed and resentment of others. The conclusion is that where crowds gather, dignity nearly always goes away, and why protests are so very effective in challenging attitudes. We may have learned that from the crucifixion as well, and learned it too well since throughout history, there appears to have been numerous repetitions of the event in the form of the witch trials, etc. Of course, any excuse will do; with the exception of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi, there have been very few times when crowds were able to gather in respect, in love, and without protest of some sort or another. Modern man thrives upon such events to bring the pressure of negative advertising to campaigns though to be important, yet God is nowhere to be found in those events, presumably, for their effectiveness in creating the dissent that becomes the overwhelming purpose of such gatherings. We know this from the civil rights events that pitted man against nature, as well as man against man. To the extent that man is capable of, and led to perform crowd gatherings in the interests of peace, and successfully, there is no greater gift to mankind, whoever is responsible for the giving. Judging from history, it appears a rare event, indeed, that is able to accomplish so much from so diverse a people as those who exist upon the earth, and try to live together as one. There could be no more real example of schizophrenia than this result that turns man into beast, rather than to honor him as the human he has been planned and challenged to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars The free ebook versions are great too
Project gutenberg's free ebook versions are wonderful too. ... Read more


123. The Style Engine: Spectacle, Identity, Design, and Business : How the Fashion Industry Uses Style to Create Wealth
by Giannino Malossi
list price: $49.95
our price: $49.95
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Asin: 1885254954
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Monacelli Press
Sales Rank: 103861
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE PUBLISHER'S CATALOGUE PRESENTS THE BOOK AS FOLLOWS
"Why brilliant fashion designers, a notoriously non-analytic breed, sometimes succeed in anticipating the shape of things to come better than professional predictors, is one of the most obscure questions in history; and, for the historian of culture, one of the most central." Eric Hobsbawm The Style Engine is an unprecedented survey of the culture of fashion and the fashion industry -- from the products and objects themselves (clothes, accessories, etc.) to the immaterial, ephemeral, shifting meaning outside of the products (the interdependence between the fashion world and mass media, the cult of the fashion designer, symbolic story-telling as seen on the runway and in magazines). This sophisticated social and cultural study of fashion is splendidly illustrate with images by the most celebrated photographers and narrated by a multifaceted group of international experts -- cultural anthropologists, journalists, academics, designers --- examining the allure and mystery of fashion from different viewpoints. "Fashion and Entertainment, Image and Media" takes a look at mass media and shows how fashion has influenced pop music, movies, television, photography, and advertising. "Fashion, Identity, and Society" demonstrates how fashion is a social phenomenon and cultural industry comparable to the entertainment, news, and information industries. "Industry/Economics" explains the process itself, from threads to textiles to finished product. "The Methodology of Fashion Design" not only reveals the manufacturing and marketing of the designs (clothing), but also exposes the contexts in which these objects acquire value (fashion). Fashion is one of the truly international languages, speaking to individuals in every country of the world, and this fascinating book will speak to those legions of style-obsessed readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars METROPOLIS MAGAZINE REVIEWED THIS BOOK
 The Style Engine argues that fashion isn't running on empty.by Philip NobelDesign can be defined as making something new for a reason. Designers must always differentiate between the new that is new for a reason and the new that is only new; to do otherwise risks making merely art­or worse: fashion.All design disciplines court confrontations with vagary, but only one­fashion­exists so close to its seductions that it has become a synonym for aimless flux. Considering its mandate of seasonal variation and its love of annually renewed shock tactics, it¹s easy to see why so many would lump fashion in with art­bad art­before they would consider it a design discipline, the fashion world¹s unequaled lionization of its designers notwithstanding. The Style Engine, a collection of 25 essays by writers from within and beyond the fashion industry, deploys strong arguments to fight this dismissive view of fashion. It attempts to fill in fashion¹s overlooked back story so that it can be considered as the equal of its more sober design siblings.The book, and an exhibition by the same name that hung in Florence last winter, are the first projects of the Fashion Engineering Unit (FEU), a new, self-consciously intellectual institution that bills itself ³an observatory on the economics of creativity and the intelligence of style.² Funding for the group comes from Pitti Immagine, the commercial concern responsible for organizing the important menswear shows that bring over 25,000 rag traders to Florence twice each year.Historically, writing about fashion has been high and low. The FEU is looking for the middle way. It is telling that in The Style Engine critiques of fashion by Baudrillard, Benjamin, and McCluhan are discussed (with varying degrees of justification) alongside breathless promotions by Vreeland, Mirabella, and Wintour. Between the extremes of academic writing and hemline notes in the popular press, the FEU is trying to promote a culture of criticism around fashion that will bare its economic motivations and effects, its mass media aspirations, and the substructure of craft and industry on which it rests.As a vehicle for this redemptive mission, the book works very well. It¹s divided into four sections­roughly covering media, image, techniques, and money­which plot the terrain on which the FEU plans to develop its ³fashion culture.² Of these four categories, ideas concerning the economics of the fashion industry may be the best developed; lucid arguments spill out of the final chapter (³Fashion, Business, and Industry²) and pepper many of the preceding texts. In his introduction to the first section, ³Fashion, Spectacle and Media,² Giannino Malossi, the editor of the book, curator of the exhibition, and director of the FEU, establishes The Style Engine¹s delightfully frank approach to fashion¹s slow dance with commerce: ³Every fashion originates as an industrial product and, at the same time, as a form of mass communications, and every media phenomenon is the potential prelude to a fashion and that fashion points to a series of products for mass consumption.² Bridging economic discussions and the examination of fashion as a cultural medium, several authors rely on the versatile idea of added value. The concept is introduced in understated terms by Mario Boselli, president of Pitti Immagine­³[Fashion] is on the cutting edge in terms of capacity to create added value, not only through the processing of raw materials but also through the development and creation of immaterial contents²­and expanded elaborately in John Durrell¹s essay, ³The Value of Style: Dismantling and Assessing The Style Engine.² Durrell, an international management consultant specializing in pricing strategy, finds the value style adds by analyzing the relative financial returns of popular brand names; here, glamour is at last measured in real market terms.The same clear-eyed spirit also pervades the excellent essay by Nadine Frey, ³Mass Media and Runway Presentations,² which opens the book. After a thoroughly enjoyable lampoon of runway theatrics, Frey explains how the evolution of the fashion show from decorous practicality to raucous display was fueled by the increasingly insular nature of the events themselves. In the 1970s, ³fashion designers . . . began conceiving fashion shows that were more about concept than clothes, shouting their message so loud that it could be heard over the heads of the inevitably interpreting buyers and press.² Another irreverent essay­perhaps the best in the book­is Valerie Steele¹s ³Why People Hate Fashion.² Steele, chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and editor of a quarterly called Fashion Theory, addresses The Style Engine¹s most critical question with an elegant formal tour de force, introducing each paragraph with a contentious statement­³Fashion is an irrational form of female fetishism² or ³Fashion is capitalism¹s favorite child²­and wrapping it all up with a subversive epiphany: ³It is precisely the artificiality and pointlessness of fashion that makes it valuable as an esthetic fantasy.²I¹ll just ape the first part of Steele¹s technique: Fashion expresses itself as a cloying heap of pretentious images. Along these lines, The Style Engine¹s relationship to the fashion world it attempts to revise is troubled. As Frey¹s essay­and the editorial decision to place it first­make clear, one adversary here is the face fashion makes for itself. To achieve the critique it aspires to, the FEU and its authors must help us to see beyond the too well-known culture of airs, ointments, and emaciation that hides the profundity they are trying to tease out. The discussion of fashion in the context of commerce is a way to distance this project from the strong images that we inevitably bring to the book. Unfortunately, any progress made toward new visions is quickly undone. Most of the book is generously illustrated with images of the most contemptible superficiality­soft light, high cheekbones, fashion as you know and hate it. The front of the book even mimics a fashion magazine¹s advertising emporium; one flips through seven full-bleed photo spreads before finding the table of contents. You half expect the book to offer up sample perfume.This might be the intention of the designer; the images might be rhetorical­intended to confront the reader with normative visions of the spectacle of fashion­or ironic. But for those at any remove from authentic fashion images, it is too easy to see in the random photography reasons to revert to the impression that fashion is just a trifling soup of desire, art without reason, not really design. ... Read more


124. Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters : From Mickey Mouse to Hercules
by John Grant
list price: $50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786863366
Catlog: Book (1998-04-29)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 258489
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Disney fan should be without it!
First, while the title of this book is accurate, it is also misleading. This is no fluffy, flimsy book containing some fun descriptions of Disney characters from the latest popular films. This is an intense, in-depth look at EVERY Disney animated character since Walt began his career. The book is divided into two parts, "Shorts" and "Feature Films". The shorts have the usual gang, Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, and so on. After each characters bio is a list of every Disney short they've appeared in. Don't be worried or fooled by by this truly encyclopedic book - it is not a boring A to Z book. Color photos pop off of every page, including some from rarely seen Disney shorts. The feature films section not only includes detailed character bios, but plot summaries and "making of" details, cast and crew credits, and more. You buy this book, you will have a list of EVERY Disney short ever made (including the early "Alice" shorts and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit), every feature film in chronological order, and enough information about each one to be the champ of any Disney trivia game!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful reference book for Disney fans
This encyclopedia gives thoughtful, complete portrayals of every Disney character, from the shorts to the movies to the TV series. From the 9-page essay on Donald Duck to the paragraph or two on a minor character, it all makes for great reading. It is wonderful reference material and even as a good book; John Grant treats the characters like real people! It is very well reasearched, too. It's also got great animation stills of almost every character, too. Wonderful to read, browse through or look up stuff!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Disney Resource
This is a definite must-have for any Disney fan. The book is divided into three basic sections: Characters in shorts, characters in television shows, and characters in features. Each category has a mention of every Disney character created until 1997 including interesting articles about them. This is also a great place to find information on lesser-known or forgotten Disney characters such as Spike the bee from a number of Donald Duck cartoons and Little Hans, a star of his own wartime propaganda film. Combine this with hundreds of pictures from the films and you have a book that is sure to be a favorite of any Disney fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent but not with every characters
Excellent Disney historic resource. If you're a Disney fan you will enjoy it, unless you're locking for a line about Eega Beeva, because you won't find any- a pity. Daniel

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely STELLAR!
For anyone who ever had a longing for a complete, accurate, and all-encompassing critique of the treasure trove that is Disney animation, this is as good as it gets! From early, unheard-of black-and-white shorts to the latest animated programs and features, this anthology will enthrall readers/animation fans with its painstakingly exact analysis of every element of animation: the art, music, story, script, voice performances, characterizations, and basic dynamic of the film. In addition, the readers will find very well-researched analysis of other reviews of Disney's works and exactly where the given piece of work fits into the Disney cannon. One cannot possibly recommend this encyclopedia highly enough- it is DIVINE! Bravo for John Grant and his masterful evaluation of Disney animation. Those of us who have been lucky enough to discover this virtually sacred tome await with baited breath for the next installment, likely to be published in 2003. ... Read more


125. Each One Believing: Paul McCartney; On Stage, Off Stage, and Backstage
by Caroline Grimshaw, BILL BERNSTEIN, Paul McCartney
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
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Asin: 0811845079
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 894
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Amazon.com

Each One Believing isn’t your standard tour memento, but then the tour it chronicles was pretty extraordinary, too. Paul McCartney’s 2002-2003 world tour demonstrated just how much mania an ex-Beatle could trigger more than three decades after the demise of the Fab Four. McCartney, who was approaching his 60th birthday when the tour began, headlined a rapturously received extravaganza that took him from Milwaukee to Moscow, from Tokyo to Tacoma. Each One Believing attempts to capture the tour from all angles via numerous on stage andbackstage photos, interviews,and press quotes (no need to toot ones own horn when you have a Mexico City newspaper tagging a performance "the most legendary in history forever"). Don’t expect anything in the way of grit in this road tale; the clean-living superstar and his entourage dine on the best vegetarian food money can buy and the youngish sidemen are simply delighted to be performing "She’s Leaving Home" with the legendary Sir Paul. Each One Believing isn’t revelatory in the least, unless one is desires how many crewmembers it takes to construct a stadium-sized rock stage these days (some 140, it seems). But the many who saw McCartney on the triumphant excursion (or Back in the U.S. DVD) and diehard Beatles fans will find it to be a breezy, eye-catching coffeetable book.--Steven Stolder ... Read more


126. Da Vinci Code Decoded: The Truth Behind the New York Times #1 Bestseller
by Martin Lunn
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 0972952977
Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
Publisher: The Disinformation Company
Sales Rank: 1910
Average Customer Review: 3.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Da Vinci Code is a modern-day publishing phenomenon. With millions of copies in print, it is the most popular adult novel of the 21st Century. In an introductory note, author Dan Brown tells us that "all descriptions of documents and secret rituals . . . are accurate." But are they? Many scholars and theologians have attacked the book and the "facts" on which it is based. Some claim that Brown is anti-Catholic. Book clubs, reading groups, dedicated web-sites and countless reviews and articles in magazines and newspapers worldwide have fueled the fire, making Da Vinci Code not only the most successful book of its kind ever, but also the most controversial.

Now Martin Lunn, an expert historian, reveals the truth behind Dan Brown's research. The reality of Catholic offshoot Opus Dei . . . the hard facts about the bloodline of Christ and King David . . . the origins of the Knights Templar and the infamous Priory of Sion . . . the secrets of Temple Church and Rosslyn Cathedral . . . the real Saunière . . . the mysteries of Rennes-le-Château and much more.

Da Vinci Code Decoded also provides an exhaustive tour of the locations visited by the novel's characters: The Louvre Museum, l'Eglise de Saint-Sulpice and Rue Haxo in Paris; Château Villette; Temple Church; Westminster Abbey; Newton's tomb; Chapter House; St. Faith's Chapel; Rosslyn Chapel and many others.

Martin Lunn is a recognized expert in the Davidic bloodline and other issues presented in Da Vinci Code. He has a masters degree in history and an extensive background in journalism. He has lived throughout the Far and Middle East, the US and several countries in Europe, currently residing in Barcelona. He is also Grand Master of the Dragon Society, founded originally in 1408 by King Sigismund of Hungary.

... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars finally an unbiased guide!
As a fan of The Da Vinci Code I've been curious about lots of the things Dan Brown wrote about, but without having to read all the dry history texts like Holy Bllod Holy Grail. So I was eager to check out some of the Da Vinci Code guides that are being published now. Guess what? Nearly all of them aren't written for fans, but by a certain type of Christian (hey, not all of us object to DVC) who just wants to argue against any possibility of the history framing The Davinci Code.

This is the only one written from a balanced, secular point of view. It's comprehensive but compact enough to be readable by almost anyone with a mild interest in the various topics such as The Priory of Sion, Knights Templar, Merovingian/Davidic bloodlines, etc etc.

It's also great value at under $10 and has lots of photos, so for my money this is the one to get unless you just want to read dogmatic arguments about why The Da Vinci Code's version of history couldn't possibly be true.

5-0 out of 5 stars Want More Da Vinci Code? Start Here.
There are a lot of choices of "Da Vinci Code" guides right now to buy. Some take a secular approach like this one does. What I think distinguishes "Da Vinci Code Decoded" is provocative manner it parallels the events of the Dan Brown novel with enlightening historical events. It's one of the best companion guides I have read, and I have many of them.

I've taken the time to read the guides published by religious zealots who are just looking to trash Dan Brown and any critical eye that is shed upon their beliefs. Fortunately, in America, everyone has a right to choose what he or she believes. And it would be great if more people were tolerant of others' beliefs and viewpoints, particularly when they disagree with their own.

If you are interested in a non-dogmatic, critical view on the history and religion you may (or may not) be familiar with, this book is for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
I love how the book has sparked such debate. On one hand we have die-hard Christians and on another we have those who doubt Christianity.

And then we have people who yell at his book for being "biased," yet clearly reveal their own.

<>

If that's your idea of proof, I guess in trials the burden should be on the suspect? So instead of making the prosecutor prove his case, the accused should stand before a jury and try to convince them he's NOT guilty?

That logic is in line with that of the Inquisition. Lets just burn everyone if they can't prove that something didn't happen!

Your "evidence" of some atheists turning Christian is hardly compelling. For every one that converted, there's one that researched it and didn't change his mind. Do you want a list of well-known atheist researchers who mainted their positions?

And to criticize atheists because there are LESS is truly pathetic. Christianity makes it clear that parents are to teach their children the ways of God. Children usually develop their religious belief system from their parents. So you're going to tell me that the large number of Christians means there are less atheists because there was no proof of Christianity being false? You're really sad, then. It has more to do with families raising their ilk to believe as they do. I'd really like to see the religious percentages if all parents simply said "research the religions and choose with your heart." I bet it'd be a lot different than it is now.

Stop criticizing a book on YOUR own bias. You are not objective and are thus not any more fit to critique this book than those you claim are "biased." Hypocrisy runs ramapant in the minds of some Christians.

I think that the Bible contains flaws and injustices, maybe even more than most religious books, but the real injustice is the people who read it and spend their life terrorizing others because of it. I'm not fond of the Bible, but I feel sorry for it, because a book alone does not create injustice. What creates injustice is those who read it and live their life based on it, and only it. Christianity is not inherently malicious.. it's those who distort it that create the malice. I am an agnostic who has not yet decided on the existence of any God, and perhaps never will.

But one thing that IS clear to me is that neither a Christian, nor someone who had deep hatred for Christianity (sorry, your average atheist does not harbor such hatred) has any objectivity in this matter.

This book, like any other, expresses a viewpoint. It expresses a viewpoint as Mr. "I'm not biased but this book is evil" does. I recommend everyone check to see how he rated the OTHER Da Vinci Code analyses. Bet you anything he rated the pro-Christian ones higher.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Antidote to the Da Vinci Code Hype
A refreshing antidote to the Da Vinci Code craze which seems to have taken the book world hostage. The author takes care to clarify much of the distortion found in Brown's book without personally attacking him-which I found to be most admirable. If you are a Da Vinci Code fan, I suggest supplementing your bloodline awareness by checking this fine bit of decoding work.
More importantly be open to dialoguing on the intriguing and controversial Da Vinci himself without trying to kill his mystery with expanation and definition.

Also check out Dagobert's Revenge website for more info. on bloodlines, the grail cup, etc. etc. and a review on both the Da Vinci Code and Da Vinci Code Decoded

1-0 out of 5 stars Easily the worst of the bunch...
First, this book isn't neutral (as a reviewer below claims). On page 3, there is this very biased statement that sets the tone for the entire book: "The Church has depended upon the faith of its followers for 2000 years and conveniently for them faith is belief without evidence. Christianity has been unable to provide any convincing proof of much of what wants its followers to believe and for more than the last century has had to defend itself in the face of a variety of scientific discoveries that it wishes would just go away." Not only is this biased, it is also ignorant and/or dishonest. Volumes have been published from the early years of church history to the present day defending the historicity and logic of the Christian faith that have succeeded in convincing millions. Further, many staunch atheists have been convinced by the evidence that Lunn claims is not there. To name a few:
1) Sir William Ramsey, one of the most acclaimed archeologists in history set out to disprove the Bible by exposing the book of Acts as unhistorical. After years of research, the evidence converted him to faith in Christ. He concluded that Luke (the author of Acts and Luke) was an historian of the first order and that the book of Acts is historically accurate to the smallest detail.
2) Simon Greenleaf, the greatest authority on legal evidences in history. He was an unbeliever until a student of his convinced him to examine the evidence. After doing so, he converted to Christianity.
3) Lew Wallace, author of Ben-Hur, set out to debunk the Bible. After all of his extensive research, he became a Christian and wrote his very Christian book.
4) Josh McDowell, a contemporary Christian scholar. Like Ramsey and Wallace, he set out to disprove Christianity. After all of his research, he became a Christian.
These examples do not prove Christianity, but they do expose Lunn's claim as wishful thinking. The evidence available may not convince Lunn and his ilk, but it has convinced some great minds of the past and does so today. Lunn might consider that there are far more Christians than atheists, suggesting that it is proponents of atheism who have been unable to offer 'any convincing proof'.

Lunn's chapter on Constantine merely recycles Brown. Nearly everything here has been debunked in the Da Vinci Code critiques by Abanes, Welborn and others. Constantine did not create a hybrid religion by mixing Christianity, Sol Victus and Mithraism. He did not change the Christian day of worship from Saturday to Sunday (that happened in the book of Acts, in the first century). The New Testament was not "rewritten with a political spin". The four gosples and Paul's letters were considered authoritative by 130 A.D. with the full canon solidifying around 367 A.D. In short, the gospels (and Paul's letters) were 'official' long before Constantine and the canon was finalzed some 40 years AFTER the Council of Nicaea. Again, none of this proves Christianity, only that Lunn is engaging is some very bad (or very dishonest) history.

In the chapter Jesus Christ - the facts and fiction, Lunn offers more bad history, basically trotting out the old claim that Paul's Jesus is not the Jesus of history. For a thorough debunking of this contention, get Gregory Boyd's book Cynic Sage of Son of God? He also smears Paul in this chapter, charging, "Manipulative liar to the last, he [Paul] freely admitted in one of his letters that he was all things to all men: "I am a Greek to the Greek, a Jew to the Jew, a Law-Keeper to the Law-Keeper, and will do whatever I have to do to win." Not only does Lunn misquote Paul (read Paul's actual quote in context : 1 Cor. 9:19-25). Lunn twists Paul's statement entirely out of context. The context makes clear that Paul was merely stating that he accommodated himself to his hosts on matters that did not affect salvation in order to put them at ease. Who is being a manipulative liar here?

In the chapter Was Jesus Married?, Lunn simply repeats and elaborates upon Brown's work. Contrary to Brown and Lunn, Jesus did not have to be married, either by cultural mandate or legally. It was normal to be married, but there were also sects of Jews (the Essenes, including the Qumran culture, and the Elkasites) who were both celibate and respected, Lunn also ignores that John the Baptist was not married.

Finally, there is the Priory of Sion. Lunn regurgitates what Brown and the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail claim, though he adds a caveat at the end of the chapter admitting that 'some believe' the Priory is a hoax. He then concludes by saying that we can never really know, because it's all so murky. Not quite. The Priory is a documented hoax. Evidence uncovered by a French court in 1993 (the Pelat Affair) proved that all documents relating to Pierre Plantard's Priory of Sion, including Dossiers Secrets, are forgeries. Further, more forged documents were discovered in Plantard's home claiming he was the true King of France. Plantard was dismissed by the court as a crank and ordered to cease his subversive activity (check out www.priory-of-sion.com). The fact that Lunn is loathe to concede this is telling.
All in all, Lunn's book largely parrots Brown and Brown's sources, soft-pedals and/or ignores the numerous errors Brown makes in his book, lies about the history of the church and the New Testament, and lies about history in general. This book would be appalling coming from anyone, much less a person with a Masters degree in history (I wonder from what university).

I stress again that all of this is not to say that Christianity is true (though I believe it is), but Lunn falls far short of making a solid case against it, which is really what his book is all about. ... Read more


127. Media/Society: Industries, Images and Audiences
by David Croteau, William Hoynes
list price: $47.95
our price: $47.95
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Asin: 0761987738
Catlog: Book (2002-07-15)
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
Sales Rank: 15072
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Praise for the Second Edition

"Croteau and Hoynes have written the clearest, most comprehensive, and useful textbook I’ve seen on the media, American Society, and their interconnections. As sage as it is thoroughgoinga, it serves as an encyclopedic reference book as well as a cogent summation of what scholars know. My congratulations to the authors."

-- Todd Gitlin, Columbia University

"The most comprehensive and insightful book on the role of media in life and society. If students, scholars, and all those concerned about our culture had to pick one book to enlighten and inform them, this would be the book."

-- George Gerbner, Bell Atlantic Professor of Telecommunication, Temple University

In a society saturated by mass media, from newspapers and magazines, television and radio, to digital video projects and the worldwide web, most students possess a great deal of media knowledge and experience before they ever enter the classroom. What they often lack, however, is a broader framework for understanding the relationship between media and society. Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences provides that context and helps students develop skills for critically evaluating both conventional wisdom and one’s own assumptions about the social role of the media.

The first two editions of Media/Society introduced thousands of students to a sociologically informed analysis of the media process. The new Third Edition builds on this success with revised Internet resources, the latest data on the media industry, new examples from the independent media sector, and updated discussions of media policy, online media, and independent media. Media/Society is unique among media texts in that it offers:

  • A sociological approach that examines overarching relationships between the various components of the media process—the industry, its products, audiences, technology, and the broader social world
  • An integrated study of mass media that looks at media technologies, collective influences, and connections between mass media issues that are often treated as separate
  • An examination of how economic and political constraints affect the media and how audiences actively construct their own interpretations of media messages

Media/Society: Industries, Images and Audiences, Third Edition engages the reader with accessible analyses that are historically grounded but draw upon current media debates such as regulation of the Internet, concentration of media ownership, portrayals of gays in the media, and the growth of global media. Media/Society an outstanding text for courses in mass media and sociology.

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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shooting history on the wing
Media-disseminated messages flood our every waking second, affecting us in ways we often do not readily discern. Croteau and Hoynes take the reader on an exploration of these media forces in a sociological journey that walks then leaps from the birth of printed words for the masses to cyberspace for the individual. In the process, we learn a lot along the way. Not only about media, but, about ourselves. Unlike most college course texts in Media and Society (in sociology or journalism), "Media Society" is written in understandable English and is not ruefully Marxian in ideological slant. The work plays it straight down the middle. The authors' goal, to which they succeed, is to provide information that shows the complexity of social relationships in, around and through which information from all sources is sought and internalized by "receivers" then, through feedback, subtly affects the "senders" and subsequent messages as well. Surprisingly up-to-date in information, especially concerning the so-called New Media (a synthesis of current technologies, traditional entertainment programs-turned-political,and old news media). Croteau and Hoynes not only introduce the reader to the media mileau in society, they show how economics drive news coverage. At the same time they explain that media consolidations have not shrunk the markets as first feared, but have actually led--perhaps inadvertently--to an explosion of different, often smaller and more intimate media. The media pie, they attest, is growing bigger as the number of slices inexplicably increase. In later chapters, the authors do a commendable job acquainting the reader with communications theory, especially explaining how opinions are formed. My favorite chapter, given my predilections, are the chapters dealing with media and the political world (and the rest of the chapters in Part 4). The authors also enter the globalization fray by demonstrating not only how American pop culture is transforming traditional cultures (see Barber's McWorld v. Jihad for greater detail), but also how traditional cultures are influencing American pop culture in ways greater than we had intuited. Anyone interested in gaining a sense of how media is impacting his or her daily life and how we, as social beings, react to that impact, should certainly read this wonderful book. ... Read more


128. Anna in the Tropics
by Nilo Cruz
list price: $12.95
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Asin: 1559362324
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
Sales Rank: 19796
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winner of the 2003 Pulitizer Prize for Drama

. . . there are many kinds of light.
The light of fires. The light of stars.
The light that reflects off rivers.
Light that penetrates through cracks.
Then there_s the type of light that reflects off the skin.
_Nilo Cruz, Anna in the Tropics

This lush romantic drama depicts a family of cigar makers whose loves and lives are played out against the backdrop of America in the midst of the Depression. Set in Ybor City (Tampa) in 1930, Cruz imagines the catalytic effect the arrival of a new "lector" (who reads Tolstoy_s Anna Karenina to the workers as they toil in the cigar factory) has on a Cuban-American family. Cruz celebrates the search for identity in a new land.

"The words of Nilo Cruz waft from the stage like a scented breeze. They sparkle and prickle and swirl, enveloping those who listen in both specific place and time . . . and in timeless passions that touch us all. In Anna in the Tropics, the world premiere work he created for Coral Gables_ intimate New Theatre, Cruz claims his place as a storyteller of intricate craftsmanship and poetic power."_Miami Herald

Nilo Cruz is a young Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States including the Public Theater (New York, NY), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, McCarter Theater (Princeton, NJ) and New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL). His other plays include Night Train to Bolina, Two Sisters and a Piano, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, among others. Anna in the Tropics also won the Steinberg Award for Best New Play. Mr. Cruz teaches playwriting at Yale University and lives in New York City.

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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars All plays are meant to be seen, not read.
There is a review here about this play being better to see than to read. This should be true of all plays, since that's their purpose. In fact, if you really enjoy reading a play, in the same exact way you enjoy reading a novel- it very likely may not be a good play & should in fact be a novel instead.

Having said that, I believe Anna in the Tropics is a great and beautiful play. Reading it I can see how wonderful it would be to see on the stage; watching these very real characters go through their vulnerable journeys; I enjoyed my copy thoroughly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Escape to a Different World
Take a break of a few minutes from your life and venture into the colorful world of this Florida cigar factory. The story is hardly new. It is a story about love, family, and change. A warm and inviting play that will make you wish that you worked in an old fashioned cigar factory.

4-0 out of 5 stars A well-made play with a Chekovian atmosphere
I saw this play on Broadway and later directed a staged reading of it in a University setting... it's really a lovely piece and grows on you the more you work with it. There are no weak parts -- seven strong characters all have significant roles (Eliades is a cameo, but can be doubled by Palomo). The setting (a cigar factory in 1929 Tampa) is unusual, as is the situation (the lector reads classic literature to the workers as they hand-roll cigars). While some of the script uses phrases that suggest classic Latino "magical realism", the real magic is in the experience of a group of people becoming lost in a piece of literature, as the Russia of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" lives again in Florida. There is an abundance of romance along with social realism, as the cigar-rolling machines threaten a traditional way of life.
This play is best performed in an intimate space -- I recommend Spanish guitar music for the scene changes and comfortable seats for the audience to relax and soak up the language and Caribbean atmosphere of this poetic drama. It works on a lot of different levels and would be great to read in a classroom or use as the basis of a term paper. (I'm writing one now.)

3-0 out of 5 stars A nice read, better to be seen
I was quite excited to read this play after hearing the playwright speak and read excerpts from it. However, I found out that this is a play better suited to be seen than read. Reading it cannot possibly capture the rhythm of the Cuban characters speech that Cruz has aptly recreated. [I should know, as I live in Miami] Cruz had done a lot of research on Ybor City, but it seemed to not come through as vividly as one might think. [I've been to the charming little city] Sure, one could easily find historical data that points to the lectors and Cuban cigar makers: but that is information easily found and known. Still, there are lines that are just plain beautiful and make the reader stop and say "Hmmm..." But in this writer's opinion, Cruz' "Beauty of the Father" is much more poetic, deeper, and beautiful. Maybe the Pulitzer should have gone to that one.

1-0 out of 5 stars For this, a Pulitzer?
I have lived in Tampa most of my thirty eight years on this planet so I am instantly attracted to anything in The Tampa genre.
However, this play will put you to sleep. Its a pity because the Ybor City district of Tampa is ideally suited for a play especially one dealing with the history of cigars. Buy Nitol instead! ... Read more


129. Rockin' Out : Popular Music in the USA with CD (3rd Edition)
by Reebee Garofalo
list price: $56.80
our price: $56.80
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Asin: 0131897853
Catlog: Book (2004-08-03)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 141430
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Book Description

Rockin' Out provides a comprehensive social history of popular music in the United States from the heyday of Tin Pan Alley to the current sounds of electronic dance music and teen pop, from the invention of the phonograph to the promise of the Internet. It offers an analysis and critique of the music itself and the conditions of its production and consumption. The book is organized chronologically and thematically around particular genres/styles of music and addresses such dimensions as race, class, gender, ethnicity, technology, copyright and the structure of the music industry as they affect the development of the music.The author examines the Tin Pan Alley era, mass media and the construction of race, the rise of rhythm and blues, the eruption of rock 'n' roll, the reaction to rock 'n' roll, the sixties, fragmentation of pop, the poles of pop, the eighties, youth culture and censorship, packaging pop for the new millennium and the future of music.For music fans and historians. ... Read more


130. Nation of Rebels : Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture
by Joseph Heath, Andrew Potter
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 006074586X
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 115634
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Book Description

In this wide-ranging and perceptive work of cultural criticism, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter shatter the most important myth that dominates much of radical political, economic, and cultural thinking. The idea of a counterculture -- a world outside of the consumer-dominated world that encompasses us -- pervades everything from the antiglobalization movement to feminism and environmentalism. And the idea that mocking or simply hoping the "system" will collapse, the authors argue, is not only counterproductive but has helped to create the very consumer society radicals oppose.

In a lively blend of pop culture, history, and philosophical analysis, Heath and Potter offer a startlingly clear picture of what a concern for social justice might look like without the confusion of the counterculture obsession with being different.

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131. Unseen Vogue: The Secret History of Fashion Photography
by Robin Derrick, Robin Muir
list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
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Asin: 0316860239
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Little Brown UK Ltd
Sales Rank: 17459
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT SURPRISE
The book is essentially the companion to one of the most fascinating shows that I ever stumbled upon. Last November in London, I went to the Design Museum[founded by Terrence Conran] to view an exhibit of aluminum[aluminium].

Coincidentally, there was this Vogue show. Having paid my admission to the museum, I viewed this exhibit as well. Now, I don't pretend to know much about fashion nor photography. And this show blew me away. And so does this book, but not as well as the show, of course.

An assemblage of insights into the culture and history of the twentieth century that I would never have encountered on my own. Not only does the story reveal how conde nast's money financed some of the more significant technical innovations in photography[which intrigued me since I try to follow the history of science and technology], but I was also fascinated to discover how it was that Vogue may have had the most energetic and brave war correspondent/photographer of WW2: and it was a beautiful and talented woman - Lee Miller. Do take the time to find out all you can about her.

And lastly, the photos are knock-outs. I wouldn't have done this show or this book deliberately, but having stumbled into the show, I have to pronounce it one of the most educational exhibitions that I have encountered. ... Read more


132. Billboard Top 1000 Singles - 1955-2000
by Joel Whitburn
list price: $12.95
our price: $12.95
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Asin: 0634020021
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Sales Rank: 131517
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From "Rock Around the Clock" to "Smooth," this book by chart music authority Joel Whitburn ranks the 1,000 highest-charted singles of the entire rock era side by side in order of all-time popularity. This must-own reference book for record collectors, DJs, popular music fans and trivia sleuths is based on the Billboard pop charts and lists each record's highest chart position and total number of weeks it held that position, plus other significant stats and data. Separate sections cross-reference all Top 1000 singles alphabetically by title and by artist. A special full-color section shows the Top 100 albums from 1955-2000. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, bad results
The simplistic rating system ruins all the book: (example: a song that reached #1 one week and stayed on chart only 12 or 13 weeks is ranked well above a song that couldn't get #1 but stayed 9 weeks in #2 and total 42 (almost a year) in chart.) It doesn't show the real impact of a song seen through time. A lot of big hits are left out and then, the other compilations that depend of it lack of credibility. The picture selection could have been more large, but the idea of a ranking of this 45 years is great. ... Read more


133. New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone
by Raquel Z. Rivera
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1403960445
Catlog: Book (2003-01-18)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Sales Rank: 376300
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New York Puerto Ricans have been an integral part of hip hop culture since the very beginning: from 1970s pioneers like Rock Steady Crew's Jo-Jo, to recent rap mega-stars Big Punisher and Angie Martinez. Yet, Puerto Rican participation and contributions to hip hop is frequently downplayed, if not completely ignored. When their presence has been acknowledged, it is usually misinterpreted as a defection from Puerto Rican culture and identity into the African American camp. But, Rivera argues, nothing could be further from the truth. Through hip hop, Puerto Ricans have simply stretched the boundaries of Puerto Ricanness and latinidad.
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book...
finally theres a book out there that latinos of all cultures can relate to, and luckily for myself, Raquel Z. Rivera, was my professor for my Puerto Rican Culture class, and to be able to read her book and hear her story was learning experience i am very grateful for. read this book and you will learn much more than just about hip hop, you learn about struggle and identity, and how being puerto rican goes so much more further than what people assume. ... Read more


134. Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing
by William Irwin
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
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Asin: 0812694090
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 2896
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Designed for philosophers as well as readers with no particular philosophical background, the essays in this lively book are grouped into four amusing acts. Act One looks at the four Seinfeld characters through a philosophical lens and includes Jerry and Socrates: The Examined Life? Act Two examines historical philosophers from a Seinfeldian standpoint and offers Plato or Nietzsche? Time, Essence, and Eternal Recurrence in Seinfeld. Act Three, Untimely Meditations by the Water Cooler, explores philosophical issues raised by the show, such as, Is it rational for George to do the opposite? And Act Four, Is There Anything Wrong with That?, discusses ethical problems of everyday life using Seinfeld as a basis. Seinfeld and Philosophy also provides a guide to Seinfeld episodes and a chronological list of the philosophers cited in this book. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Book for the Seinfeld Fan
Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book About Everything and Nothing is an excellent book for any Seinfeld fan, and any philosopher, amateur or professional interested in a philosophical analysis of a pop-culture phenomenon. For anyone who has ever thought there to be something deeper to Seinfeld, easily among the most popular sitcoms of the 90s, this book articulates those seemingly intangible qualities that made it so popular and so special.

At times tedious, it hosts a great number of excellent discussions. Organized first into four sections, analyzing each character through certain philsopher, then conversely explaining certain philosophers and their works through the characters, then discussing a certain philosophical issue raised by the show, and finally the last section, devoted to ethics, morality and considerations of what is acceptable or unacceptable. My particular interest in philosophy is ethics, and the final section does no injustice to either the contemplative ethicist, nor the rabid Seinfeld fan, and all who fall in-between.

Overall, this book was very well-written. As a side note, take the time to read the footnotes where applicable. Many of them raise other points which may be of interest to the reader. For the sitcom fan, the thoughtful philosopher, and anyone with an interest in either or both, this book is a must-read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Philosphy of Yadda
There was a time when I actually hated the show. That,however, was before I watched it. I was hooked fast, and still miss it-- re-runs can only do so much for you.

I think that a large part of the reason I loved Seinfeld was that I instantly recognized that the base tenents for the program were the stupidities of everyday life. That is not to say that life is stupid (but boy, can it be), but that things just seem to happen because they happen.

Existentialism?

It was the same deal for me with philosophy. I hated it 'till I took it in college, and then found out I enjoyed it very much.

But philosophy, like lots of subjects, is one of those things you tend to stray from when a grade isn't riding on it. "Seinfeld and Philosophy," takes an academic (that means disjointed) subject and makes it real by showing the underlying reasons the show really was funny.

The essays in the book are really fun, and how can one resist "Peterman and the Ideological Mind?" Plato, Nietzsche, Sartre (No Exit or what?) an essay called "George's Failed Quest for Happiness" that was probably my favorite one.

This book is a delightful read.

My only real critisism: they didn't publish a version that turns into a coffee table! But I think that has been done before.

Now, if only the author would do a volume devoted only to Neuman -- what about it, Professor Irwin?

5-0 out of 5 stars giddyup- a book for everyone
You dont have to like seinfeld to enjoy this book. You dont have to like philosopy to enjoy this book. This compilation of 14 essays, all of which are thoroughly completed by experienced philosophy professors, is a rare documentary that will intrigue anybody. The essays explain, in great detail, the deal with the seinfeld, and the components of philosophy. The novel uses textual examples from seinfeld (most of which are very funny), and insightful text from a wide range of philosophers. Furthermore what makes the work so pleasing is that the complex philosophy that seinfeld is linked to is explained very simply so that the most inexperienced of philosophy students, but still the most qualified seinfeld expert will be entertained. And vice versa. So even though Jerry doesnt read as much as his counterpart Kevin (The Bizarro Jerry), do not be discouraged form reading this wonderful commentary.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book
Seinfeld and Philosophy is a book with an interesting premise: it examines various philosophical issues raised by the phenomenally popular sitcom Seinfeld. The conceit is to examine the show that examined the minutia, the trivia of everyday life and to analyze certain aspects of the show from a philosophical standpoint. Thus, those of us who like both subjects have William Irwin to thank for this book, which is essentially a collection of essays from contemporary philosophers about Seinfeld.

The book includes 14 essays, organized into four "acts", most of which are good. The first act centers mostly on the primary characters. There is one for each main character. Jerry is compared to Socrates and George to a "Virtueless man" of Aristotle. The weakest essay, perhaps, is the one examining if Elaine is a feminist. The strongest essay concerns Kramer and Soren Kierkegaard's Asthetic Stage of Life. Although I am not entirely familiar with the man's work, the essay lays out the central principles of Kierkegaard's theory and ties it all together perfectly. Act II contains specific analogies between Seinfeld and the work of Nietzsche, Sartre, Lao Tzu, and Wittgenstein. Act III has a fascinating essay on George's choice to do "the opposite", another on Peterman and reality in the media, and a weak essay on the "significance of the insignificant" which purports to know the secret of Seinfeld's humor but never tells it. The final act tackles the moral and ethical backgrounds of the four and also examines whether the law used to convict the four (the Good Samaritan Law) deserved to be on the books.

Any Seinfeld fan will appreciate this wonderful book, even if they have no philosophical background. The book allows fans to look at their show at a different angle. Similarly, fans of philosophy will not be disappointed. Most of the major philosophical figures of history are covered here, including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Lao Tzu and a smattering of Eastern philosophy, Nietzsche, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Kant and others. This is basically an appetizer plate for those who like Seinfeld have an interest in philosophy and but don't know where to start. This is worth buying for the more bookish variety of Seinfeld fans.

2-0 out of 5 stars There's something wrong with that.
I suspect that the four and five star reviews below were written by the author(s) of this book under assumed aliases.
There are some decent introductions to basic philosophical concepts here, but the writing is so inconsistent, juvenile, and painfully unfunny...
The book could also use some editing (didn't anybody notice that each contributing author used the phrase "yada yada yada"?)
The opening essay by the book's editor compares Jerry to Socrates. And there are some funny, real paralells, which make it easier to digest the Socratic tenets imbued. But three contributing writers proceed to draw profiles of the other three main characters--and they are all painful stretches, as are most of the connections between Seinfeld and philosophy in this book. Further, most of the writers try to be funny, and they rarely are. ... Read more


135. Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society
by Bruno Latour
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
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Asin: 0674792912
Catlog: Book (1988-10-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 227107
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Engineer's Opinion...
I'm an electrical and electronics engineer, working for a governmental R&D Institution. I also study on Science and Technology Policy Studies for an M.S. degree. I found the book quite useful, especially in its aspect of analyzing the scientist and engineer in his own time, his own context, his own psychology... It is a well organized, fluent, clear book. It may not be a complete guide or a definitive study, but it is a good point to start. Recommended...

1-0 out of 5 stars Trivial where not incorrect
Latour again demonstrates trivial insights and egregious errors. He simply does not know his subject (allegedly science) well enough - he makes conceptual and factual blunders. I am glad this book is still in print because it is a useful aid in teaching humanity students about science - but not in the way Latour had envisioned! By understanding his misinterpretations, we can learn how laypeople get confused.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant view on scientific truth as a network of strength
Latour today can be regarded as one of the leading philosophers of science and technology. After his first work with Steve Woolgar, "Laboratory life", this is his second major work in which he generalises on various topics that he only touched in a very preliminary way in the above work. Latour adopts a very original way of following scientists in their struggle to "produce" scientific truth. He studies them as if they were a tribe (Latour is originally an ethnographer).

His conclusion is that scientific truth and the designing of succesful technological artefacts is not so much a "unveiling of some hidden truth behind things" or a logical construction, but a very heterogeneous project in which money, resources, statements, objects, people and numerous other things are linked in such a way that a strong chain is formed. Something is true if the chains is strong enough to withstand "trials of strength". Latour does away with metaphysical ideas of "The Truth" but insist in stead that truth is very much a stage in a process of negotiation between human and non-human actors. The idea that truth is the result of a logical process in which an abstract "reality" is discovered is, according to Latour, a story that is told afterwards to defend the theory itself and not something that is inherent in the forming of the theory itself.

In a very easy-to-read way Latour guides his readers through the work of science and technology "in the making". A must for any student in science and technology as well as for any scholar in social sciences and philosophy. ... Read more


136. Rockin' Out: Popular Music in the USA (2nd Edition)
by Reebee Garofalo
list price: $53.60
our price: $53.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130405981
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 357698
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Book Description

An easy-to-read, jargon-free book that gives the reader a comprehensive social history of popular music in the United States from the heyday of Tin Pan Alley to the current sounds of electronic dance music and teen pop, from the invention of the phonograph to the promise of the Internet.The text focuses on analysis and critique of the music itself and the conditions of its production and consumption. It also explores the different social issues that affect and are affected by music, such as race, class, gender, ethnicity, technology, and copyright.For anyone who is interested in a comprehensive and detailed history and analysis of popular music in America. ... Read more


137. In Praise of Slowness : How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed
by Carl Honore
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006054578X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 913
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

We live in the age of speed. The world around us moves faster than ever before. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Since the Industrial Revolution shifted the world into high gear, the cult of speed has pushed us to abreaking point. Consider these facts: Americans spend 40 percent less time with their children than they did in the 1960s; the average American spends seventy-two minutes of every day behind the wheel of a car; a typical business executive now loses sixty-eight hours a year to being put on hold; and American adults currently devote on average a meager half hour per week to making love.

Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time, and tackles the consequences and conundrum of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Why are we always in such a rush? What is the cure for time-sickness? Is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down? Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time and slowing down the pace -- and living happier, more productive, and healthier lives as a result. A Slow revolution is taking place.

But here you will find no Luddite calls to overthrow technology and seek a pre-industrial utopia. This is a modern revolution, championed by e-mailing, cell phone-using lovers of sanity. The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word -- balance. People are discovering energy and efficiency where we may have least expected -- in slowing down.

In this engaging and entertaining exploration, award-winning journalist and rehabilitated speedaholic Carl Honoré details our perennial love affair with efficiency and speed in a perfect blend of anecdotal reportage, history, and intellectual inquiry. In Praise of Slowness is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream -- in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools. Defining a movement that is here to stay, this spirited manifesto will make you completely rethink your relationship with time.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning To Live Life: Similar To The Living Life Game
This book does a tremendous job of letting us know that we need to slow down and truly live life.

It is very similar to an inspirational gift/game that I love that I bought on Uncommongoods.com called Living Life (www.LivingLifeGame.com), which guides us through thirty heart warming activities like contacting old friends, watching the sunrise and buying a toy for a child. These activities slow us down and show us how to cherish those things in life that matter, but that we often over look in our hectic lives. Both the book and the Living Life game help us to slow down and live our lives to the fullest as we only have one beautiful life to live. I have bought this book and the Living Life Game for friends who have love it and they have bought it for many others. They are both worth the money and make others lives more beautiful!

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Could Change Your Life (Or a
For a few years now I've been interested in learning about simpler ways to live. I picked up this book as a whim, and I will probably read it many times again over the course of my life. It is not a "how-to" guide per se; it is more a general overview of the many movements (ranging from educational to sexual) designed to help you enjoy life more. One of the things that I appreciated most is the lack of any sort of preachiness. The author is cleary curious and open, acting as the spectator for us and describing what he has seen while acknowledging the difficulty in slowing down in the world today. I highly recommend this book to everyone; I have already decided that several people that I know are getting this book for a gift. If nothing else, it helps you think about your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars TAKE IT EASY, BUD..
Along the way I've picked up several religions and spiritual books of all stripes that advocate the benefits of meditation, silence, and retreats as ways to heal the body, mind, and soul.

But Honore's well researched treatise provides what I believe is the first incisive overview of an important cultural phenomenon as we immerse our lives in instant online messengers, SMS thumb tribes, skipped breakfast, limp chicken sandwiches for lunch, and a bout of 'power yoga' to punctuate that little crevice of a break in the evenings..

Honore's writing style may occasionally wear a "Manifesto" dress and many of his suggestions to live a slow life may have a fairly non-trivial opportunity cost depending on where you live, but it is a very timely and wonderfully thought-provoking read nonetheless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Make time to read this one!
With "In Praise of Slowness," Carl Honore offers a gift that is simultaneously outrageous and practical --- what a great combination. It is outrageous in that our culture has become so addicted to speed (the pace, not the drug) that for many of us, the idea of slowing down and making more conscious choices about how our time is spent is perceived as nearly impossible. It is practical in that there is nothing impossible about what Honore describes and recommends in this useful and enlightening book.

As a psychotherapist, speaker and author (Embracing Fear & Finding the Courage to Live Your Life) who teaches the advantages of living life by decision rather than default, I appreciate Honore's emphasis on responsibility of choice. He is not recommending that we exchange one end of the continuum (speed) for the opposite end (slowness). Instead this book is about developing the full range of choices --- as in, "I want to be ready and able to move as quickly in life as the situation calls for, but I also want to be capable and willing to slow down and not approach every task and every errand as if is a matter of life or death."

"In Praise of Slowness" takes us on a very interesting tour of places where slowness is already becoming more valued (and practiced). He gives examples ranging from individuals to medical professionals (that's not about the long, slow wait to see the doctor), to even city planners who are designing communities that are conducive to slowing it all down. Much of this is about a return to bottom-line human values --- caring more about the quality of our lives than the quantity of items we check off our list at the end of each day.

Most of all, this is a book about the importance of being in charge of our own lives. This is an informative, enlightening and entertaining read, and I recommend that you make time to read it.

And get an extra copy to leave on the desk of the busiest, most rushed person you know.

- Thom Rutledge, author of Embracing Fear & Finding the Courage to Live Your Life ... Read more


138. Hating Women : America's Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex
by Shmuley Boteach
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006078122X
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 98082
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I have been stunned to see the growing misogyny in our culture, and even more shocked to see how little women seem to care about their degradation."

--Shmuley Boteach, in HATING WOMEN

Even a cursory look at our popular culture reveals an alarming trend of misogyny. Look closer, and it becomes clear that men alone are not to blame; women themselves are playing into the hands of the money-grubbing, morally bankrupt, sex-obsessed culture that is exploiting them as the ultimate cheap commodity.Shmuley Boteach, the bestselling author and leading national radio host, is all for women embracing their feminine power, but he observes that many women are, if effect, doing just the opposite. Paris Hilton actively exposes her flesh and ignorance in equal parts. Pop music princesses like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson rely far more on shameless exhibitionism than musical talent. And look at all the reality television shows -- from "The Bachelor," "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" and "Average Joe" to "Extreme Makeover" -- that boost their ratings by portraying women as viciously competitive, desperate for celebrity and riches, imbecilic and ignorant, and all too eager to serve themselves up as generic eye-candy for men. Meanwhile, girls and women across the country are following this lead.

In ages past, women were venerated for their nobility, dignity, grace, inner strength, and nurturing qualities, but contemporary society is rapidly reversing those ideals -- as well as all the social progress that women have made in recent decades. Today, women typically confuse freedom and power for promiscuity and exploitation, and allow men to treat them as objects of sexual gratification -- not as admirable human beings who have the ability to elevate the whole of society.

In HATING WOMEN, Boteach asserts that four vulgar archetypes of women have come to saturate our culture: the Greedy Gold Digger, the Publicity Seeking Prostitute, the Brainless Bimbo, and the Backstabbing Bitch. But the nefarious archetypes don't stop with women; they breed and encourage four equally offensive types of men: the Crotch-Scratcher, the Harem Gatherer, the Selfish Spouse, and the Porn Addict. Misogyny, in the guise of entertainment, is reaching a fever pitch, and we are on the verge of a social crisis.

Boteach envisions a way to correct this downward spiral -- which he sees as far more than just a feminist issue. Now is the time, he says, for men to start respecting women and for women to start respecting themselves. Women must band together and fight back for their rightful place of honor. For anyone who has ever wondered where our popular culture is taking us, HATING WOMEN is at once an electrifying social commentary and a clarion call for change. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars I've heard this song before
Thirty-some years ago George Gilder made a similar argument in his book "Naked Nomads," that women play an important role in civilizing men and that taking them out of their traditional role in the home is undermining civilization. And you know what, I agree...but not in the way Gilder and Rebbe Boteach mean. I do think that women play an important role in civilizing...THEIR OWN SONS, through the loving and supportive nurturance and guidance a good mother can provide. In other words, we have the power to raise good citizens, male and female. As far as the argument that women have the power to civilize grown men...well, nuts to that. Read Barbara Ehrenreich's "The Hearts of Men." The problem with the American family isn't that women aren't living up to their wifely duties; it's a lot more complicated than that.

5-0 out of 5 stars It takes a real men to stand out for all women
I loved this book so much that I did not put it down until I finished.Many of the opposers of this book would be for the most part men that (like someone mentioned before) find no harm in drooling over a girl in the "Sports Illustrated" magazine, while having a girlfriend, wife, etc.Have these people ever stop to think how it makes their partner truly feel that the person they are with desires to be with other women that happens to have fake DD breast and airbrushed legs.Probably not.Normal women that do not have a fortune to spend on plastic surgery and that are not born with those attributes feel diminished when they observe this kind of behavior from men.They feel that they are not good enough.Lots of men complain that women often feel insecure about their appearances.Would man feel so great about themselves if their girlfriends or wives where to hang a poster of Brad Pitt on the wall and masturbate while looking at it, or even better think about him when she is with her partner having sex.

Women have been for so long objectified by men so it is now the perfect moment to take proactive action in order for us to gain the respect that women have so long yearn for, and this book is just the beginning.

Boteach has proved that it takes a man to recognize that women need to be respected and to be valued for their intellects, their kindness and just for the mere reason that they are human beings, not meat on a butcher's hand.

1-0 out of 5 stars O stars
Mr. Boteach, what planet are you writing about? Is it sometype of fantasyland, where woman are subservant to men. That their place is in the home????

I picked up this book in a Bookstore thinking that it was an interesting title, but inside was the most contrived tripe.

He blames woman, for the sexual problems in this country.. Enough already..

We get it already, woman should go back to the home, worship at the feet of men, and beg men, becasue they are forgetful, to be intimate with them....

I didn't buy this book and can't suggested it to anyone.

1-0 out of 5 stars Personal Opinions Masqueerading as Cultural Criticism
Mr. Boteach continually presents himself as a spokesman for Judaism. He is not. His knowledge is sorely lacking. His books are superficial and his impact is a joke. He presents himself as a cultural critic. He is not. He confuses entertainment with culture. Every teenager knows that MTV is not real life. Overstatement and straw men serve Mr. Boteach's purpose. He gives himself a soapbox, jumps up on it and preaches. Boteach runs after celebrities in order to promote his agenda, namely himself. He glorified Michael Jackson and escorted him like a pal all around town until Jackson tired of him. Well finally, no culture has treated women better than America in our times. Any suggestion to the contrary is just plain false. Boteach's opinions are just wrong, wrong, wrong.

1-0 out of 5 stars utter hypocrisy
The rabbi's pose seems utterly hypocritical for Judaism's holiest book, the Talmud, teaches:

"Though a woman be as a pitcher full of filth and her mouth be full of blood, yet all speed after her." ---Talmud, Shabbat 152b

also, "...a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife at intercourse: Meat which comes from the abbatoir may be eaten salted, roasted, cooked or seethed; so with fish from the fishmonger. ... A woman came before Rab and complained [of her husband's sodomy with her], "Rabi replied: 'Wherein does it differ from fish?" ---Talmud, Nedarim 20b, Soncino edition, p.58

... Read more


139. The Art of Looking Sideways
by Alan Fletcher
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0714834491
Catlog: Book (2001-08-20)
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Sales Rank: 7203
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways is an absolutelyextraordinary and inexhaustible "guide to visual awareness," a virtuallyindescribable concoction of anecdotes, quotes, images, and bizarre facts thatoffers a wonderfully twisted vision of the chaos of modern life. Fletcher is arenowned designer and art director, and the joy of The Art of LookingSideways lies in its beautiful design. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters withtitles like "Colour," "Noise," "Chance," "Camouflage," and "Handedness,"Fletcher's book, which he describes as "a journey without a destination," is "acollection of shards" that captures the sensory overload of a world that simplycontains too much information. In one typical section, entitled "Civilization,"the reader encounters six Polish flags designed to represent the world, aphotograph of an anthropomorphic handbag, Buzz Aldrin's boot print on the moon,drawings of Stone Age pebbles, a painting of "Ireland--as seen from Wales," anda dizzying array of quotations and snippets of information, including the wisewords of Marcus Aurelius, Stephen Jay, and Gandhi's comment, "Westerncivilization? I think it would be a good idea." Fletcher's mastery of designmixes type, space, fonts, alphabets, color, and layout combined with a "jackdaw"eye for the strange and profound to produce a stunning book that cannot be read,but only experienced. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you have a creative bone in your body, you need this.
I had never heard of this book before I saw it and no introduction is better than just getting the huge, heavy thing on your lap and looking through it. As most reviewers of this book have said, it cannot be described, but they have tried. I too can only give you an idea about this book and giving ideas is what this book is about.
One day my friend Martine said that I must see this book and dropped it into my lap, I have not yet give it back. I sat there in my comfy chair and leafed through the many, many pages reading a little here, looking a little there. After a while I realised that this book was an amazing source of information and inspiration and so I started reading from the beginning, taking notes along the way.
Todd Dominey, a new media designer, wrote, "As a designer, I felt more inspired, more aware, more energized after just a handful of pages than I can remember feeling in years of buying design and art related books." As indicated by its title, this book is meant to open your mind, to get you seeing the things you never noticed before, to give you a fresh perspective and a new way of understanding.
On the first real page of the book a quote by Montaigne reads "I quote others only the better to express myself." This book has over a thousand quotes from writers, philosophers, artists and anyone who has ever said anything thoughtful. A quote starts each of the books 72 chapters, each having a loose theme such as 'Imagination', 'Noise', 'Wit' or 'Colour'.
But this is so much more than a book of smart remarks, it is a scrapbook of a lifetime of visual awareness. Decades must have whittled by as Fletcher was collecting all these fantastic stories, jotting down memories, cutting up newspapers, photocopying books, sketching fleeting visions and remembering good jokes.
Every double spread of the book is counted as one page, and each of these 532 'pages' are thoughtfully designed by Fletcher. Every anecdote, poem and thought is uniquely arranged with the typography, colour and layout carefully balancing the illustrations, doodles and photographs of which there are around 700. It is truly mindbending how much care and effort must have gone into this book, and it is this effort which makes it such a joy to read.
Through reading "Sideways" you also get to know a little about Alan Fletcher, to understand what kind of man it takes to complete such a generous and insightful offering of information. His brain must have been mightily relieved once it had poured out all this knowledge, and not a drop has been spilt. It is now up to us to absorb as much as we can, to learn from it and enjoy it. Those with even the smallest interest in the visual or the verbal will find it impossible to not appreciate and wonder at this book. Be careful carrying it home though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I came across this book in the local bookstore, randomly finding it while buying a gift certificate for christmas. If you're into artistic expression in any way, buy this book. It's full of delightfully random illustrations, quotes, and wisdom. If you're not the artistic type, I'd suspect you'll find this book a bit tedious or perhaps even pointless. If, however, you are a creatively minded person who enjoys some visual delights (some of the pictures are just amazing to experience) and some mental stimulation, go for it! This would make a great book to pick up and open to anywhere, then see what you find. I've paged through a lot of it, looking at things. I'm now attempting to start from the beginning and read through it. This book is incredible. Worth owning without a doubt.

5-0 out of 5 stars be a more interesting person
The Art of Looking Sideways is a gem. Rather it is a bible of gems, notes, quotes and keen perceptions on a wide spectrum of topics relating most frequently to design and communication.

If you are an extremely boring and ininteresting person, buy this book and memorise it, you will soon be drinking cocktails with the best of innovators and visionaries. If you're the best of them you already have this book or are named Alan Fletcher.

5-0 out of 5 stars What The?
This book found me one day and now has me totally in it's pages.
Every little thing that was ever said and every problem ever created has some form of simplistic answer within it.

What is Left, Right, Up or Down, Sideways Backwards, Full or Empty has some form answer and deffernce to it. But then again what is It?

All those funny sayings that pass our lips everyday are included and a full on assult on your brain senses really makes the old grey matter think. It is a book to be picked up and put down as you simply cannot read it through without causing your brain to pass out!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars You can't do without this book.
Stop what you're doing. Buy The Art of Looking Sideways right now. Read it, view it, participate in it. It will change the way you see the world. ... Read more


140. Graphic Agitation 2 : Social and Political Graphics in the Digital Age
by Liz McQuiston
list price: $69.95
our price: $44.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0714841773
Catlog: Book (2004-07-06)
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Sales Rank: 46883
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Book Description

Graphic Agitation 2 explores graphic protest in the digital age, in particular over the years since the Gulf War. The book deals with a range of protest imagery from hi-tech and low-tech to no-tech and is comprehensively illustrated with images ranging from lollipop wrappers to websites. ... Read more


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