New Books Network

Allen Guttmann, “Sports and American Art from Benjamin West to Andy Warhol” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011)
When I was a kid, I used to pore over an illustrated history of American sports that I had received as a birthday gift. The oversized, hardcover book featured some of the iconic images of 20th-century sports: Lou Gehrig standing humbly at home plate on his day of tribute, teammates... Read More
Heather Augustyn, “Ska:  An Oral History” (McFarland, 2010)
“Before reggae there was rock steady, and before that, ska,” writes Cedella Marley in the foreword to Heather Augustyn’s 2010 book Ska: An Oral History (McFarland, 2010). By way of interviews with dozens of ska musicians, Augustyn traces the history of the music from its Jamaican roots, through its 2Tone... Read More
Daniel Black, “Perfect Peace” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010)
If a mother raises her biologically male child as a daughter instead of a son, what would be the effects on the family, the community, the church? Indeed what would be the psychosocial, psychoemotional effects on the daughter once she discovers she’s a “he”? And what would all this reveal... Read More
Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe, “Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature & Life” (Paul Dry Books, 2011)
Last spring’s Cricket World Cup was a major global event. Estimates of the television audience for the final matches ranged from 400 million to one billion, while the website ESPNcricinfo.com had an average audience, throughout the entire 43-day tournament, of 72,000 people per minute. But for most American sports fans,... Read More
Kimbrew McLeod and Peter DiCola, “Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling” (Duke University Press, 2011)
One hallmark of important art, in any medium, is a thoughtful relation with artistic precursors. Every artist reckons with heroes and rivals, influences and nemeses, and the old work becomes a part of the new. In Adam Bradley’s seminal monograph on hip-hop lyrics, Book of Rhymes, legendary MC Mos Def... Read More
Robert J. Corber, “Cold War Femme: Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema” (Duke University Press, 2011)
The study of non-heteronormative sexualities in the academy continues to be remarkably dynamic. Despite the usual attempts to harden the frame around this scholarship, it remains consistently exciting and surprising. Robert J. Corber is one of the reasons why. His books In the Name of National Security: Hitchcock, Homophobia, and... Read More
Eric Rath, “Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan” (University of California Press, 2010)
Cuisine in early modern Japan was experienced and negotiated through literature and ritual, and the uneaten or inedible was often as important as what was actually consumed. Eric Rath‘s recent book Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2010) is a rich study of the culture,... Read More
Erin Haney, “Exposures: Photography and Africa” (Reaktion Books, 2010)
In Chapter 3 of Erin Haney’s excellent book Photography and Africa (Reaktion Books, 2010) there are seven photos taken in central Africa at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Six advertise progress – from the smartly dressed and armed native troops (though still barefoot) to a posed photograph... Read More
Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliasotti, “Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre” (McFarland, 2010)
Growing up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indy-car racing offered my friends and me some very exciting heroes. As children, we played “Indy 500” on our bikes in the cul-de-sac. As we became teenagers, the Indy-car drivers who descended on our city in April and May became some of our... Read More