Culture of Complaint

The Fraying of America
Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Harvill Press
ISBN: 9781860466373
Category: Arts and society
Page: 176
View: 1788

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In this witty and belligerent polemic Robert Hughes inspects and dismantles the core elements of the contemporary American ethos. To the left, he skewers political correctness, Afro-centrism and academic obsession with theory. To the right, he fires broadsides at free-market capitalist demagogy. Hughes is superbly scathing about politically correct shibboleths which are idle gestures rather than real solutions to the problems of racism and sexism; he identifies the confusion between thinking and feeling which bedevils much debate and which leads people to equate intellectual disagreement with personal attack; he uses his own experiences as an art critic and historian to launch a blistering attack on many of the trends in contemporary art. Hughes identifies a hollowness at the cultural core of America and, in this lucid and invigorating diagnosis of a great nation at odds with itself, he has written a masterpiece of robust polemic.

Culture of Complaint

The Fraying of America
Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Grand Central Pub
ISBN: 9780446670340
Category: Political Science
Page: 210
View: 3738

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Criticizes Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jessie Helms, and Ronald Reagan, political correctness, academic obsession with theory, the art world, American infrastructure, and other targets

Nothing If Not Critical

Essays on Art and Artists
Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0307809595
Category: Art
Page: 400
View: 2699

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From Holbein to Hockney, from Norman Rockwell to Pablo Picasso, from sixteenth-century Rome to 1980s SoHo, Robert Hughes looks with love, loathing, warmth, wit and authority at a wide range of art and artists, good, bad, past and present. As art critic for Time magazine, internationally acclaimed for his study of modern art, The Shock of the New, he is perhaps America’s most widely read and admired writer on art. In this book: nearly a hundred of his finest essays on the subject. For the realism of Thomas Eakins to the Soviet satirists Komar and Melamid, from Watteau to Willem de Kooning to Susan Rothenberg, here is Hughes—astute, vivid and uninhibited—on dozens of famous and not-so-famous artists. He observes that Caravaggio was “one of the hinges of art history; there was art before him and art after him, and they were not the same”; he remarks that Julian Schnabel’s “work is to painting what Stallone’s is to acting”; he calls John Constable’s Wivenhoe Park “almost the last word on Eden-as-Property”; he notes how “distorted traces of [Jackson] Pollock lie like genes in art-world careers that, one might have thought, had nothing to do with his.” He knows how Norman Rockwell made a chicken stand still long enough to be painted, and what Degas said about success (some kinds are indistinguishable from panic). Phrasemaker par excellence, Hughes is at the same time an incisive and profound critic, not only of particular artists, but also of the social context in which art exists and is traded. His fresh perceptions of such figures as Andy Warhol and the French writer Jean Baudrillard are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions of the art market—its inflated prices and reputations, its damage to the public domain of culture. There is a superb essay on Bernard Berenson, and another on the strange, tangled case of the Mark Rothko estate. And as a finale, Hughes gives us “The SoHoiad,” the mock-epic satire that so amused and annoyed the art world in the mid-1980s. A meteor of a book that enlightens, startles, stimulates and entertains.

The Spectacle of Skill

New and Selected Writings of Robert Hughes
Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030738599X
Category: Art
Page: 688
View: 5273

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oI am completely an elitist, in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it's an expert gardener at work, or a good carpenter chopping dovetailsaI don't think stupid or ill-read people are as good to be with as wise and fully literate ones. I would rather watch a great tennis player than a mediocre oneaConsequently, most of the human race doesn't matter much to me, outside the normal and necessary frame of courtesy and the obligation to respect human rights. I see no reason to squirm around apologizing for this. I am, after all, a cultural critic, and my main job is to distinguish the good from the second-rate.oRobert Hughes wrote with brutal honesty about art, architecture, culture, religion, and himself. He translated his passions-of which there were many, both positive and negative-brilliantly, convincingly, and with vitality and immediacy, always holding himself to the same rigorous standards of skill, authenticity, and significance that he did his subjects. There never was, and never will be again, a voice like this. In this volume, that voice rings clear through a gathering of some of his most unforgettable writings, culled from nine of his most widely read and important books. This selection shows his enormous range and gives us a uniquely cohesive view of both the critic and the man. Most revealing, and most thrilling for Hughes's legions of fans, are the never-before-published pages from his unfinished second volume of memoirs. These last writings show Robert Hughes at the height of his powers and can be read only with pleasure and a tinge of sadness that his extraordinary voice is no longer here to educate us as well as to clarify and define our world.

The Day Wall Street Exploded

A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror
Author: Beverly Gage
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199743728
Category: History
Page: 416
View: 7945

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Just after noon on September 16, 1920, as hundreds of workers poured onto Wall Street for their lunchtime break, a horse-drawn cart packed with dynamite exploded in a spray of metal and fire, turning the busiest corner of the financial center into a war zone. Thirty-nine people died and hundreds more lay wounded, making the Wall Street explosion the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history until the Oklahoma City bombing. In The Day Wall Street Exploded, Beverly Gage tells the story of that once infamous but now largely forgotten event. Based on thousands of pages of Bureau of Investigation reports, this historical detective saga traces the four-year hunt for the perpetrators, a worldwide effort that spread as far as Italy and the new Soviet nation. It also gives readers the decades-long but little-known history of homegrown terrorism that helped to shape American society a century ago. The book delves into the lives of victims, suspects, and investigators: world banking power J.P. Morgan, Jr.; labor radical "Big Bill" Haywood; anarchist firebrands Emma Goldman and Luigi Galleani; "America's Sherlock Holmes," William J. Burns; even a young J. Edgar Hoover. It grapples as well with some of the most controversial events of its day, including the rise of the Bureau of Investigation, the federal campaign against immigrant "terrorists," the grassroots effort to define and protect civil liberties, and the establishment of anti-communism as the sine qua non of American politics. Many Americans saw the destruction of the World Trade Center as the first major terrorist attack on American soil, an act of evil without precedent. The Day Wall Street Exploded reminds us that terror, too, has a history. Praise for the hardcover: "Outstanding." --New York Times Book Review "Ms. Gage is a storyteller...she leaves it to her readers to draw their own connections as they digest her engaging narrative." --The New York Times "Brisk, suspenseful and richly documented" --The Chicago Tribune "An uncommonly intelligent, witty and vibrant account. She has performed a real service in presenting such a complicated case in such a fair and balanced way." --San Francisco Chronicle

The Worlding Project

Doing Cultural Studies in the Era of Globalization
Author: Rob Wilson,Christopher Leigh Connery
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9781556436802
Category: Political Science
Page: 243
View: 4643

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Globalization discourse now presumes that the “world space” is entirely at the mercy of market norms and forms promulgated by reactionary U.S. policies. An academic but accessible set of studies, this wide range of essays by noted scholars challenges this paradigm with diverse and strong arguments. Taking on topics that range from the medieval Mediterranean to contemporary Jamaican music, from Hong Kong martial arts cinema to Taiwanese politics, writers such as David Palumbo-Liu, Meaghan Morris, James Clifford, and others use innovative cultural studies to challenge the globalization narrative with a new and trenchant tactic called “worlding.” The book posits that world literature, cultural studies, and disciplinary practices must be “worlded” into expressions from disparate critical angles of vision, multiple frameworks, and field practices as yet emerging or unidentified. This opens up a major rethinking of historical “givens” from Rob Wilson’s reinvention of “The White Surfer Dude” to Sharon Kinoshita’s “Deprovincializing the Middle Ages.” Building on the work of cultural critics like Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Kenneth Burke, The Worlding Project is an important manifesto that aims to redefine the aesthetics and politics of postcolonial globalization withalternative forms and frames of global becoming.

Being Digital


Author: Nicholas Negroponte
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101911824
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 272
View: 3634

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In lively, mordantly witty prose, Negroponte decodes the mysteries--and debunks the hype--surrounding bandwidth, multimedia, virtual reality, and the Internet, and explains why such touted innovations as the fax and the CD-ROM are likely to go the way of the BetaMax. "Succinct and readable. . . . If you suffer from digital anxiety . . . here is a book that lays it all out for you."--Newsday.

The New Buddhism

The Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition
Author: James William Coleman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195152418
Category: Philosophy
Page: 272
View: 7433

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In our multicultural society, faiths formerly seen as exotic have become attractive alternatives for people seeking more satisfying spiritual lives. This is especially true of Buddhism, which is the focus of constant media attention--thanks at least in part to celebrity converts and the popularity of the Dalai Lama. Following this recent trend in the West, author James Coleman argues that a new and radically different form of this ancient faith is emerging. Exploring the appeal of this exotic faith in postmodern society and questioning its future in a global consumer culture, The New Buddhism provides a thorough and fascinating guide to Western Buddhism today.

The Death of Expertise

The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters
Author: Tom Nichols
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190469439
Category: Social Science
Page: 240
View: 2258

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People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.

Frank Auerbach


Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 9780500276754
Category: Painters
Page: 240
View: 9778

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Paperback edition of a highly aclaimed 1990 monograph which was the first full study of the artist's work, with 254 illustrations, 174 in duotone and 80 in colour. Auerbach himself selected the paintings for the book as representing the most important of his career. The author is a well-known writer, critic and television presenter and art critic of TTime' magazine. Previous books include TThe Shock of the New' and TThe Fatal Shore'.

Albion's Seed

Four British Folkways in America
Author: David Hackett Fischer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199743698
Category: History
Page: 972
View: 4461

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This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.

The Shock of the New


Author: Robert Hughes
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0307815552
Category: Art
Page: 448
View: 1359

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A beautifully illustrated hundred-year history of modern art, from cubism to pop and avant-guard. More than 250 color photos. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Losing Our Virtue

Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision
Author: David F. Wells
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802846723
Category: Religion
Page: 240
View: 3782

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In Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision, theologian David Wells argues that the Church is in danger of losing its moral authority to speak to a culture whose moral fabric is torn. Although much of the Church has enjoyed success and growth over the past years, Wells laments a "hollowing out of evangelical conviction, a loss of the biblical word in its authoritative function, and an erosion of character to the point that today, no discernible ethical differences are evident in behavior when those claiming to have been reborn and secularists are compared." The assurance of the Good News of the gospel has been traded for mere good feelings, truth has given way to perception, and morality has slid into personal preference. Losing Our Virtue is about the disintegrating moral culture that is contemporary society and what this disturbing loss means for the church. Wells covers the following in this bold critique: how the theologically emptied spirituality of the church is causing it to lose its moral bearings; an exploration of the wider dynamic at work in contemporary society between license and law; an exposition of the secular notion of salvation as heralded by our most trusted gurus -- advertisers and psychotherapists; a discussion of the contemporary view of the self; how guilt and sin have been replaced by empty psychological shame; an examination of the contradiction between the way we view ourselves in the midst of our own culture and the biblical view of persons as created, moral beings. Can the church still speak effectively to a culture that has become morally unraveled? Wells believes it can. In fact, says Wells, no time in this century has been more opportune for the Christian faith -- if the church can muster the courage to regain its moral weight and become a missionary of truth once more to a foundering world. - Publisher.

Uses of Heritage


Author: Laurajane Smith
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134368038
Category: Art
Page: 368
View: 4816

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Examining international case studies including USA, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Laurajane Smith identifies and explores the use of heritage throughout the world. Challenging the idea that heritage value is self-evident, and that things must be preserved because they have an inherent importance, Smith forcefully demonstrates that heritage value is not inherent in physical objects or places, but rather that these objects and places are used to give tangibility to the values that underpin different communities and to assert and affirm these values. A practically grounded accessible examination of heritage as a cultural practice, The Uses of Heritage is global in its benefit to students and field professionals alike.

Prejudices

A Selection
Author: H. L. Mencken
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801885358
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 3841

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With a style that combined biting sarcasm with the "language of the free lunch counter," Henry Louis Mencken shook politics and politicians for nearly half a century. Now, fifty years after Mencken’s death, the Johns Hopkins University Press announces The Buncombe Collection, newly packaged editions of nine Mencken classics: Happy Days, Heathen Days, Newspaper Days, Prejudices, Treatise on the Gods, On Politics, Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work, Minority Report, and A Second Mencken Chrestomathy. These thirty-five essays—each a stick of dynamite with a burning fuse—have been selected from six volumes originally published between 1919 and 1927.

The Culture of Disbelief

How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion
Author: Stephen L. Carter
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385474989
Category: Religion
Page: 328
View: 7287

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In an updated version of his successful book, the author of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby argues that religion can play a role in the nation's politics, law and culture while maintaining its separation from state. Reprint.

Seeing Things

Television in an Age of Uncertainty
Author: John Ellis
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 9781860641251
Category: Performing Arts
Page: 193
View: 6063

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Television offers us multiple ways of understanding the world, yet does not arbitrate between them. This book makes sense of modern television by exploring its processes, and its relationships with the cultures that provide the raw material.

RAND in Southeast Asia

A History of the Vietnam War Era
Author: Mai Elliott
Publisher: Rand Corporation
ISBN: 0833049151
Category: History
Page: 694
View: 1931

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This volume chronicles RAND's involvement in researching insurgency and counterinsurgency in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand during the Vietnam War era and assesses the effect that this research had on U.S. officials and policies. Elliott draws on interviews with former RAND staff and the many studies that RAND produced on these topics to provide a narrative that captures the tenor of the times and conveys the attitudes and thinking of those involved.

Pictures and Tears

A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings
Author: James Elkins
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135950121
Category: Art
Page: 256
View: 7306

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Art Does art leave you cold? And is that what it's supposed to do? Or is a painting meant to move you to tears? Hemingway was reduced to tears in the midst of a drinking bout when a painting by James Thurber caught his eye. And what's bad about that? In Pictures and Tears, art historian James Elkins tells the story of paintings that have made people cry. Drawing upon anecdotes related to individual works of art, he provides a chronicle of how people have shown emotion before works of art in the past, and a meditation on the curious tearlessness with which most people approach art in the present. Deeply personal, Pictures and Tears is a history of emotion and vulnerability, and an inquiry into the nature of art. This book is a rare and invaluable treasure for people who love art. Also includes an 8-page color insert.

Long Walk to Freedom

The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780759521049
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 576
View: 2614

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The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life--an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.