The Real Great Depression - The panic of 1873 bears more significance to today than that of 1929, and preceded the economic shift from Europe to America. Within America it bolstered popularity for fundamentalist religion. The author writes in such a way as to make history interesting and clear to an outsider like me - and also reveals how a financial market crash affects more than just those people who want to buy stuff on credit.
Sha Na Na and the Invention of the Fifties - 'The Fifties' as we know them today are an invention of 1969, when social unrest necesitated finding a common link in nostalgia. The decade of Cold War panic and Beatniks became the Sock Hop era of family values and economic optimism. The Juvenile Delinquants of the time became Greasers - glorified white working class teens.
The End of Art - A meaty read, full of great quotes and revealing thoughts on a topic that artists love to explore. Or at least, should love to explore. Bringing religion into any discussion is a dangerous step these days, but this author masters the complex task and opens door for further exploration. His mention of religion will raise fewer red flags than his insistence that "The subjugation of art... to political ends has been one of the great spiritual tragedies of our age" (I happen to agree). But neither does he delicately poke at religion with postmodernist fear of stepping on somebody's toes.
6 years ago