New Books Network

Andrew Coe, “Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States” (Oxford UP, 2009)
Through some quirk of fate, the Hobbesian tag “filling, cheap, and familiar” is probably the defining phrase used when Americans think of Chinese food. Yet what could be less accurate a description of this cuisine, born halfway around the world, which had been evolving for well over a millennium before... Read More
Clare Haru Crowston, “Credit, Fashion, Sex: Economies of Regard in Old Regime France”
Anyone who’s been paying attention to the flurry around the French economist Thomas Piketty’s 2013 Capitalism in the Twenty-first Century (Le Capital au XXIe siecle) knows how a la mode the economy is at the moment. Contemporary ideas and debates about capital, debt, and austerity are only part of what... Read More
David Konow, “Reel Terror: The Scary, Bloody, Gory, Hundred-Year History of Classic Horror Films” (St. Martin’s Press, 2012)
Filmmakers discovered in the early twentieth century that Americans would gladly pay to be scared to death. As the decades marched on, dismissive critics regularly wrote obituaries for the relentlessly popular horror genre, even as other kinds of films (Blaxploitation, anyone?) disappeared from theaters. David Konow, in Reel Terror: The Scary,... Read More
Allen Salkin “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network” (Putnam, 2013)
When I was growing up the only cooking show on TV I remember was Julia Child. I sometimes watched “The French Chef,” not so much to learn anything about cooking, but rather just to watch Julia. She was a hoot. When I saw the famous “Saturday Night Live” in 1978,... Read More
Richie Unterberger, “Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia” (Jawbone, 2011)
Between 1969 and 1973, the Who hit their commercial and creative peak. The legendary English quartet produced three Billboard Top Ten albums, including two double LP “rock operas,” Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973). Sandwiched between them was the triumphant Who’s Next (1971),an album universally proclaimed as one of the greatest... Read More
Jonathan Green, “Green’s Dictionary of Slang” (Hodder Education, 2010)
Over the last thirty years, Jonathon Green has established himself as a major figure in lexicography, specialising in English slang. During this time he has accumulated a database of over half a million citations for more than 100,000 words and phrases, and these are the basis for the vast, authoritative... Read More
Jim Tuedio and Stan Spector, “The Grateful Dead in Concert: Essays on Live Improvisation” (McFarland, 2010)
In a career that spanned three decades the Grateful Dead are rock music’s ultimate jam band. To jam, of course, is to improvise, to engage in “spontaneous, extemporaneous expression.” In The Grateful Dead in Concert: Essays on Live Improvisation (McFarland, 2010), Jim Tuedio, professor of philosophy at California State University-Stanislaus,... Read More