Express Milwaukee - Books http://expressmilwaukee.com/articles.sec-29-1-books.html Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 EST en hourly 1 Boris Fishman’s ‘Replacement Life’ - Young novelist reads at Boswell Book Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25095-boris-fishman%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598replacement-life%25E2%2580%2599-young-novelist-reads-at-boswell-book-co.html Soviet-born émigré Boris Fishman, author of the novel A Replacement Life, was recently named one of BuzzFeed’s Top 20-Under-40 Debut Writers. This accomplished Princeton and New York University graduate has worked as an editor for The New Yorker and was also the recipient ]]> Memoirs & Visions: Art, Life & Poetry, by Christopher McIntyre Perceptions http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25096-memoirs-visions-art-life-poetry-by-christopher-mcintyre-perceptions.html At age 25, photographer Christopher McIntyre Perceptions has already had work displayed at the Milwaukee Art Museum (“30 Americans”), embarked on a residency with RedLine Milwaukee and mounted a multi-arts performance (“Br(OK)en Genius” ) at the South Milwaukee Performing]]> Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee—The War they Fought, the Peace They Forged (Da Capo Press), by William C. Davis http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25097-crucible-of-command-ulysses-s-grant-and-robert-e-lee%25E2%2580%2594the-war-they-fought-the-peace-they-forged-%2528da-capo-press%2529-by-william-c-davis.html The Civil War continues to exert a fascination above all other American conflicts. William C. Davis’ Crucible of Command compares and contrasts the most prominent opposing generals, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Davis finds many similarities. Grant wasn’t especially committed to]]> The Prudence of War - David Treuer’s novel of World War II Minnesota http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25048-the-prudence-of-war-david-treuer%25E2%2580%2599s-novel-of-world-war-ii-minnesota.html A compelling new novel set in World War II-era Minnesota follows a tight-knit community as they struggle to make sense of an unforeseen tragedy. Prudence, by author David Treuer, is told from five diverse points of view and spans more than a decade. This intricate, melancholy]]> Lincoln For Beginners (For Beginners), by Paul Buhle and Sharon Rudahl http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25049-lincoln-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-paul-buhle-and-sharon-rudahl.html Abraham Lincoln really was born in a log cabin and his humble origin made him exemplary of the American self-made ideal. In their graphic biography, comic-art expert Paul Buhle and illustrator Sharon Rudahl trace the life of this singular figure. Lincoln was self-taught and shrewd, a crafty]]> ‘A Kim Jong-Il Production’ - Author Paul Fischer’s real-life movie thriller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25001-%25E2%2580%2598a-kim-jong-il-production%25E2%2580%2599-author-paul-fischer%25E2%2580%2599s-real-life-movie-thriller.html Oftentimes the incredible stories we hear coming out of North Korea seem unimaginable, and a new book by Paul Fischer tells the unbelievable true story of a brazen kidnapping by Kim Jong-Il in the 1970s. Before he became dictator of the world’s most mysterious nation, he was North]]> ‘A Cinema of Sensations’ - UW-Milwaukee professor explores the work of filmmaker Germaine Dulac http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25002-%25E2%2580%2598a-cinema-of-sensations%25E2%2580%2599-uw-milwaukee-professor-explores-the-work-of-filmmaker-germaine-dulac.html ]]> Popology: The Music of the Era in the Lives of Four Icons of the 1960s, by Timothy English http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-25003-popology-the-music-of-the-era-in-the-lives-of-four-icons-of-the-1960s-by-timothy-english.html It’s no surprise that Martin Luther King Jr. was fond of “We Shall Overcome,” but who knew he also liked Bessie Smith? Timothy English unearths such tuneful surprises in Popology, which tries to assess the musical tastes of four major figures from the ’60s: King, John F. Kennedy]]> All About Russia - Recent titles that explore the wild east http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24884-all-about-russia-recent-titles-that-explore-the-wild-east.html On page one of A Russian Life in Science we learn that Ivan Pavlov never trained a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell. Heavy in scale at 731 pages and wide in cultural scope, Daniel P. Todes’ biography is marred only by occasional stylistic lapses (a new generation of iconoclasts might]]> Prize-winning Storywriter Barrett Swanson Reads at Central Library - Novelist Scott Blackwood blends genres at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24883-prize-winning-storywriter-barrett-swanson-reads-at-central-library-novelist-scott-blackwood-blends-genres-at-boswell.html ]]> Milwaukee Authors’ Reception at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24785-milwaukee-authors%25E2%2580%2599-reception-at-boswell.html
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Prog Rock FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Rock’s Most Progressive Music (Backbeat Books), by Will Romano http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24786-prog-rock-faq-all-that%25E2%2580%2599s-left-to-know-about-rock%25E2%2580%2599s-most-progressive-music-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-will-romano.html
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Berlin Now: The City After the Wall (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Peter Schneider http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24787-berlin-now-the-city-after-the-wall-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-peter-schneider.html
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The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science (Viking), by Armand Marie Leroi http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24780-the-lagoon-how-aristotle-invented-science-%2528viking%2529-by-armand-marie-leroi.html Evolutionary biologist Armand Marie Leroi admits that most scientists don’t know much about history. The pity is that the history of science might promote humility through awareness of mistaken idea]]> Elizabeth Eulberg Works It Out - Young adult novelist at Books & Company http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24745-elizabeth-eulberg-works-it-out-young-adult-novelist-at-books-company.html Wisconsin-born author Elizabeth Eulberg’s newest YA novel, We Can Work It Out, is a sweet and emotionally satisfying tale about young relationships and the highs and lows of high school life. The second book in The Lonely Hearts Club series, We Can Work It Out centers around Penny Lane, an independent and]]> ‘War on the Silver Screen’ - Remembering the past through films http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24746-%25E2%2580%2598war-on-the-silver-screen%25E2%2580%2599-remembering-the-past-through-films.html While some war movies serve as painful reminiscences, others seem unpleasantly prescient of ominous things yet to come. Written by Milwaukee authors Glen Jeansonne and David Luhrssen, War on the Silver Screen: Shaping America’s Perception of History (Potomac Books) neither extols]]> ‘The Beautiful Music All Around Us’ - Author Stephen Wade’s one-man Stackner Cabaret show http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24705-%25E2%2580%2598the-beautiful-music-all-around-us%25E2%2580%2599-author-stephen-wade%25E2%2580%2599s-one-man-stackner-cabaret-show.html In the 1930s and ’40s, the Library of Congress sent “song collectors” with bulky recording gear into rural America. Their mission was to document folk music traditions fading against the bright glare of mass media, especially from the coast-to-coast broadcasts and sound recordings that were]]> French Revolutions For Beginners (For Beginners), by Michael J. LaMonica http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24706-french-revolutions-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-michael-j-lamonica.html The plural in the title is important. While many Americans associate the French Revolution with storming the Bastille and the guillotine, the revolution that began in 1789 continued in fits and starts, as one regime replaced another, until the defeat of the Paris Commune in 1871. Michael LaMonica]]> Tess Blessing Returns - Novelist Lesley Kagen at Boswell Book Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24672-tess-blessing-returns-novelist-lesley-kagen-at-boswell-book-co.html When 49-year-old Wisconsinite Tess Blessing receives an ominous cancer diagnosis, she decides it’s high time that she take control of her life and begin to accomplish her nagging “To Do” list items. Among her tasks to tackle are finding a way to come to the aid of her eating disorder]]> Seeking Light: Portraits of Humanitarian Action in War (Viking), by Paul Grabhorn http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24673-seeking-light-portraits-of-humanitarian-action-in-war-%2528viking%2529-by-paul-grabhorn.html Photographer Paul Grabhorn doesn’t simply document the world’s war zones, but brings an activist’s temperament to his work. As he recounts in his new photo collection, he was first motivated by the early-’90s civil war in Somalia. A U.S. government contractor at the time, he pulled some strings]]> Fatherland: A Family History (Liveright), by Nina Bunjevac http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24660-fatherland-a-family-history-%2528liveright%2529-by-nina-bunjevac.html Black and white and gray are the appropriate colors for Nina Bunjevac’s graphic memoir—gray for the moral twilight of her story and black and white as colors of faded memory. Her boldly imagined panels recount a childhood split between Canada and Yugoslavia during the Cold War]]> Remembering the Pabst Farms - Milwaukee historian John Eastberg at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24635-remembering-the-pabst-farms-milwaukee-historian-john-eastberg-at-boswell.html All good Milwaukeeans know that the Pabst family name is synonymous with world-famous beer, but few may know of Fred Pabst Jr.’s connection to the more agrarian pursuits of agriculture and livestock. In fact, Pabst purchased vast tracts of land near Oconomowoc, where he used sustainable ]]> Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia (Princeton Architectural Press), edited by Adam Lerner http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24636-mark-mothersbaugh-myopia-%2528princeton-architectural-press%2529-edited-by-adam-lerner.html Devo was an art collective posing as a band, a Dada ensemble parodying the pretentions of rock music. Devo’s bracing subversion, with its critique of conservative and liberal values, of faith in science and progress, of the social conditioning that reduces people to automatons of consumption, was]]> Into the Black: The Inside Story of Metallica 1991-2014 (Da Capo), by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24637-into-the-black-the-inside-story-of-metallica-1991-2014-%2528da-capo%2529-by-paul-brannigan-and-ian-winwood.html Unlike many of their peers, Metallica was a thrash-metal band with epic aspirations. Their breakout disc, The Black Album, marks the start of Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood’s latest Metallica chronicle. Written with piercing British wit and critical acumen, Into the Black is the story of the band’s]]> The Strat in the Attic 2: More Thrilling Stories of Guitar Archaeology (Voyageur Press), by Deke Dickerson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24638-the-strat-in-the-attic-2-more-thrilling-stories-of-guitar-archaeology-%2528voyageur-press%2529-by-deke-dickerson.html The Strat in the Attic and its sequel are products of the age of “American Pickers” and “Antiques Roadshow,” but with a distinction: The author’s motives seem less about making a buck and more about the pleasure of discovery. Deke Dickerson is a musician and a self-professed guitar geek]]> Frank Lloyd Wright and His Manner of Thought (University of Wisconsin Press), by Jerome Klinkowitz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24577-frank-lloyd-wright-and-his-manner-of-thought-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-jerome-klinkowitz.html America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election that Transformed the Nation (Chicago Review Press), by John Bicknell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24578-america-1844-religious-fervor-westward-expansion-and-the-presidential-election-that-transformed-the-nation-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-by-john-bicknell.html Coming of Age in ‘Brewster’ - Novelist Mark Slouka at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24539-coming-of-age-in-%25E2%2580%2598brewster%25E2%2580%2599-novelist-mark-slouka-at-boswell.html Mark Slouka’s new book entitled Brewster, for the upstate New York town where it takes place, is a memorable coming-of-age story of an unlikely high school friendship. It is the turbulent 1960s and 16-year-olds Jon Mosher and Ray Cappicciano, both from troubled homes, unexpectedly ]]> Black Vienna: The Radical Right in the Red City, 1918-1938 (Cornell University Press), by Janek Wasserman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24540-black-vienna-the-radical-right-in-the-red-city-1918-1938-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-janek-wasserman.html Black Vienna, which examines ideologues opposed to both socialism]]> Aaron Siskind: Another Photographic Reality (University of Texas Press), by Aaron Siskind http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24541-aaron-siskind-another-photographic-reality-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-by-aaron-siskind.html World Almanac and Book of Facts 2015 (World Almanac Books) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24506-world-almanac-and-book-of-facts-2015-%2528world-almanac-books%2529.html Wikipedia is easier to access from anywhere you might be, but if you want to be sure of your facts (and avoid the sometimes bad Wikiprose), reach instead for that old standby, the World Almanac and Bo]]> The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio (Abrams ComicArts), edited by Mark Evanier http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24499-the-art-of-the-simon-and-kirby-studio-%2528abrams-comicarts%2529-edited-by-mark-evanier.html The Art of the ]]> John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation (Da Capo Press), by Harlow Giles Unger http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24500-john-marshall-the-chief-justice-who-saved-the-nation-%2528da-capo-press%2529-by-harlow-giles-unger.html Kate Funk’s ‘Best Cat Book Ever’ - MIAD graduate poses her feline in adorable pictures http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24501-kate-funk%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598best-cat-book-ever%25E2%2580%2599-miad-graduate-poses-her-feline-in-adorable-pictures.html Cat lovers, the wait is over. A zany new book of photography features a feisty feline named AC posing in an array of outrageous handmade costumes. The Best Cat Book Ever: Super-Amazing, 100% Awesome is Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design graduate Kate Funk’s first dive into ]]> Writers and Writing - New books on the pleasures (and hazards) of an author’s life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24459-writers-and-writing-new-books-on-the-pleasures-%2528and-hazards%2529-of-an-author%25E2%2580%2599s-life.html Leaves of Grass was unlike any previous collection of poems, but as Justin Martin reminds us, few copies of the early editions sold]]> The Mystery of the Mind - Neuroscientist explores ‘The Emotional Life of Your Brain’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24432-the-mystery-of-the-mind-neuroscientist-explores-%25E2%2580%2598the-emotional-life-of-your-brain%25E2%2580%2599.html Dissecting everything from autism to depression, a groundbreaking new book entitled The Emotional Life of Your Brain provides an eye-opening look at how the brain works. UW-Madison neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson and science writer Sharon Begley demonstrate how a half-dozen ]]> Repairman Jack in ‘Fear City’ - Author F. Paul Wilson at Mystery One http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24408-repairman-jack-in-%25E2%2580%2598fear-city%25E2%2580%2599-author-f-paul-wilson-at-mystery-one.html Prolific science fiction, fantasy and horror author F. Paul Wilson is out with a new release that brings a shocking conclusion to the supernatural thriller series Repairman Jack. In Fear City, Wilson pens his eighteenth installment centered around many reader’s favorite serial character]]> Global Gangs: Street Violence Across the World (University of Minnesota Press), ed. by Jennifer M. Hazen and Dennis Rodgers http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24412-global-gangs-street-violence-across-the-world-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-ed-by-jennifer-m-hazen-and-dennis-rodgers.html Global Gangs is the rising tide of drug trafficking since the 1980s and the new opportunities afforded for profitable delinquency—as well as violence and addiction. The]]> The History of Classical Music For Beginners, by R. Ryan Endris and Joe Lee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24413-the-history-of-classical-music-for-beginners-by-r-ryan-endris-and-joe-lee.html ‘Remember Me Like This’ - Finding courage to heal in Bret Anthony Johnston’s novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24378-%25E2%2580%2598remember-me-like-this%25E2%2580%2599-finding-courage-to-heal-in-bret-anthony-johnston%25E2%2580%2599s-novel.html It is summer in the swelteringly hot town of Southport, Texas, when the seemingly impossible happens. Young Justin Campbell, who disappeared four years earlier at the age of 12, is suddenly reunited with his family after a flea market vendor recognizes him from one of the countless]]> The Music Books Keep on Coming - Bio and memoirs of U2, Joy Division and Herbie Hancock http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24379-the-music-books-keep-on-coming-bio-and-memoirs-of-u2-joy-division-and-herbie-hancock.html India’s Organic Revolution - Rethinking food at Boswell Book Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24306-india%25E2%2580%2599s-organic-revolution-rethinking-food-at-boswell-book-co.html Organic farming has been recognized as safer, healthier and more sustainable, but consumers continue to question the merits of organic food at the grocery store. Are the higher prices worth the cost? Are organic products really better for us and the environment]]> The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Caleb Scharf http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24307-the-copernicus-complex-our-cosmic-significance-in-a-universe-of-planets-and-probabilities-%2528scientific-american_farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-caleb-scharf.html The Copernicus Complex, he notes that our sun is brighter]]> Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations Part Two: 1953-1984 (Abrams/SelfMade), by Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24308-best-of-enemies-a-history-of-us-and-middle-east-relations-part-two-1953-1984-%2528abrams_selfmade%2529-by-jean-pierre-filiu-david-b.html Part One of their non-fiction graphic series, Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B. began with little-known U.S. naval wars and military landings in North Africa from the early 1800s. With Part Two, history heats up. In B.’s crowded, sometimes Cubist black-and-white frames, Best of Enemies explores]]> JFK Assassination Rehearsal - A New Look at Conspiracies from Cuba to Watergate http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24291-jfk-assassination-rehearsal-a-new-look-at-conspiracies-from-cuba-to-watergate.html ]]> Peter Fromm’s Heartfelt Triumph over Adversity - Shorewood-born author reads at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24250-peter-fromm%25E2%2580%2599s-heartfelt-triumph-over-adversity-shorewood-born-author-reads-at-boswell.html A deeply touching, adventure-filled new novel by award-winning Shorewood-born writer Peter Fromm follows an intrepid river-running couple whose love for the water surmounts life’s many difficulties. For Maddy and Dalt, the main characters in Fromm’s new book If Not For This, life on ]]> Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson (Oxford University Press), ed. by Darryl Jones http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24251-horror-stories-classic-tales-from-hoffmann-to-hodgson-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-ed-by-darryl-jones.html A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience (Oxford University Press), by Emerson W. Baker http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24252-a-storm-of-witchcraft-the-salem-trials-and-the-american-experience-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-emerson-w-baker.html A Storm of Witchcraft, Emerson W. Baker explores the dark chapter in colonial America from legal, political and social perspectives. A grand jury indicted the suspects, the wealthier among them had better legal]]> Environmentalism, Comic Books and More - Many literary events this week in Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24210-environmentalism-comic-books-and-more-many-literary-events-this-week-in-milwaukee.html Nineteenth-century poet, author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau once said, “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.” Deeply concerned with protecting the environment and treasuring our natural landmarks, Thoreau even today remains one of the country’s foremost ]]> Holiday Gift Guide For Music Fans - New books on blues, country and rock http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24211-holiday-gift-guide-for-music-fans-new-books-on-blues-country-and-rock.html Brian Jones is more remembered for his death in a swimming pool than his life. British rock critic Paul Trynka is out to change that with his biography of The Rolling Stones’ guitarist. It’s not a hagiography: Jones was a troubled sexual alley cat described by more than one intimate as]]> Finding ‘Safe Haven’ - Author Anna Schmidt at the Marshall Building for Gallery Night http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24185-finding-%25E2%2580%2598safe-haven%25E2%2580%2599-author-anna-schmidt-at-the-marshall-building-for-gallery-night.html A new, moving World War II novel with connections to Wisconsin tells the little-known story of German refugees who, on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s orders, sailed to New York to escape the repressive Nazi regime. Safe Haven, the third book in author Anna Schmidt’s Peacemaker ]]> <i>Chicagoscapes</i> (University of Illinois Press) - by Larry Kanfer with Alaina Kanfer http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24170-chicagoscapes-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-larry-kanfer-with-alaina-kanfer.html
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The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation into the Kennedy Assassination (Abrams ComicArts), by Dan Mishkin, Ernie Colón and Jerzy Drozd http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24167-the-warren-commission-report-a-graphic-investigation-into-the-kennedy-assassination-%2528abrams-comicarts%2529-by-dan-mishkin-ernie-colon-and-jerzy-drozd.html Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will (Oxford University Press), by Alfred R. Mele http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24168-free-why-science-hasn%25E2%2580%2599t-disproved-free-will-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-alfred-r-mele.html Free, Florida State philosophy professor Alfred R. Mele scrutinizes neurological tests that have cast doubt on the existence of free will, finding they draw flawed assumptions from inadequate]]> Writing in Style - How to sound smart and avoid Twitterspeak http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24158-writing-in-style-how-to-sound-smart-and-avoid-twitterspeak.html What makes for good writing style: sparse or ornate, classical or practical? Questions about writing styles and the English language can be terribly confusing, but a recently released concise and surprisingly entertaining style guide by world-renowned cognitive scientist Steven Pinker]]> Battleground Middle East - Reporters and historians explore the roots of conflict http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24159-battleground-middle-east-reporters-and-historians-explore-the-roots-of-conflict.html Ted Rall is an author, graphic novelist and rarity among the recent generation of foreign correspondents—an unembedded reporter covering American mishaps without permission from the U.S. military. It’s dangerous work, he reports in this caustic account of his Afghan sojourn. In After]]> Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin (Little, Brown), by David Ritz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24113-respect-the-life-of-aretha-franklin-%2528little-brown%2529-by-david-ritz.html Aretha: From These Roots, an endearing but incomplete autobiography. Built on extensive interviews with Aretha’s siblings, co-producers and peers, Respect is Ritz’s often-contrary companion piece. Ritz]]> Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Max Egremont http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24112-some-desperate-glory-the-first-world-war-the-poets-knew-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-max-egremont.html ‘Milwaukee Rock and Roll’ - Larry Widen checks out the scene at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24111-%25E2%2580%2598milwaukee-rock-and-roll%25E2%2580%2599-larry-widen-checks-out-the-scene-at-boswell.html Did you know that on the same weekend that Woodstock took place, Milwaukee played host to its own concert featuring Jeff Beck, Blind Faith and other rockers at the Wisconsin State Fair Park? Rock ’n’ roll’s history in Milwaukee goes back decades, starting with post-World War II nightclubs]]> <i>Fanon for Beginners</i> (For Beginners), by Deborah Wyrick http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24080-fanon-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-deborah-wyrick.html Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) had a short but influential life as a psychoanalyst-philosopher who applied Freudian insights to the problems of racism and colonialism. In Fanon for Beginners, Deborah Wyrick]]> The Anatomy of Dangerous Lucid Dreams - Novelist Chloe Benjamin at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24058-the-anatomy-of-dangerous-lucid-dreams-novelist-chloe-benjamin-at-boswell.html When Sylvia and Gabe meet and fall in love at boarding school in Northern California in 1998, they never in their wildest dreams could have imagined the path their lives would take. The spirited duo becomes the central characters in Chloe Benjamin’s debut novel The Anatomy of Dreams]]> ‘Americans Against the City’ - Steven Conn on anti-urbanism in the U.S. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24059-%25E2%2580%2598americans-against-the-city%25E2%2580%2599-steven-conn-on-anti-urbanism-in-the-us.html This June, Census Bureau data revealed that the average size of a new home built in the United States set a record during 2013. At approximately 2,600 square feet, the ]]> Night Train to Shanghai and Other Memories of China (Grizzly Peak Press), by Gerald Nicosia http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24060-night-train-to-shanghai-and-other-memories-of-china-%2528grizzly-peak-press%2529-by-gerald-nicosia.html Gerald Nicosia is a seeker in the truest definition of the word. Known primarily as the author of Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac, the finest biography]]> ‘Station Eleven’ for Annihilation - Emily St. John Mandel tours Milwaukee bookstores http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24008-%25E2%2580%2598station-eleven%25E2%2580%2599-for-annihilation-emily-st-john-mandel-tours-milwaukee-bookstores.html Without a doubt, Station Eleven is not your archetypal YA dystopian novel, despite its post-apocalyptic plot involving a 99% annihilation of the world’s population. Canadian-born New York-based author Emily St. John Mandel’s fourth novel is a deeply ]]> Filmmaker at the Margins - Biography of indie director Edgar G. Ulmer http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-24009-filmmaker-at-the-margins-biography-of-indie-director-edgar-g-ulmer.html Full disclosure: I’m co-authoring, with David Luhrssen, a book of our own about the subject of Noah Isenberg’s cogent, comprehensive biography Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (University of California Press). This fact could have predisposed me to find fault where there’s little]]> Enduring the Ravages of War http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23964-enduring-the-ravages-of-war.html The raw and brutal experiences of war undoubtedly change people, and for Desa Jovanovic, the lead character in Miki Knezevic’s gripping historical novel Behind God’s Back, it is the decision to become a healer that forever changes the course of her life. Growing up in the shadows of]]> Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me (Chicago Review Press), by Yamma Brown with Robin Gaby Fisher http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23950-cold-sweat-my-father-james-brown-and-me-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-by-yamma-brown-with-robin-gaby-fisher.html Brazil, The Fortunes of War: World War II and the Making of Modern Brazil (Basic Books), by Neill Lochery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23951-brazil-the-fortunes-of-war-world-war-ii-and-the-making-of-modern-brazil-%2528basic-books%2529-by-neill-lochery.html Valentio Di’ Buondelmonte: A Tragedy in Five Acts (Resource Publications), by Haig Khatchadourian http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23897-valentio-di%25E2%2580%2599-buondelmonte-a-tragedy-in-five-acts-%2528resource-publications%2529-by-haig-khatchadourian.html Why write an Elizabethan tragedy in the 21st century—and accompany it with your own translation]]> Poetry and Politics - Readings and discussions at Woodland Pattern and Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23886-poetry-and-politics-readings-and-discussions-at-woodland-pattern-and-boswell.html A decorated pair of Chicago poets will join a UW-Milwaukee doctoral student for a live reading at Woodland Pattern Book Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30. CM Burroughs, Tony Trigilio and Soham Patel are scheduled to headline this free event and each artist will bring their unique]]> A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War (Cornell University Press), by Isabel V. Hull http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23887-a-scrap-of-paper-breaking-and-making-international-law-during-the-great-war-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-isabel-v-hull.html Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Brian Catlos http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23888-infidel-kings-and-unholy-warriors-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-brian-catlos.html Using vigorous prose to tell the stories of numerous influential figures from the Mediterranean region during the time of the Crusades, the author takes the reader on a violent journey from the western to the eastern Mediterranean. Most of the time the book feels like an action-packed collection]]> American History Lessons - From independence through the Civil War http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23851-american-history-lessons-from-independence-through-the-civil-war.html In his account of the American Revolution, historian Thomas Slaughter begins with the assumption that “independence” and “separation” were two different things. The American colonists considered themselves largely “independent” of Great Britain since Jamestown, yet the idea of]]> Julie Schumacher’s Satire of Higher Ed - Professor vents to his ‘Dear Committee Members’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23852-julie-schumacher%25E2%2580%2599s-satire-of-higher-ed-professor-vents-to-his-%25E2%2580%2598dear-committee-members%25E2%2580%2599.html Written entirely in the form of recommendation letters by a down-on-his-luck English professor, Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher is a satirical glimpse into the hallowed halls of academia. The cynical writer behind these letters, Jason Fitger, works at a small Midwestern college facing ]]> Bicentennial Baseball - Dan Epstein on America’s pastime in the summer of ’76 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23815-bicentennial-baseball-dan-epstein-on-america%25E2%2580%2599s-pastime-in-the-summer-of-%25E2%2580%259976.html In America in 1976, Steve Jobs formed the Apple Computer Company, the two-dollar bill was reintroduced and Jimmy Carter defeated incumbent Gerald Ford to take the presidency. And baseball was alive in America. This was the year of the “Big Red Machine,” the year that the love-to-]]> Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records (Scribner), by Amanda Petrusich http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23788-do-not-sell-at-any-price-the-wild-obsessive-hunt-for-the-world%25E2%2580%2599s-rarest-78rpm-records-%2528scribner%2529-by-amanda-petrusich.html  Amanda Petrusich emerges from one of the music world’s darker corners to share her barely believable findings. She describes collectors of pre-war blues records who are so focused in their pursuit as to make Dylan obsessives appear normal. Paramount Records of Grafton is a

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Adventures in Extreme Reading http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23783-adventures-in-extreme-reading.html  At a glance it looks like a fool’s errand: biographer and essayist Phyllis Rose randomly chose a fiction shelf

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Baseball Road Trips: The Midwest and the Great Lakes (Triumph Books), by Timothy M. Mullin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23745-baseball-road-trips-the-midwest-and-the-great-lakes-%2528triumph-books%2529-by-timothy-m-mullin.html  Attention baseball fans: planning a ballpark vacation around the Midwest? In this age of niche marketing, it’s

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Roxanne Gay’s ‘Bad Feminist’ - Author tackles society’s mixed-up messages at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23755-roxanne-gay%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598bad-feminist%25E2%2580%2599-author-tackles-society%25E2%2580%2599s-mixed-up-messages-at-boswell.html

 What does it mean to be a “bad” feminist? In Roxanne Gay’s riveting new collection, she states that a “bad” woman’s-libber, in her mind, is someone who is full of all-too-human contradictions. This authentic and raw honesty permeates all of Gay’s stories, from her riveting tale of her own gang rape

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Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol) (Feminist Press), by Breanne Fahs http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23756-valerie-solanas-the-defiant-life-of-the-woman-who-wrote-scum-%2528and-shot-andy-warhol%2529-%2528feminist-press%2529-by-breanne-fahs.html

 Valerie Solanas is a detailed account of the life and times of the infamous would-be assassin of the venerated pop artist Andy Warhol and author of the notorious SCUM Manifesto. According to Warhol, everyone gets his 15 minutes of fame, and in this deeply researched biography of the troubled

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Deborah Harkness’ Heart-Pounding, Time-Traveling Saga http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23713-deborah-harkness%25E2%2580%2599-heart-pounding-time-traveling-saga.html

  A 1,500-year-old vampire and a modern-day witch again join forces in the long-awaited final installment of Deborah Harkness’ award-winning All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life. Following the success of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire

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Pioneers of the Blues Revival (University of Illinois Press), by Steve Cushing http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23714-pioneers-of-the-blues-revival-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-steve-cushing.html   Blues is taken for granted nowadays as bedrock of the musical landscape, but in the 1950s scarcely anyone outside of African American communities knew what it was, or thought the blues was anything more than a down day or a flavor in jazz. Radio host Steve Cushing collected

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Art and Passion http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23687-art-and-passion.html  Gabriele Münter was young, rich and restless, traveling widely at the turn of the 20th century and living unconventionally. She was drawn to painting and fell into intense relations with her art tutor, the then little-known Wassily Kandinsky. Although Milwaukee author Mary Basson titled

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Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State (Nation Books), by Ralph Nader http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23688-unstoppable-the-emerging-left-right-alliance-to-dismantle-the-corporate-state-%2528nation-books%2529-by-ralph-nader.html  Despite political gridlock and polarization, Ralph Nader remains optimistic on America. The permanent insurgent, who rose to prominence in the ’60s after calling out Detroit for manufacturing cars unsafe at any speed, sees more purple than red or blue—a convergence of opposition to the control of

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The Four Horsemen: Riding to Liberty in Post-Napoleonic Europe (Oxford University Press), by Richard Stites http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23689-the-four-horsemen-riding-to-liberty-in-post-napoleonic-europe-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-richard-stites.html   Revolutions swept Europe after Napoleon’s defeat as conservative regimes tried to hold the line against what appeared to be the march of history. In his final book before his death, Georgetown University’s Richard Stites explores 1820s-era revolutions in Spain, Russia, Italy and Greece. Although

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The Family that Golfs Together - Julie Melby’s comic memories at Boswell Books http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23640-the-family-that-golfs-together-julie-melby%25E2%2580%2599s-comic-memories-at-boswell-books.html  Quirky putt-putt courses dot the landscape of Wisconsin, and these popular fair-weather establishments have hosted many a family vacationer. Julie Melby’s Tom Thumb mini-golf course, family owned and operated in Waupaca for 30 years, and her clever, outrageously funny My Family

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Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Amir Alexander http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23641-infinitesimal-how-a-dangerous-mathematical-theory-shaped-the-modern-world-%2528scientific-american_farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-amir-alexander.html  In 1632 an elite panel of Jesuits condemned a mathematical concept they saw as pernicious: the idea that a continuous line is composed of distinct, infinitely tiny points. To Jesuits and conservative thinkers, the existence of

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Ethnic Diversity in Milwaukee - Tom August’s history of our multicultural city http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23635-ethnic-diversity-in-milwaukee-tom-august%25E2%2580%2599s-history-of-our-multicultural-city.html

 Milwaukee is among America’s most historically unique cities, and yet, the problems that pervaded the U.S. throughout its history, especially the crucial issue of racism, arrived with the early settlers. Milwaukee historian

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Authors Speak on Simplifying Our Lives - Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23628-authors-speak-on-simplifying-our-lives-joshua-fields-millburn-and-ryan-nicodemus-at-boswell.html

 Let’s face it: Americans have a ubiquitous connection to “stuff.” While intrepid individuals like Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi are revered

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Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States (W.W. Norton), by Felipe Fernández-Armesto http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23629-our-america-a-hispanic-history-of-the-united-states-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-felipe-fernandez-armesto.html   Spanish speakers established colonies and cities on lands that became part of the U.S. before Jonestown, Plymouth Rock and other steppingstones of English colonization. Our America tells the story of our country from a Latino perspective, shifting focus from the usual

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Risking Everything - Author looks back at the Freedom Summer http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23602-risking-everything-author-looks-back-at-the-freedom-summer.html Buying Books in Milwaukee - Indie bookstores carry on despite Amazon http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23587-buying-books-in-milwaukee-indie-bookstores-carry-on-despite-amazon.html

 In the age of Amazon and e-readers, independent bookstores are at the mercy of an increasingly paperless world. Shifts in technology made the independent bookstore a tougher sell for publishers, authors and customers, with a few stores spread thinly across expansive urban areas

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Killing in Vacation Land - Patricia Skalka’s Door County mystery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23556-killing-in-vacation-land-patricia-skalka%25E2%2580%2599s-door-county-mystery.html

  Murder seems almost unseemly in Door County, a peninsula covered in forests, lined by beaches and filled with summer cabins and tourist resorts. That’s the hook for the murder-thriller Death Stalks Door County, the first in a projected series involving DNR ranger Dave Cubiak. A former Chicago

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The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe, 1940-1945 (Viking), by Richard Overy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23557-the-bombers-and-the-bombed-allied-air-war-over-europe-1940-1945-%2528viking%2529-by-richard-overy.html   In August 1939 Britain’s military concluded that it was “clearly illegal to bombard a populated area in the hope of hitting a legitimate target,” yet by May 1940 the RAF was bombing German cities with little regard for hitting military targets. British historian Richard Overy explores the shift in The

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The Essential Ellen Willis (University of Minnesota Press), edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23558-the-essential-ellen-willis-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-edited-by-nona-willis-aronowitz.html  The rediscovery of Ellen Willis (1941-2006), which began with the publication of her rock criticism collection Out of the Vinyl Deeps (2011), continues with an anthology of political and cultural essays of wider scope. The Essential includes an excellent analysis of the O.J

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Remembering Mrs. Griggs http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23523-remembering-mrs-griggs.html  Mrs. Griggs was a beloved figure in local journalism for decades before her retirement from the Milwaukee Journal in 1985. She

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Fantasy Authors Speak at Boswell - Of magic, unseen enemies and alternative worlds http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23518-fantasy-authors-speak-at-boswell-of-magic-unseen-enemies-and-alternative-worlds.html   Magic comes alive at Boswell Book Co. at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 22, when acclaimed fantasy writers Katherine Addison and Mary Robinette Kowal will appear in conversation with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jim Higgins

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Celeste (SelfMadeHero), by I.N.J. Culbard http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23519-celeste-%2528selfmadehero%2529-by-inj-culbard.html  An extraterrestrial phenomenon impacts the lives of three otherwise unconnected people in widely spaced parts of the Earth—Los Angeles, London and a Japanese forest. With Celeste, graphic novelist I.N.J. Culbard lets the visual aspects of the medium tell the story through the arrangement of

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Nijinsky (Profile Books), by Lucy Moore http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23520-nijinsky-%2528profile-books%2529-by-lucy-moore.html  Western civilization felt exhausted in the years before World War I; Russian culture was welcomed as a source of new color, texture and rhythm. Nowhere was Russian influence felt as strikingly as in ballet and no one was a brighter star in the Ballets Russes than Vaslav Nijinsky. Lucy Moore’s

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God Save the Kinks (Aurum Press), by Rob Jovanovic http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23454-god-save-the-kinks-%2528aurum-press%2529-by-rob-jovanovic.html  The static-drenched crunch of Dave Davies’ guitar on “You Really Got Me” has been credited with giving birth to metal, but older brother Ray Davies often

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The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century (Viking), by William Rosen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23455-the-third-horseman-climate-change-and-the-great-famine-of-the-14th-century-%2528viking%2529-by-william-rosen.html   With minimal push from human hands, the climate in 1300s Europe changed drastically, and the results were devastating. For seven years the weather turned abnormally cold and wet, triggering floods and ruining crops. Famine resulted, worsened by soil leached of vitality through bad

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A Life on the Left - Victor Grossman speaks at Riverwest Public House http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23423-a-life-on-the-left-victor-grossman-speaks-at-riverwest-public-house.html  In 1952, an American soldier swam across the Danube River and defected to the Soviets, stating fear of prosecution by U.S. authorities for his left-leaning activities and politics. This young soldier, who was only 24 years old at the time, subsequently settled in East Germany, where he studied

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Studying Wisconsin: The Life of Increase Lapham, Early Chronicler of Plants, Rocks, Rivers, Mounds and All Things Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23413-studying-wisconsin-the-life-of-increase-lapham-early-chronicler-of-plants-rocks-rivers-mounds-and-all-things-wisconsin-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-martha-bergland-and-paul-g-hayes.html  His name says it all: Increase Lapham was determined to increase human knowledge and understanding and

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Street-Smart Globetrotting Crime Fighter - Ian Hamilton’s latest Ava Lee mystery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23409-street-smart-globetrotting-crime-fighter-ian-hamilton%25E2%2580%2599s-latest-ava-lee-mystery.html

 Spunky heroine Ava Lee is the protagonist in author Ian Hamilton’s award-winning series that now spans six novels with the release of the newest crime-fighting drama, The Two Sisters of Borneo. Petite and wily, Ava is not your typical thrill hunter but this jet-setting Chinese Canadian forensic

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Ain’t It Time We Said Goodbye: The Rolling Stones on the Road to Exile (Da Capo Press), by Robert Greenfield http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23389-ain%25E2%2580%2599t-it-time-we-said-goodbye-the-rolling-stones-on-the-road-to-exile-%2528da-capo-press%2529-by-robert-greenfield.html The Double Life of Paul de Man (Liveright), by Evelyn Barish http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23390-the-double-life-of-paul-de-man-%2528liveright%2529-by-evelyn-barish.html  Paul de Man managed to die before his past caught up with him. Turns out, the tastemaker of academic fashion (or was it more like dogma?) during the ’80s and early ’90s was an active Nazi collaborator during World War II. Perhaps his theory of “deconstruction,” an abstraction that could serve as

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The Wisdom of Leonard Cohen - Two books on the poet, songwriter and performer http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23379-the-wisdom-of-leonard-cohen-two-books-on-the-poet-songwriter-and-performer.html   One of the most articulate people in music, Leonard Cohen is a genuine rather than a pretend poet. And unlike most rock stars, he has no trouble being apt, interesting and wise. The triple threat makes Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters (Chicago Review Press) a

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Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues (LSU Press), by John Wirt http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23380-huey-%25E2%2580%259Cpiano%25E2%2580%259D-smith-and-the-rocking-pneumonia-blues-%2528lsu-press%2529-by-john-wirt.html   In mid-century New Orleans, when Huey “Piano” Smith was coming up, music was almost as common as air—and probably more available than clean drinking water. For the first ever biography of the influential figure in American music, author John Wirt was able to interview the piano pounder

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The Truth about a Cold Case Murder - Joël Dicker’s bilingual reading at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23369-the-truth-about-a-cold-case-murder-jo%25C3%25ABl-dicker%25E2%2580%2599s-bilingual-reading-at-boswell.html

 In 1975, a struggling writer became romantically involved with a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl and her ensuing disappearance later that summer led to the author’s arrest for murder 33 years later. This is the underlying premise for The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, a widely acclaimed

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The Perils of Normalcy - George L. Mosse’s Cultural History http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23347-the-perils-of-normalcy-george-l-mosse%25E2%2580%2599s-cultural-history.html FDR’s Fight Continues - New book on the legacy and example of a great president http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23337-fdr%25E2%2580%2599s-fight-continues-new-book-on-the-legacy-and-example-of-a-great-president.html

 Sixty-nine years after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, he remains one of America’s most influential and respected presidents. While leading the country through the Great Depression, the New Deal and World War II, Roosevelt remained a staunch advocate for a progressive society

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Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond (Hal Leonard), by Colin Harper http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23340-bathed-in-lightning-john-mclaughlin-the-60s-and-the-emerald-beyond-%2528hal-leonard%2529-by-colin-harper.html  Music aficionados know John McLaughlin as Miles Davis’ guitarist on Bitches Brew and as leader of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Colin Harper’s informative biography delves into McLaughlin’s surprisingly varied earlier life in skiffle and old-time jazz. By the ’60s he had moved to Swinging

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The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Nigel Hamilton http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23341-the-mantle-of-command-fdr-at-war-1941-1942-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-nigel-hamilton.html Reviewing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s record as wartime president, historians often cite his moral vision, his skillful politicking leading into the war or his ability to inspire the American people. Nigel Hamilton examines FDR’s record from a different angle through his hands-on direction of the war as

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Great War Espionage - Spy novelist David Downing comes to Mystery One and Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23291-great-war-espionage-spy-novelist-david-downing-comes-to-mystery-one-and-boswell.html  A century ago the world was plunged into the Great War and a captivating, intelligent new World War I espionage tale by British author David Downing melds accurate historical detail with intricately crafted plotlines as it transports readers from China to San Francisco, Britain and beyond

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The Brighter Side of War? - Ian Morris searches for the upside in his latest book http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23292-the-brighter-side-of-war-ian-morris-searches-for-the-upside-in-his-latest-book.html  War is a strange, sad affair, but as Ian Morris argues in War! What is it Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), it may turn out to be a very helpful one and actually bring about greater times of peace and prosperity

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The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (PublicAffairs), by Paul Taylor http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23293-the-next-america-boomers-millennials-and-the-looming-generational-showdown-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-paul-taylor.html  Veteran journalist Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center crunched the numbers and did some thought-provoking analysis on the troubling potential for economic strife between generations. Fewer young people are supporting growing numbers of retirees through Social Security and

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When Hollywood Went to War - ‘Five Came Back’ looks at front-line directors during World War II http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23260-when-hollywood-went-to-war-%25E2%2580%2598five-came-back%25E2%2580%2599-looks-at-front-line-directors-during-world-war-ii.html  Mark Harris’ terrific new book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War (Penguin Press) explores how a handful of Hollywood’s most prominent directors put lucrative careers on hold to take part in World War II. The unity of spirit that determined the motivations

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Shakespeare’s Songbook (W.W. Norton & Company), by Ross W. Duffin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23261-shakespeare%25E2%2580%2599s-songbook-%2528ww-norton-company%2529-by-ross-w-duffin.html

 Shakespeare loved music and his plays are loaded with snippets of lyrics and references to songs; in his day, theater productions were usually framed by fanfares and preceded by overtures. After Hamlet and Macbeth, the dead characters got up and danced to the tune called by the

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Wisconsin Led the Nation in Environmental Activism - Bill Berry on the banning of DDT http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23234-wisconsin-led-the-nation-in-environmental-activism-bill-berry-on-the-banning-of-ddt.html  DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an odorless, tasteless organic compound controversial for its harmful effects on the environment and on human and animal health. Used as an agricultural pesticide, DDT spraying has released millions of chemical pollutants into the air and been the

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Reading with Garrison Keillor - 'A Prairie Home Companion's' host at UWM http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23222-reading-with-garrison-keillor-a-prairie-home-companions-host-at-uwm.html Garrison Keillor is a reliably familiar radio voice to the millions who listen to his weekend broadcasts of “A Prairie Home Companion,” but people may not be as familiar with his work as essayist, novelist and newspaperman. In a voluminous new release, Keillor presents a variety of his written]]> Creative Writing 2014 - Essays examine 'The Two Cultures of American Fiction' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23226-creative-writing-2014-essays-examine-the-two-cultures-of-american-fiction.html  In 2010, Chad Harbach, a novelist and editor at the journal n + 1, published a musing on the ramifications of the rapid expansion of U.S. creative writing programs. In the essay, he posited that with teaching now a viable income stream for writers, two focal points for American fiction had emerged. He termed the

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Robot Uprisings (Vintage), edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23227-robot-uprisings-%2528vintage%2529-edited-by-daniel-h-wilson-and-john-joseph-adams.html  Robots have been villains in fiction ever since the word was introduced in the 1921 play R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots. As the editors of this science-fiction story collection emphasize in their forward, devices most of us don’t fully understand increasingly run our lives. Why not more fiction on sentient machines turning

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For Love and Money: Portraits of Wisconsin Family Businesses (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Carl Corey http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23164-for-love-and-money-portraits-of-wisconsin-family-businesses-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-carl-corey.html  Carl Corey’s previous book, Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars, documented dozens of smaller neighborhood taps across the state. His format is similar but his focus is wider on For Love and Money. Crisscrossing Wisconsin, Corey takes pictures inside (and occasionally outside) of

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Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers (Cornell University Press), by Thomas Schneider http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23165-ancient-egypt-in-101-questions-and-answers-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-thomas-schneider.html  No ancient civilization exerts the same fascination over the popular imagination as Egypt. Perhaps the scale of the monuments they left behind is the reason for the wonder they arouse. Egyptologist Thomas Schneider arranges his easily readable, 101-level introduction to the subject as a series of

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Earth Poets and Poets Laureate - Urban Ecology Center and Woodland Pattern escape the prosaic http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23158-earth-poets-and-poets-laureate-urban-ecology-center-and-woodland-pattern-escape-the-prosaic.html

 This week is Earth Week and a variety of events across Milwaukee will feature tributes to the natural world. On Friday, April 25, the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center (1500 E. Park Place) will play host to a local group, The Earth Poets and Musicians, who in their 27th year together

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"This Day We Marched Again": The Civil War Diary of Jacob Haas (Butler Center Books), edited by Mark K. Christ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23137-this-day-we-marched-again-the-civil-war-diary-of-jacob-haas-%2528butler-center-books%2529-edited-by-mark-k-christ.html A Cold Killing - Detective Stride returns in Brian Freeman’s new thriller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23118-a-cold-killing-detective-stride-returns-in-brian-freeman%25E2%2580%2599s-new-thriller.html

 Duluth, Minn., police Lieutenant Jonathan Stride returns in another rousing tale of suspense and intrigue in Brian Freeman’s fast-paced new thriller, The Cold Nowhere. Set in a snowy, freezing winter on Lake Superior, The Cold Nowhere is a crime drama that involves a terribly damaged

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Alex Chilton’s Long, Strange Career - New biography on a musician who defied definition http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23112-alex-chilton%25E2%2580%2599s-long-strange-career-new-biography-on-a-musician-who-defied-definition.html  The shorthand for Alex Chilton is that he experienced his career in reverse. In 1967, as the 16-year-old singer for The Box Tops, Chilton had a number-one hit with “The Letter.” He followed that group with the critically

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It’s All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey (University of Wisconsin Press), by Rick Dodgson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23113-it%25E2%2580%2599s-all-a-kind-of-magic-the-young-ken-kesey-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-rick-dodgson.html  Ken Kesey was the topic of British grad student Rick Dodgson’s dissertation, and the star-struck young man was granted access to the culture hero’s papers, interviews with the sometimes-distracted author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and varying levels of cooperation with his associates

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27: A History of the 27 Club through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse (Da Capo), by Howard Sounes http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23098-27-a-history-of-the-27-club-through-the-lives-of-brian-jones-jimi-hendrix-janis-joplin-jim-morrison-kurt-cobain-and-amy-winehouse-%2528da-capo%2529-by-howard-sounes.html   With Kurt Cobain’s death came media chatter on the “27 Club,” the propensity for rock stars to die at age 27. The passing of Amy Winehouse at that same age stimulated renewed scuttlebutt. British rock biographer Howard Sounes came to his investigation with skeptical eyes, but found

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Memories of Freedom Summer - Activists reflect on the struggle for civil rights in the ’60s http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23083-memories-of-freedom-summer-activists-reflect-on-the-struggle-for-civil-rights-in-the-%25E2%2580%259960s.html

 The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and other civil rights groups were instrumental in changing the face of American society during the 1960s. Largely student-based, these grassroots organizations tackled issues from the early

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Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs that Defined the 1980s (Abrams), by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23059-mad-world-an-oral-history-of-new-wave-artists-and-songs-that-defined-the-1980s-%2528abrams%2529-by-lori-majewski-and-jonathan-bernstein.html  New wave may have been a phrase coined by record labels as a commercially viable answer to punk rock, and some of the groups featured in Mad World were plastic factory-produced goods. But not most. As Moby reminisces in his afterward, for American suburban kids in the early ’80s, new

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Climate Change: A Personal Journey through the Science (Abrams ComicArts), by Philippe Squarzoni http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23060-climate-change-a-personal-journey-through-the-science-%2528abrams-comicarts%2529-by-philippe-squarzoni.html  Comic books have long been deployed for educational and political purposes, and the bulkier format of the graphic novel has followed suit. With Climate Change, French human rights activist Philippe Squarzoni produced something better described as “graphic non-fiction” as he interviews

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Tribute to the Power of the Word - The deep love of 'An Unnecessary Woman' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23064-tribute-to-the-power-of-the-word-the-deep-love-of-an-unnecessary-woman.html Beautifully narrated by the educated and clever 72-year-old divorcee Aaliya Sohbi, An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine is a tribute to the power of the written word. Aaliya feels at times as if her life is “unnecessary,” but her deep love of books and her work translating texts into her native]]> The Last of the Passenger Pigeons - The flight from abundance to extinction http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22957-the-last-of-the-passenger-pigeons-the-flight-from-abundance-to-extinction.html  The passenger pigeon was abundant in early America but, astonishingly, was extinct by the first years of the 20th century. These broadly muscled birds lived in massive flocks and could be seen covering the skies. Sadly, hunting and habitation loss led to their demise and by 1914, the last

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Better Cities, Better Lives - Two books on buildings and design http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22958-better-cities-better-lives-two-books-on-buildings-and-design.html   Although our lives would be poorer for it, we could live without paintings, music or theater. But we can’t survive without buildings. Architecture and the design of the places we inhabit exert a continual influence on our wellbeing as well as being essential to our existence. A pair of fascinating

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It’s Not Only Rock ’n’ Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of their Creativity (John Blake), by Jenny Boyd with Holly George-Warren http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22959-it%25E2%2580%2599s-not-only-rock-%25E2%2580%2599n%25E2%2580%2599-roll-iconic-musicians-reveal-the-source-of-their-creativity-%2528john-blake%2529-by-jenny-boyd-with-holly-george-warren.html  Little wonder psychologist Jenny Boyd is interested in creativity as manifested in musicians. She circulated amongst the stars of Britain’s ’60s rock scene and had access to many of them for It’s Not Only Rock ’n’ Roll. Drawing from interviews with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Keith Richards

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Song of the Survivor - Author Paul McComas turns his novel into a concert http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22878-song-of-the-survivor-author-paul-mccomas-turns-his-novel-into-a-concert.html

  Inner peace and social justice, not unlike the personal and the political, should never be entirely separate. That’s one theme in Paul McComas’ 2002 novel, Unplugged. After publication, the Milwaukee-turned-Evanston, Ill., author refitted his story of Dayna Clay, a suicidal young woman

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Chronicling an American genius in 'Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism,' by Thomas Brothers - He Lived to Perform http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22879-chronicling-an-american-genius-in-louis-armstrong-master-of-modernism-by-thomas-brothers-he-lived-to-perform.html  Context. This is the sole reason Thomas Brothers is dedicating years of his life to writing books chronicling the world and the art of Louis Armstrong. His mission is to provide context concerning the emergence of this musical genius into American culture

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Job Man: My 25 Years in Professional Wrestling (Alamo Press), by Chris Multerer with Larry Widen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22880-job-man-my-25-years-in-professional-wrestling-%2528alamo-press%2529-by-chris-multerer-with-larry-widen.html  Chris Multerer, aka Chris Curtis, dislocated his knees more than once during a decades-long career in professional wrestling. And those were only a few of the injuries he sustained in bouts with Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and the future governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura. In a memoir written

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Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press), by Lance deHaven-Smith http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22838-conspiracy-theory-in-america-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-by-lance-dehaven-smith.html   The term “conspiracy theory” has become shorthand for ideas deemed crazy. While it’s true that many such theories are the hobbyhorses of fanatics, conspiracies really do occur. Can we always be certain conspiracies aren’t being hatched at the highest levels? That’s the salutary message of

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Edmund Burke in America: The Contested Career of the Father of Modern Conservatism (Cornell University Press), by Drew Maciag http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22839-edmund-burke-in-america-the-contested-career-of-the-father-of-modern-conservatism-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-drew-maciag.html   American conservatives celebrate Edmund Burke, but according to historian Drew Maciag, the British philosopher-politician might be uncomfortable with the company he’s posthumously been keeping. As with many profound writers, people “tend to find what they are seeking” in Burke

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Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks (W.W. Norton), by Keith Houston http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22848-shady-characters-the-secret-life-of-punctuation-symbols-other-typographical-marks-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-keith-houston.html  A book on punctuation marks from ancient Greece through Google sounds duller than a worn-down pencil

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Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press) - deHaven-Smith http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22803-conspiracy-theory-in-america-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-dehaven-smith.html The term “conspiracy theory” has become shorthand for ideas deemed crazy. While it’s true that many such theories are the hobbyhorses of fanatics, conspiracies really do occur.]]> Murder in Minnesota Comes to Milwaukee - Joanne Fluke’s latest Hannah Swensen mystery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22779-murder-in-minnesota-comes-to-milwaukee-joanne-fluke%25E2%2580%2599s-latest-hannah-swensen-mystery.html

 A Minnesota mystery unfolds on the pages of Joanne Fluke’s suspenseful new book Blackberry Pie Murder. The next installment in the Hannah Swensen series, Blackberry Pie Murder reunites readers with Hannah just as things appear to be dying down in Lake Eden, Minn.—meaning that

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Aimée Leduc Returns - Paris is the setting for Cara Black's new crime thriller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22759-aimee-leduc-returns-paris-is-the-setting-for-cara-blacks-new-crime-thriller.html

 It is the summer of 1998 and Aimée Leduc has escaped to Paris for a little rest and relaxation, but before she can help it, she finds herself investigating a mysterious string of serial rapes involving teenage girls that are occurring in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris

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Comics Art (Yale University Press), by Paul Gravett http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22745-comics-art-%2528yale-university-press%2529-by-paul-gravett.html   Major museum retrospectives for Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman are markers of the general acceptance of comics as art. As Paul Gravett reminds us in his profusely illustrated analysis of the medium, the comic strip as we know it today was a product of late-19th-century popular culture

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George Orwell: English Rebel (Oxford University Press), by Robert Colls http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22746-george-orwell-english-rebel-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-robert-colls.html  George Orwell was among the British intellectuals of the 1930s and ’40s who never had to apologize: unlike many of them, he was against fascism and communism from the get-go. In fact, as Robert Colls writes, he was against a great many things, including the right wing, even though he was

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Milwaukee in the Civil Rights Years - Paul Geenen recalls the strife in new book http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22722-milwaukee-in-the-civil-rights-years-paul-geenen-recalls-the-strife-in-new-book.html  The Civil Rights Movement is usually synonymous with the American South, but Milwaukee had its own racial struggles in the middle years of the 20th century. Milwaukee historian and community activist Paul Geenen dramatically captures this discriminatory strife in Civil Rights Activism in

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November’s Fury: The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913 (University of Minnesota Press), by Michael Schumacher http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22715-november%25E2%2580%2599s-fury-the-deadly-great-lakes-hurricane-of-1913-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-by-michael-schumacher.html Kenosha’s Michael Schumacher began as a biographer of artists such as Francis Ford Coppola and Eric Clapton, but developed a side career as chronicler of Great Lakes maritime disasters. In November’s Fury, Schumacher investigates a catastrophic gale that bore down on the lakes a

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Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany’s War in the East, 1941-1945 (Oxford University Press), by Christian Hartmann http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22716-operation-barbarossa-nazi-germany%25E2%2580%2599s-war-in-the-east-1941-1945-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-christian-hartmann.html  World War II’s Eastern Front was unique in its massive scale and terrible purpose. Spread across 2,000 miles of land exposed to paralyzing winters, the combatants were led by two of modern history’s most vicious dictators. And, as German historian Christian Hartmann adds, Germany’s invasion

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A Quiet Corner of the War: The Civil War Letters of Gilbert and Esther Claflin, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, 1862-1863 (University of Wisconsin Press), edited by Judy Cook http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22710-a-quiet-corner-of-the-war-the-civil-war-letters-of-gilbert-and-esther-claflin-oconomowoc-wisconsin-1862-1863-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-edited-by-judy-cook.html How it Feels to Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press), by Ruth Feldstein http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22701-how-it-feels-to-be-free-black-women-entertainers-and-the-civil-rights-movement-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-ruth-feldstein.html  Aside from Rosa Parks, the women of the civil rights movement tend to be overshadowed by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and other prominent men. In How it Feels to Be Free, Rutgers history professor Ruth Feldstein sets out to show the contributions of five black women entertainers

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Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Janet Malcolm http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22702-forty-one-false-starts-essays-on-artists-and-writers-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-janet-malcolm.html  Janet Malcolm is a writer’s writer, just as we’d suspect from a New Yorker contributor. Forty-One False Starts collects more than a dozen of her essays, including leisurely get-to-know-you pieces on artists she spent time with, such as painter David Salle and photographer Thomas Struth

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Author Michael Hainey Searches For His Father's Story - Breaking the Code of Silence http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22670-author-michael-hainey-searches-for-his-fathers-story-breaking-the-code-of-silence.html

 For anyone who has ever hoped to uncover

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The Healing Power of Punk Rock - Len Vlahos brings 'The Scar Boys' to Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22648-the-healing-power-of-punk-rock-len-vlahos-brings-the-scar-boys-to-boswell.html

 Life is defined by moments, and for Harbinger (Harry) Jones, the main character in Len Vlahos’ tender debut novel The Scar Boys, a few momentous occurrences—permeated with tragedy, terror and ultimately redemption—have shaped him into the fledgling adult he has become

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On Machiavelli: The Search for Glory (Liveright), by Alan Ryan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22623-on-machiavelli-the-search-for-glory-%2528liveright%2529-by-alan-ryan.html  Machiavelli is the world’s most famous political theorist, referenced by millions who have never read one word by the disgruntled 16th-century Florentine bureaucrat. In On Machiavelli, Oxford University’s Alan Ryan prefaces the author’s key texts with a compact primer on the man and his

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Young Mr. Roosevelt: FDR’s Introduction to War, Politics, and Life (Da Capo), by Stanley Weintraub http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22624-young-mr-roosevelt-fdr%25E2%2580%2599s-introduction-to-war-politics-and-life-%2528da-capo%2529-by-stanley-weintraub.html Franklin D. Roosevelt could have lived an undemanding life flitting from cocktail party to country club and tending to an upstate New York estate already old when the U.S. was young. Instead, he committed himself to politics with mission. As early as 1913, FDR spoke for government

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Brewing in Milwaukee (Arcadia Publishing), by Brenda Magee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22614-brewing-in-milwaukee-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-brenda-magee.html Family Stories - Russell Banks explores human connection in a harsh world http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22585-family-stories-russell-banks-explores-human-connection-in-a-harsh-world.html  From a son’s massive saga of his father, Civil War firebrand John Brown, to his incisive new story collection, Russell Banks’ fiction has demonstrated acute insight into human relations in a myriad of intensely pressurized, comic and tragic permutations. Ostensibly about family in the broadest sense

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The History of Opera for Beginners (For Beginners), by Ron David with illustrations by Sara Woolley http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22586-the-history-of-opera-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-ron-david-with-illustrations-by-sara-woolley.html  Ron David wants to lift the snob barrier that keeps some folks from enjoying opera. In his “documentary comic book,” he ponders how to introduce opera to people who think they won’t like it. He offers those moments from The Shawshank Redemption when Mozart is heard and Morgan Freeman

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The Remarkable Courage of Women - Sue Monk Kidd’s novel of slavery in the old South http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22587-the-remarkable-courage-of-women-sue-monk-kidd%25E2%2580%2599s-novel-of-slavery-in-the-old-south.html

 Deeply entangled relationships are woven throughout Sue Monk Kidd’s new historical novel The Invention of Wings. In this absorbing tale, readers are transported to the slaveholding South. They meet Sarah Grimké on her eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of a 10-year-old slave

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A Sense Sublime (Borderland Books), by Richard Quinney http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22558-a-sense-sublime-%2528borderland-books%2529-by-richard-quinney.html Sociologist Richard Quinney realized that living in the present moment is the hardest thing in a society where enough is never enough and the clock is always ticking. Moving to an Illinois prairie town near the Wisconsin line, Quinney decided to meditate on the moment with the aid of his camera

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Me, Myself, and Why (Penguin), by Jennifer Ouellette http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22559-me-myself-and-why-%2528penguin%2529-by-jennifer-ouellette.html  Science writer Jennifer Ouellette, an adopted child having no contact with her biological parents, had her genome sequenced as part of a journey to determine who she is—and why. Her entertaining tour of neuroscience, psychedelia and storytelling concludes that we result from nature and nurture

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Malcolm Gladwell's 'David & Goliath' - Best-selling author on how we can win against the odds http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22554-malcolm-gladwells-david-goliath-best-selling-author-on-how-we-can-win-against-the-odds.html

 Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, the inspiring writer behind The Tipping Point, Outliers and Blink, returns to the pages with a powerful new book that proves that life’s seemingly unbearable setbacks and hardships are merely part of the beauty of this world

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Toward Love and Fulfillment - Magical realism from novelist Patrick Ness http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22524-toward-love-and-fulfillment-magical-realism-from-novelist-patrick-ness.html

 The Crane Wife is a magically complex contemporary novel by Patrick Ness based upon a traditional Japanese folktale. Protagonist George Duncan is a middle-aged, divorced American living in London struggling toward an understanding of fulfillment and love. One night he is awoken

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“Mr. President”: George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office (Da Capo), by Harlow Giles Unger http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22525-%25E2%2580%259Cmr-president%25E2%2580%259D-george-washington-and-the-making-of-the-nation%25E2%2580%2599s-highest-office-%2528da-capo%2529-by-harlow-giles-unger.html  The father of our country, that solemn face on the dollar bill, is unknown to most Americans beyond a few grade school fables and that memorable image of crossing the Delaware. Harlow Giles Unger’s “Mr. President” is a readable essay on Washington’s character and temperament, focused on

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Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art (University of Nebraska Press), edited by Gail Levin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22526-theresa-bernstein-a-century-in-art-%2528university-of-nebraska-press%2529-edited-by-gail-levin.html  Theresa Bernstein (1890-2002) was a painter in the circle of Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper, yet was overshadowed. A Century in Art hopes to rectify this omission in art history with a collection of essays and

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Economic Fairness for All - Jobs, freedom and MLK’s March on Washington http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22480-economic-fairness-for-all-jobs-freedom-and-mlk%25E2%2580%2599s-march-on-washington.html  2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the celebrated March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. This historic event has been covered extensively over the last half-century, yet a robust new book by a UW-Madison professor delivers a

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Black Power Basketball - Dr. J recalls the day in his autobiography http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22481-black-power-basketball-dr-j-recalls-the-day-in-his-autobiography.html  In the early 1970s, basketball artiste Julius Erving, dubbed “The Doctor” by a childhood buddy, was a living representation of Black Power. With a three-dimensional, frequently improvised game rooted in years of disciplined work and blacktop experimentation, and a face framed by flat-top afro and squared-off

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The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World (Oxford University Press), by Cyprian Broodbank http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22482-the-making-of-the-middle-sea-a-history-of-the-mediterranean-from-the-beginning-to-the-emergence-of-the-classical-world-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-cyprian-broodbank.html  The Mediterranean Sea was the center for much of world history, the conduit between Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece and Rome whose shore defined a zone where religion, democracy, philosophy and science developed. British archaeologist Cyprian Broodbank examines the crucial region in light of recent discoveries, more

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Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World (University of Minnesota Press), by Ulises Ali Mejias http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22446-off-the-network-disrupting-the-digital-world-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-by-ulises-ali-mejias.html  Ulises Ali Mejias is out to bust commonplace assumptions, including the one about access to technology leveling the playing field. The University of New York communications professor cites a statistic: cell phone ownership is actually higher among Latinos and African Americans than whites, yet

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Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists (Oxford University Press), by Istvan Hargittai http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22447-buried-glory-portraits-of-soviet-scientists-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-istvan-hargittai.html  Buried Glory is focused on physicists of the Soviet era, most of them involved (if briefly) in the nuclear arms program. The most prominent, Andrei Sakharov, is better remembered for his brave position on human rights than his work on the H-Bomb. Few of his colleagues were as courageous

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Blogger Samantha Irby's 'Meaty: Essays' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22437-blogger-samantha-irbys-meaty-essays.html  Carnivores and herbivores alike will find a new series of essays by blogger Samantha Irby equally palatable. Meaty: Essays, which are largely not food based, come laced with a sharp wit and raw honesty that shine a new light on everyday life, from dating to body image to diarrhea. Whether

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Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science (University of Minnesota Press), by Dorion Sagan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22411-cosmic-apprentice-dispatches-from-the-edges-of-science-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-by-dorion-sagan.html  Dorion Sagan will surely offend the followers of both Rick Warren and Richard Dawkins by arguing that scientism and religious fundamentalism “share more than their oppositionality.” Carl Sagan’s son has inherited some of his father’s will to influence the public perception of science, but is

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Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Wendy Lower http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22412-hitlers-furies-german-women-in-the-nazi-killing-fields-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-wendy-lower.html  The Third Reich may have been a man’s world, but women were their willing helpers. A consultant with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Wendy Lower investigates an ill-explored aspect of Nazi Germany with Hitler’s Furies. Parallel to developments in America and elsewhere, German

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Coming of Age in the New World - Young adult novel on the immigrant experience http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22410-coming-of-age-in-the-new-world-young-adult-novel-on-the-immigrant-experience.html

 Caught between her Filipino homeland and an utterly new world in Chicago, 14-year-old Angel, the star character in the young adult novel Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery, struggles to come to grips with her father’s unexpected death, her mother’s heartbreakingly raw grief and her

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Sigmund Snopek's Avant-Pop - Book ranks Milwaukee musician among the greats http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22379-sigmund-snopeks-avant-pop-book-ranks-milwaukee-musician-among-the-greats.html  Sigmund Snopek III is keeping good company these days. The veteran Milwaukee recording artist is included with Frank Zappa, Yoko Ono, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Sun Ra and James Brown in a fascinating examination of late 20th-century music, Adventures in Avant-Pop. Although author

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The Destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto - A chilling account of war, genocide and political calculation http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22380-the-destruction-of-the-warsaw-ghetto-a-chilling-account-of-war-genocide-and-political-calculation.html  Many historians refer to the 1944 revolt against the Nazis by the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto as the first battle of the Cold War. Realizing that the Nazi regime was coming to defeat, SS chief Heinrich Himmler plotted a post-Hitler Germany in league with the Western Allies against the USSR. Ironically, Stalin’s

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The Founders: The Origins of the ANC and the Struggle for Democracy in South Africa (University Press of Kentucky), by André Odendaal http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22381-the-founders-the-origins-of-the-anc-and-the-struggle-for-democracy-in-south-africa-%2528university-press-of-kentucky%2529-by-andre-odendaal.html  With the passing of Nelson Mandela comes an opportune time to examine his roots. In The Founders, the founding director of the Robben Island Museum, Andre Odendaal, explores the early political movements and personalities that culminated in the founding of Mandela’s party, the African National Congress, in 1912

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The Poetry of Pugilism - Milwaukee’s Derrick Harriell returns to Woodland Pattern http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22333-the-poetry-of-pugilism-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-derrick-harriell-returns-to-woodland-pattern.html

 Milwaukee-born author Derrick Harriell has packed a one-two punch into his second collection of pugilism poems entitled Ropes. This extensively researched set of poems, which brings to life the gritty and often viperous world of boxing, is arranged in four rounds and just like its title, each poem

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The Greek House: The Story of a Painter’s Love Affair with the Island of Sifnos (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Christian Brechneff with Tim Lovejoy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22334-the-greek-house-the-story-of-a-painter%25E2%2580%2599s-love-affair-with-the-island-of-sifnos-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-christian-brechneff-with-tim-lovejoy.html  On his 1972 off-road adventure, the young Swiss painter Christian Brechneff discovered the remote Greek island of Sifnos, a gleaming white stone on the blue Aegean, 15 hours from Athens on a rusty ferry. With beautifully evocative prose, The Greek House recounts Brechneff’s discovery of an

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In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence (Oxford University Press), by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22335-in-spies-we-trust-the-story-of-western-intelligence-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-rhodri-jeffreys-jones.html  During the height of the Cold War in the 1950s came what Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones describes as “the defining moment and acme of the ‘special intelligence relationship’” between the United States and the United Kingdom. Never before (or since) were the two great Anglo-Saxon democracies

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Sandy D’Amato’s ‘Good Stock’ - Memoirs of Milwaukee’s legendary chef http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22309-sandy-d%25E2%2580%2599amato%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598good-stock%25E2%2580%2599-memoirs-of-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-legendary-chef.html  Renowned Chef Sanford “Sandy” D’Amato’s new memoir/cookbook is chocked full of Midwestern charm, exquisite cuisine and enough flair for foodies everywhere. Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer tells the tantalizing story of local legend Sandy D’Amato, the founder of Milwaukee’s own

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Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World (Chicago Review Press), by Tristan Donovan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22295-fizz-how-soda-shook-up-the-world-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-by-tristan-donovan.html  One of the world’s biggest industries involves marketing fizzy flavored water—with disastrous effects on waistlines! With Fizz, journalist Tristan Donovan delves into a history that begins with bubbling springs and the efforts of 18th-century scientists to perfect artificial carbonation for

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Hate Mail: Anti-Semitism on Picture Postcards (University of Nebraska Press), by Salo Aizenberg http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22296-hate-mail-anti-semitism-on-picture-postcards-%2528university-of-nebraska-press%2529-by-salo-aizenberg.html

 It should surprise no one to learn that anti-Semitic postcards with demeaning ethnic stereotypes were popular in Germany in the decades before the Nazi takeover, but their American counterparts tell a conveniently forgotten story from U.S. history. As postcard collector Salo Aizenberg observes

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The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014 (World Almanac Books) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22286-the-world-almanac-and-book-of-facts-2014-%2528world-almanac-books%2529.html  Good news for anyone who loves the feel (and smell) of print. Newsweek is returning to the newsstands and the latest edition of The World Almanac is out. Why bother with this handbook on almost everything in our Wikiera? It’s because Wikipedia’s open sourcing is a weakness as well as a

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Out of Wisconsin - New Books on the Badger State http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22264-out-of-wisconsin-new-books-on-the-badger-state.html  With its diverse geography and history, Wisconsin is a fertile topic for writers. Anyone with an interest in the Badger State’s people and culture will find plenty of new titles this season

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Story Time at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22256-story-time-at-boswell.html  Best-selling children’s book Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site will be the featured story at Boswell Book Co.’s monthly kids’ story hour on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. This fun, rhyming text, with expressive illustrations by bestselling artist Tom Lichtenheld, shares an engaging story for

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Pen & Ink Witchcraft: Treaties and Treaty Making in American Indian History (Oxford University Press), by Colin G. Calloway http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22257-pen-ink-witchcraft-treaties-and-treaty-making-in-american-indian-history-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-colin-g-calloway.html  Dartmouth history professor Colin Calloway reminds us that in “winning the West,” violence and guns were abetted by law and treaties—what some American Indians called “pen and ink witchcraft.” Calloway focuses on three pivotal treaties between the U.S. and Indian nations within the context

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Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford University Press), by Mark Blyth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22258-austerity-the-history-of-a-dangerous-idea-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-mark-blyth.html  Mark Blyth’s Austerity can be summed up in one phrase: “We cannot cut our way to growth.” Tea Party budget hacking would actually trigger lower growth and higher unemployment, leading to decaying infrastructure and a greater accumulation of wealth at the top of the pyramid. The Brown

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Inside the Schlitz Brewery - Local photographer brings perspective to the landmark http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22218-inside-the-schlitz-brewery-local-photographer-brings-perspective-to-the-landmark.html

 If Milwaukee photographer Paul Bialas chose a characteristic Milwaukee subject for his book of photos, he shows it from surprising angles. A handsomely designed volume (complete with a CD of recollections from former Schlitz employees), Schlitz Brewing Art is no mere scrapbook but a

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Reading About Music - From rock to jazz, books for music fans http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22219-reading-about-music-from-rock-to-jazz-books-for-music-fans.html  Everyone knows of The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, but less attention has been paid to Epstein’s partner, Joe Flannery. Flannery hopes to redress that in his autobiography. The danger of growing up gay with artistic inclinations in rough, working-class Liverpool is at the center of his

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The Writer as Rock Star? - New biography considers the impact of Philip Roth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22185-the-writer-as-rock-star-new-biography-considers-the-impact-of-philip-roth.html  The condition of American fiction is fractious. On one side, we have a legacy of what best can be described as writers who experiment with the architecture, not making form more important than content but rather uniting the two such that narrative voice is both form and content. Then there

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The Art of Rube Goldberg (Abrams) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22186-the-art-of-rube-goldberg-%2528abrams%2529.html

 By now, many people don’t realize Rube Goldberg was a real person, a cartoonist, not just some kind of crazy cartoon machine. Along with page after page of his drawings, The Art of Rube Goldberg includes illuminating essays by The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik and others that describe the

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The Sixteenth Rail: The Evidence, The Scientist, and the Lindbergh Kidnapping (Fulcrum Publishing), by Adam J. Schrager http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22177-the-sixteenth-rail-the-evidence-the-scientist-and-the-lindbergh-kidnapping-%2528fulcrum-publishing%2529-by-adam-j-schrager.html Broadway’s Wonder of Wonders - Author looks into the worldwide success of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22171-broadway%25E2%2580%2599s-wonder-of-wonders-author-looks-into-the-worldwide-success-of-%25E2%2580%2598fiddler-on-the-roof%25E2%2580%2599.html

 In the hugely popular musical Fiddler on the Roof, the fiddler himself is a metaphor for survival in a life of uncertainty and imbalance. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish traditions while outside influences challenge their

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Journalist Ethan Casey’s ‘Road Trip’ - Discovering America Once Again http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22162-journalist-ethan-casey%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598road-trip%25E2%2580%2599-discovering-america-once-again.html  Trekking across the continental United States, covering 18,000 miles in 3 1/2 months, sounds like a grand adventure. This is the journey that veteran journalist Ethan Casey undertook in 2012. Casey’s cross-country voyage was intentionally set following the presidential election of 2012

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Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Kraus Project’ - 1900s Viennese satirist takes down postmodern culture http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22163-jonathan-franzen%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598kraus-project%25E2%2580%2599-1900s-viennese-satirist-takes-down-postmodern-culture.html  Provocative novelist Jonathan Franzen turns historian, unearthing an insightful, forgotten essayist from a century ago. His ambitious new book, The Kraus Project (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), presents five essays by the scathing Viennese pessimist Karl Kraus in bilingual format, the original texts

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Antarctica: A Biography (Oxford University Press), by David Day http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22164-antarctica-a-biography-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-david-day.html  Antarctica is a vast continent with no permanent inhabitants, yet the inhospitable landmass at the basement of the world is essential to the global ecosystem. David Day’s massive, fascinating history uncovers many interesting details. The ancient Greeks guessed at the continent’s existence

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Gregg Hurwitz Tells No Lies - Bestselling author takes part in “Murder and Mayhem in Muskego” http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22085-gregg-hurwitz-tells-no-lies-bestselling-author-takes-part-in-%25E2%2580%259Cmurder-and-mayhem-in-muskego%25E2%2580%259D.html  More than 25 authors will be present at this year’s “Murder and Mayhem in Muskego” on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This annual event takes places at the Muskego Public Library and brings together the world’s foremost mystery writers for a full day of panels, workshops and book

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The Castle (SelfMadeHero), by Franz Kafka, Jaromír 99 and David Zane Mairowitz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22086-the-castle-%2528selfmadehero%2529-by-franz-kafka-jaromir-99-and-david-zane-mairowitz.html  Stark black, white and gray in sharply etched, near-Expressionist strokes is a fine way to represent Kafka in a graphic novel. Author David Zane Mairowitz trimmed The Castle to fit the graphic novel format of word balloons and captions while artist Jaromír 99 illustrated the text. The story, as

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Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy (Oxford University Press), by Christopher Duggan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22087-fascist-voices-an-intimate-history-of-mussolini%25E2%2580%2599s-italy-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-christopher-duggan.html  History was always written by those in charge, but more and more, historians are turning to the records left by ordinary people. With Fascist Voices, Christopher Duggan explores letters and diaries of Italians during the rise of Fascism and the rule of Mussolini. He lucidly exposes the reality of

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The Flame Within: Memoir of a Firefighter (MCF), by Wayne Mutza http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22108-the-flame-within-memoir-of-a-firefighter-%2528mcf%2529-by-wayne-mutza.html Recap: David Sedaris Shared Funny Essays and Dirty Jokes at the Pabst Theater http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22074-recap-david-sedaris-shared-funny-essays-and-dirty-jokes-at-the-pabst-theater.html “Humorist” is a rather ill-defined word, but it does]]> Final Days of a Fallen Woman: Sandra Dallas’ novel of the Wild West http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22047-final-days-of-a-fallen-woman-sandra-dallas%25E2%2580%2599-novel-of-the-wild-west.html

 After her younger sister is brutally murdered in a brothel, socialite Beret Osmundsen, the spunky and sympathetic lead character in Sandra Dallas’s new historical novel Fallen Women, leaves her comfortable life in Manhattan and heads west to Denver to investigate her sister’s final days

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Rebetiko (SelfMadeHero), by David Prudhomme http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22048-rebetiko-%2528selfmadehero%2529-by-david-prudhomme.html  Classical music lost ground in the 20th century to the music of the dispossessed, whether American blues, the Gypsy jazz of Paris, Argentine tango or the yearning strains of Greece, called rebetiko. David Prudhomme’s graphic novel tells a story about the Athens underclass of the 1930s and the

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Lament of the Dead: Psychology after Jung’s ‘Red Book’ (W.W. Norton), by James Hillman and Sonu Shamdasani http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22049-lament-of-the-dead-psychology-after-jung%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598red-book%25E2%2580%2599-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-james-hillman-and-sonu-shamdasani.html  The Red Book, an illustrated journal of Carl Jung’s visionary experiences, was published only in 2009 under the editorship of Sonu Shamdasani. Lament of the Dead transcribes conversations between Shamdasani and Jungian psychologist James Hillman. The title comes from their discussion

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V.I. Warshawski Finds 'Critical Mass' - Sara Paretsky brings her latest mystery to Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22007-vi-warshawski-finds-critical-mass-sara-paretsky-brings-her-latest-mystery-to-milwaukee.html

 Hard-nosed private investigator V.I. Warshawski has brought her keen intellect to the mean streets time and again. Making her home in Chicago, this spunky middle-aged dynamo is used to dealing with the most unsolvable cases and her current caseload, set largely in the world of science

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How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism | Resistance: Jews and Christians who Defied the Nazi Terror http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22008-how-the-jews-defeated-hitler-exploding-the-myth-of-jewish-passivity-in-the-face-of-nazism-resistance-jews-and-christians-who-defied-the-nazi-terror.html  The apparent lack of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust has long been troubling. Johns Hopkins political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg proposes a new way of understanding what actually happened: Jews did resist, not so much in the impossible environs of Nazi-occupied Europe

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Ben Franklin for Beginners (For Beginners), by Tim E. Ogline http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22009-ben-franklin-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-tim-e-ogline.html  Benjamin Franklin was among the most interesting of America’s founders, yet aside from a few homey maxims (“A penny saved…”), his portrait on the $100 bill and the shocking story of his “discovery” of electricity while flying a kite in a storm, most of us know little of this enigmatic sage. Tim

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Double Trouble - George Pelecanos’ latest mystery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21972-double-trouble-george-pelecanos%25E2%2580%2599-latest-mystery.html  Set in the present day, George Pelecanos’ new classic crime thriller The Double focuses on issues of returning Iraqi war veterans, racism, murder and stolen works of art. That’s a lot to handle in one novel, but in this sequel to his 2011 book, The Cut, Pelecanos manages to not only tell a story that is both dynamic

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The Northfield Raid and the Wild West’s Great Escape - The James Gang were failed robbers but heroic outlaws http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21973-the-northfield-raid-and-the-wild-west%25E2%2580%2599s-great-escape-the-james-gang-were-failed-robbers-but-heroic-outlaws.html  In Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape (William Morrow/HarperCollins), Mark Lee Gardner introduces Jesse and Frank James at the beginning of their outlaw days (Jesse started during the Civil War, riding with William Quantrill whose

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Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Philip F. Gura http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21974-truth%25E2%2580%2599s-ragged-edge-the-rise-of-the-american-novel-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-philip-f-gura.html  Truth’s Ragged Edge is a minor revelation. Turns out, pre-Civil War America was not a literary desert but teemed with authors, literary journals and publishers. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill literary professor Philip Gura skimps on Poe (though what he mentions is fascinating)

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Costumed Activists, Caped Crime Fighters - Milwaukee author rides with the “Real-Life Superheroes” http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21947-costumed-activists-caped-crime-fighters-milwaukee-author-rides-with-the-%25E2%2580%259Creal-life-superheroes%25E2%2580%259D.html  The superheroes are among us. Some patrol the dark streets of our town by night, others deliver toys to needy children by day. Real-life caped crusaders come in many costumes and with many agendas. The phenomenon is the subject of Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero

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Reading About Music - New books on rock, jazz and country http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21948-reading-about-music-new-books-on-rock-jazz-and-country.html  David Meyer has a hard task: arguing for the Bee Gees against 45 years of negative rock criticism, a disco backlash and the group’s own ridiculous

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Packers Pride: Green Bay Greats Share their Favorite Memories | My Life with the Green & Gold: Tales from 20 Years of Sportscasting http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21932-packers-pride-green-bay-greats-share-their-favorite-memories-my-life-with-the-green-gold-tales-from-20-years-of-sportscasting.html Eric Clapton Day by Day: The Later Years 1983-2013 (Backbeat Books), by Marc Roberty http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21924-eric-clapton-day-by-day-the-later-years-1983-2013-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-marc-roberty.html Scott Fitzgerald’s Final Chapter - ‘Beautiful Fools’ and social justice at Mount Mary http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21889-scott-fitzgerald%25E2%2580%2599s-final-chapter-%25E2%2580%2598beautiful-fools%25E2%2580%2599-and-social-justice-at-mount-mary.html  Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald symbolized the Jazz Age and their stories have been beautifully captured through the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald himself. She a famous 1920s flapper and he a rising literary star, they emerged onto the world stage in the early years of the 20th century, but by

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Building America’s Cities - How safe water made possible a progressive vision for urban life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21890-building-america%25E2%2580%2599s-cities-how-safe-water-made-possible-a-progressive-vision-for-urban-life.html  By the mid-19th century, the U.S. was quickly becoming a nation of cities. These urban centers, unlike their 21st-century counterparts, came to be seen as centers

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Barracuda in the Attic: A Memoir by the Latest Member of a Comedic Dynasty (Fantagraphics Books), by Kipp Friedman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21891-barracuda-in-the-attic-a-memoir-by-the-latest-member-of-a-comedic-dynasty-%2528fantagraphics-books%2529-by-kipp-friedman.html  Most children can’t recall seeing Norman Mailer’s teeth marks on their dad’s biceps, but most children didn’t grow up in families Groucho Marx would invite to dinner. Milwaukee’s Kipp Friedman grew up in New York during the ’60s and ’70s; his father, writer-humorist Bruce Jay Friedman

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‘Beautiful Burial Rites’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21843-%25E2%2580%2598beautiful-burial-rites%25E2%2580%2599.html

 The thought of a convicted murderer living in the home of local townspeople sounds downright disquieting, but that is exactly what happened in rural Iceland in 1829 when Agnes Magnúsdóttir moved in with a resident farming couple and their two young daughters to await her execution

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A Legacy of Art - Frederick Layton’s gifts to Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21839-a-legacy-of-art-frederick-layton%25E2%2580%2599s-gifts-to-milwaukee.html  Among Milwaukee’s great tycoons from a century ago, Frederick Layton led a relatively modest life. Much of the money he made from meatpacking was invested in art, especially the Layton Art Gallery

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The Complete Short Stories (W. W. Norton), by James Purdy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21840-the-complete-short-stories-%2528w-w-norton%2529-by-james-purdy.html  James Purdy speaks through his 2013 collection in stories where beautiful boys cruise shadowy parks and death seems preferable to life. In perhaps the creepiest introduction ever, John Waters advises us to think

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Richard Rice Jr.’s ‘My Summer on Haight Street’ - Coming of Age in the ’60s http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21815-richard-rice-jr%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598my-summer-on-haight-street%25E2%2580%2599-coming-of-age-in-the-%25E2%2580%259960s.html  The 1960s were a tumultuous time of free love, civil rights and anti-war activism, and for three Milwaukee high school friends, the paths they chose during the summer of 1967 defined them for a lifetime. My Summer on Haight Street by Richard Rice Jr. shares the story of three recent

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Telling the Big Secret - Karen Joy Fowler is Beside Herself http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21790-telling-the-big-secret-karen-joy-fowler-is-beside-herself.html The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut’s Mummy (Da Capo), by Jo Marchant http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21791-the-shadow-king-the-bizarre-afterlife-of-king-tut%25E2%2580%2599s-mummy-%2528da-capo%2529-by-jo-marchant.html  Although King Tut is one of history’s most famous monarchs, the facts of his life remain disputed. Along with its lively account of archeology emerging from its treasure hunting roots just before the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, The Shadow King details some of the arguments among

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Biking Around the Badger State - How Wisconsin got ‘Wheel Fever’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21759-biking-around-the-badger-state-how-wisconsin-got-%25E2%2580%2598wheel-fever%25E2%2580%2599.html  Trail riding, road biking, tandems and tricycles are all synonymous with the modern-day bicycle, a sport that has entranced residents of the Badger State for more than 150 years. A fascinating and complex history surrounds bicycling in Wisconsin, and the stories of its riders and enthusiasts are

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The Badgers: Milwaukee’s NFL Entry of 1922-1926 (St. Johann Press), by Michael D. Benter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21760-the-badgers-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-nfl-entry-of-1922-1926-%2528st-johann-press%2529-by-michael-d-benter.html Many of us remember when the Packers were regular guests at County Stadium, but Milwaukee’s own NFL team, the Badgers, have fallen beyond living memory. In researching this little-remembered chapter in local sports, Milwaukee writer Michael Benter uncovered some fascinating details

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Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI (Feral House), by Brian Tuohy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21761-larceny-games-sports-gambling-game-fixing-and-the-fbi-%2528feral-house%2529-by-brian-tuohy.html  Most people dismiss illegal sports gambling as a victimless crime, but as Brian Tuohy argues in his latest exposé of professional athletics, the money changing hands provides much profit to organized crime. And then there is another issue—one that hits closer to the average fan’s heart: fixing the

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Madness or Conspiracy? - Oliver Pötzsch reads from his thriller on Bavaria’s King Ludwig http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21723-madness-or-conspiracy-oliver-p%25C3%25B6tzsch-reads-from-his-thriller-on-bavaria%25E2%2580%2599s-king-ludwig.html

 Bavaria’s King Ludwig, best known for his beautiful and breathtaking castles (the inspiration for Disneyland), died mysteriously in 1886, supposedly drowning in waist-deep water soon after he was declared insane by doctors who had never met him. Historical novelist Oliver Pötzsch, author of the

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Touch Each Other (Foothills Publishing), by Antler http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21724-touch-each-other-%2528foothills-publishing%2529-by-antler.html

 Remember Antler’s acerbic epic “Factory”? He no longer rails, but his middle age still emits an eagle’s cry for vivid dreams and hope. The former Milwaukee poet laureate’s sly statistical research swirls into billowing “what ifs.” Then, “The Come-Cries of the Unborn Come” brilliantly marries birth

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The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe (Da Capo), by Stephen Harding http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21725-the-last-battle-when-us-and-german-soldiers-joined-forces-in-the-waning-hours-of-world-war-ii-in-europe-%2528da-capo%2529-by-stephen-harding.html  Military journalist Stephen Harding has discovered a true story fit for adaptation by Hollywood (or HBO): a Nazi VIP prison, a castle in rural Austria, where a group of quarreling French politicians and generals (and

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The US Across the Centuries - New books on the meaning of America http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21685-the-us-across-the-centuries-new-books-on-the-meaning-of-america.html  An Oxford scholar with a hilarious sense of humor, Terry Eagleton is self-deprecating while alert to the preposterous mores and habits of mind around him. In Across the Pond, he turns his wit to the vexed question of the U.S. and the U.K., two nations famously divided by one language.

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Wisconsin Lighthouses http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21673-wisconsin-lighthouses.html  Lighthouses dot the Wisconsin shore, many of them dating from the age of sailing ships. The advent of GPS rendered them less vital, yet the

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Richard Kadrey’s anti-hero saves the universe - Enter Sandman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21657-richard-kadrey%25E2%2580%2599s-anti-hero-saves-the-universe-enter-sandman.html

 Richard Kadrey is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and the author of numerous novels, including the Sandman Slim series. The series, which includes Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell and Devil Said Bang, are supernatural fantasy stories that follow hit man and antihero James

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The many stories behind ‘The Lone Ranger’ - Who Was That Masked Man? http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21658-the-many-stories-behind-%25E2%2580%2598the-lone-ranger%25E2%2580%2599-who-was-that-masked-man.html  While Michael Singer’s book is obviously related to the recent box office failure The Lone Ranger and has sections devoted to the movie’s creation, The Lone Ranger Behind the Mask: On the Trail of an Outlaw Epic (Insight Editions) is more than a film tie-in coffee table book. It’s a

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The Dark Side of the Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason (W.W. Norton), by John V. Fleming http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21659-the-dark-side-of-the-enlightenment-wizards-alchemists-and-spiritual-seekers-in-the-age-of-reason-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-john-v-fleming.html  Like life itself, history usually fails to be clear cut. Especially when examined up close, the past seldom divides into decisive periods with precise beginnings and endings. That’s one of the lessons in John Fleming’s enormously enjoyable study The Dark Side of the Enlightenment. The European

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Cold War Magic - Toby Barlow’s supernatural spy thriller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21612-cold-war-magic-toby-barlow%25E2%2580%2599s-supernatural-spy-thriller.html

 In Russian folklore, Baba Yaga is a fearsome or deformed supernatural being. Author Toby Barlow has capitalized on Russian mythology to create a dark, spellbinding new novel, Babayaga, in which the magical comes to life alongside 1950s Cold War operatives and beautiful Parisian women who

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Lives and Times Uncertain - Milwaukee novelist reflects on the ‘Me Decade’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21613-lives-and-times-uncertain-milwaukee-novelist-reflects-on-the-%25E2%2580%2598me-decade%25E2%2580%2599.html  I don’t know why retired Milwaukee pathologist Reuben Eisenstein decided to set his debut novella during the 1970s, but the choice was spot on. Date Certain takes place in the post-Vietnam War, post-Watergate, post-’60s-activism Carter years—a period of national apathy and

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Merchant, Soldier, Sage: A History of the World in Three Castes (Penguin Press), by David Priestland http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21614-merchant-soldier-sage-a-history-of-the-world-in-three-castes-%2528penguin-press%2529-by-david-priestland.html  Marx’s model of economic classes had some validity, but failed to determine the direction of history in ways he had anticipated. Oxford University history professor David Priestland proposes an interesting alternative model based on occupational castes and the values associated with them

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More on Supper Clubs http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21617-more-on-supper-clubs.html

 Written in the clean, hard prose of a classic screenplay or a Raymond Chandler story, The Supper Club Book (Chicago Review Press) is the second publication of its kind this year. Its author, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Dave Hoekstra, traveled more widely than Ron Faiola, who penned the recent

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Winners and Losers - Science looks at the top dogs http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21564-winners-and-losers-science-looks-at-the-top-dogs.html Greek Mythology for Beginners (For Beginners), by Joe Lee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21565-greek-mythology-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-joe-lee.html  It’s hard to get a grip on the world of medicine, movies, literature, psychology or politics without reference to ancient Greece. Joe Lee, described as “illustrator, cartoonist, writer and clown,” takes a light approach to a heavy subject

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What Made Wisconsin Famous - A toast to the Badger State’s bars and breweries http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21566-what-made-wisconsin-famous-a-toast-to-the-badger-state%25E2%2580%2599s-bars-and-breweries.html  Let’s all raise a glass to Wisconsin, a state that has dominated the brewing industry for centuries. Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Historic Bars and Breweries toasts the historic taverns that have made our state famous by

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Cold War University: Madison and the New Left in the Sixties (University of Wisconsin Press), by Matthew Levin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21547-cold-war-university-madison-and-the-new-left-in-the-sixties-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-matthew-levin.html  In 1953, enrollment at the University of Wisconsin hit its lowest ebb since the Second World War at just over 13,000. In 1960, with American fear of Soviet expansion past the point of panic, the university received more than a million

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A More Complete View of Vietnam - Nick Turse’ ‘Kill Anything that Moves’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21545-a-more-complete-view-of-vietnam-nick-turse%25E2%2580%2599-%25E2%2580%2598kill-anything-that-moves%25E2%2580%2599.html

 Controversy has always surrounded the Vietnam War, and now journalist and historian Nick Turse shockingly exposes previously unheard of atrocities his new book Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. The

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Frankenpets, Anyone? - The brave new world of biotech beasts http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21546-frankenpets-anyone-the-brave-new-world-of-biotech-beasts.html  Most people have an irrevocable bond with their pets as well as the animal world in general, and it’s that connection that makes Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts (Scientific American/Farrar,

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The Quirky Invention of Boris the Sprinkler - Pop Obsessions of Wisconsin Punk http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21534-the-quirky-invention-of-boris-the-sprinkler-pop-obsessions-of-wisconsin-punk.html  Before it became safe for shopping mall commodification, punk rock was a way to escape from humdrum Midwest

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Kite Flying in Wisconsin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21486-kite-flying-in-wisconsin.html

 Now that summer is here in full force, city and county parks are filled with visitors engaging in typical summertime activities, including the art of flying kites. Author Craig Wilson has taken the hobby of kite flying a step further

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The Meaning of Gettysburg - Democracy at stake in ‘The Last Invasion’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21487-the-meaning-of-gettysburg-democracy-at-stake-in-%25E2%2580%2598the-last-invasion%25E2%2580%2599.html  The Battle of Gettysburg sprawled over 15 square miles around a little town in Pennsylvania during the first three days of July in 1863. As we know from thousands of articles and texts already published on this famous Civil War

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The Complete Don Quixote (SelfMadeHero), by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by Rob Davis http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21488-the-complete-don-quixote-%2528selfmadehero%2529-by-miguel-de-cervantes-adapted-by-rob-davis.html  Cervantes’ Don Quixote is ranked with the masterpieces of world literature and considered a precursor to the novel. British illustrator Rob Davis (Judge Dredd) captures the snarky tone in more contemporary vernacular in his graphic

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The Nice Thing About Bad Guys? - The villains under the black hats http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21459-the-nice-thing-about-bad-guys-the-villains-under-the-black-hats.html

 In Chuck Klosterman’s new book I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined), he returns with

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Creating Old World Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press), by John D. Krugler http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21450-creating-old-world-wisconsin-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-john-d-krugler.html  Remnants of 19th century immigrant Wisconsin were falling to wind and wrecking ball by the time Old World

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1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War (PublicAffairs), by Charles Emmerson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21452-1913-in-search-of-the-world-before-the-great-war-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-charles-emmerson.html ‘Like Family’ - True stories from Milwaukee’s punk scene http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21427-%25E2%2580%2598like-family%25E2%2580%2599-true-stories-from-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-punk-scene.html  Milwaukee always lacked the size and numbers of Chicago, but when punk rock emerged at the end of the ’70s, our modest metropolis punched above its weight and nurtured more good bands than our neighbor to the south

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Healing Mind, Body and Soul - Milwaukee Jungian finds the path to wellness http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21438-healing-mind-body-and-soul-milwaukee-jungian-finds-the-path-to-wellness.html  While this is a book written by a distinguished local psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst with impressive credentials that certify his assertions in his latest book, it is his “inner storyteller” that is his true gift

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Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison (Backbeat Books), by John Kruth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21439-rhapsody-in-black-the-life-and-music-of-roy-orbison-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-john-kruth.html  Roy Orbison was a self-conscious young man who transmuted anxiety into gold. As recording artist, author and Milwaukee expatriate John Kruth reports in his biography of

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Thinking about America - New books on our country and its ideals http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21391-thinking-about-america-new-books-on-our-country-and-its-ideals.html  The signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia was the culmination of events that had occurred in Boston—the site of the Boston Massacre, the Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill. National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick examines the revolutionary

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Power Down Fossil Fuels, Power Up with Poetry! http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21392-power-down-fossil-fuels-power-up-with-poetry_.html  During the late ’60s, Antler, Andy Clausen and me were three of many young people inspired by Allen Ginsberg, whose deep voice of sanity and compassion came as a great relief amid the insanity and cruelty of the Vietnam

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Oddball Wisconsin: A Guide to 400 Really Strange Places (Chicago Review Press), by Jerome Pohlen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21383-oddball-wisconsin-a-guide-to-400-really-strange-places-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-by-jerome-pohlen.html  Some Badger natives think those damn Flatlanders are Wisconsin’s answer to the bloody tourists that infest

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No Secure Borders - How smuggling made America strong http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21366-no-secure-borders-how-smuggling-made-america-strong.html  Due to its attention to such of-the-moment issues, such as immigration, drug smuggling and gun trafficking, many will undoubtedly read Peter Andreas

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Weird Life: The Search for Life that Is Very, Very Different From Our Own (W. W. Norton), by David Toomey http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21367-weird-life-the-search-for-life-that-is-very-very-different-from-our-own-%2528w-w-norton%2529-by-david-toomey.html  Until recently, scientists believed that life could exist only within a narrow spectrum of temperatures and other conditions. But by the 1980s, oceanographers began

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Living (and Learning) on Tulsa Time http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21333-living-%2528and-learning%2529-on-tulsa-time.html Daily Dose of Clapton - More details on the ‘60s guitar hero http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21334-daily-dose-of-clapton-more-details-on-the-%25E2%2580%259860s-guitar-hero.html  You don’t have to be fanatically devoted to Old Slowhand to appreciate Eric Clapton Day by Day: The Early Years

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Coming of Age - Two sisters skip town in Jeannette Walls’ new novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21317-coming-of-age-two-sisters-skip-town-in-jeannette-walls%25E2%2580%2599-new-novel.html

 Filled with unpredictable plot twists and heartbreakingly tender relationships, Jeannette Walls’ newest novel, The Silver Star, is the story of two young sisters struggling to survive in a harsh adult world. Precocious 12-year-old

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A Woman Behind the Western Legend - The True Story of Wyatt Earp http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21309-a-woman-behind-the-western-legend-the-true-story-of-wyatt-earp.html

 Primarily as a result of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt Earp is rooted into the American dream of the Old West. Few know that his ashes were buried in a Jewish Cemetery in 1929. Ann Kirschner’s well-researched

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The Testing Game - Young adult novel explores a dystopian future http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21258-the-testing-game-young-adult-novel-explores-a-dystopian-future.html

 In a bleak world ravaged by war and natural disaster, it’s up to the next generation of young leaders to piece society back together. The Testing, the first novel in a new young adult trilogy by author Joelle Charbonneau

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‘Why We Fought the Civil War’ - New book finds the economic roots of America’s defining conflict http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21243-%25E2%2580%2598why-we-fought-the-civil-war%25E2%2580%2599-new-book-finds-the-economic-roots-of-america%25E2%2580%2599s-defining-conflict.html  In A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War (Da Capo), historian Thomas Fleming promises to shed new light upon the root causes of the conflict. While he does present some

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Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (Faber and Faber), by Ben Goldacre http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21244-bad-pharma-how-drug-companies-mislead-doctors-and-harm-patients-%2528faber-and-faber%2529-by-ben-goldacre.html  The pharmaceutical industry has been criticized for its profit-powered price structure, a budget buster for people and governments alike. But British physician-activist Ben Goldacre attacks the industry for something even more

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This Superior Place: Stories of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), By Dennis McCann http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21226-this-superior-place-stories-of-bayfield-and-the-apostle-islands-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-dennis-mccann.html More Small-Town Tales - Wisconsin’s David Rhodes returns with a new novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21192-more-small-town-tales-wisconsin%25E2%2580%2599s-david-rhodes-returns-with-a-new-novel.html

David Rhodes, who brought readers the compassionate small-town tale Driftless in 2008, returns with an emotionally rich new novel set in the same fictional locale of Words, Wis. more than 10 years after Driftless

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The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Joel F. Harrington http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21193-the-faithful-executioner-life-and-death-honor-and-shame-in-the-turbulent-sixteenth-century-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-joel-f-harrington.html  Frantz Schmidt was a skilled professional in a profession little honored: he was the executioner and torturer in 16th-century Nuremberg. Schmidt left behind the matter-of-fact chronicle that became the starting point for

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100 Things Beatles Fans Should Know Before They Die (Triumph Books), by Gillian G. Gaar / Eric Clapton FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Slowhand (Backbeat Books), By David Bowling http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21165-100-things-beatles-fans-should-know-before-they-die-%2528triumph-books%2529-by-gillian-g-gaar-eric-clapton-faq-all-that%25E2%2580%2599s-left-to-know-about-slowhand-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-david-bowling.html Riverwest Reading Fest - Book fair, music and more this weekend http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21162-riverwest-reading-fest-book-fair-music-and-more-this-weekend.html The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, A Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris (Liveright), by Jonathan Kirsch http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21163-the-short-strange-life-of-herschel-grynszpan-a-boy-avenger-a-nazi-diplomat-and-a-murder-in-paris-%2528liveright%2529-by-jonathan-kirsch.html  In 1938, a 17-year-old Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, calmly entered the German embassy in Paris and shot dead a young diplomat, a man he never knew. And although the diplomat was a Nazi Party member only for the

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Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches, and Encounters (Chicago Review Press), Edited by Jeff Burger http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21127-springsteen-on-springsteen-interviews-speeches-and-encounters-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-edited-by-jeff-burger.html Bruce Springsteen was young and raw when he gave the first interview included in this collection, a 1973]]> Obsessed, Rebellious and Driven - A new look at John Ford’s classic film, ‘The Searchers’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21098-obsessed-rebellious-and-driven-a-new-look-at-john-ford%25E2%2580%2599s-classic-film-%25E2%2580%2598the-searchers%25E2%2580%2599.html Legends of the Blues (Abrams), by William Stout http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21099-legends-of-the-blues-%2528abrams%2529-by-william-stout.html  Bluesmen (and women) were once mysterious figures—voices across time and space to the college students who began the blues revival in the 1960s. In decades since, those students have done their homework. Witness

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Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad - Alex Grecian’s Victorian thriller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21090-scotland-yard%25E2%2580%2599s-murder-squad-alex-grecian%25E2%2580%2599s-victorian-thriller.html

 The sequel to Alex Grecian’s bestselling historical thriller The Yard is a dark mystery set in Victorian England that follows Scotland Yard’s newly established “Murder Squad.” In The Black Country, Inspector Walter Day and his

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If You Like Bob Marley (Backbeat Books), by Dave Thompson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21085-if-you-like-bob-marley-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-dave-thompson.html  Bob Marley is recognized as one of the most important music artists of the second half of the last century—a name belonging with Elvis and the Beatles in the pantheon. One of the virtues of British-born rock critic Dave Thompson's

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Wired to Restlessness - New book on Britain’s seminal, experimental Wire http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21063-wired-to-restlessness-new-book-on-britain%25E2%2580%2599s-seminal-experimental-wire.html Sayyid Qutb: The Life and Legacy of a Radical Islamic Intellectual (Oxford University Press), by James Toth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21064-sayyid-qutb-the-life-and-legacy-of-a-radical-islamic-intellectual-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-james-toth.html  Sayyid Qutb is the mid-century Egyptian reviled as the intellectual father of militant Jihad. In his groundbreaking biography, anthropologist James Toth comes “neither to belittle nor applaud,” but to understand. He examines Qutb in the context of population shifts from country to city and the

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Witchcraft and Detective Work - Michael Stanley’s latest African police mystery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21056-witchcraft-and-detective-work-michael-stanley%25E2%2580%2599s-latest-african-police-mystery.html

In contemporary sub-Saharan Africa, traditional witch doctors remain feared and powerful members of many communities, and Botswana, the site of a new book by Michael Stanley, is no different. In Deadly Harvest

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Jailbirds and Ruthless Killers - Milwaukee novelist returns with ‘Jail Coach’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21037-jailbirds-and-ruthless-killers-milwaukee-novelist-returns-with-%25E2%2580%2598jail-coach%25E2%2580%2599.html  Too-smart-for-his-own-good Jay Davidovich is the centerpiece of Hillary Bell Locke’s new novel Jail Coach. Davidovich is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a loss prevention specialist whose job is to protect company

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High Urban Adventure - Moses Gates explores the world’s hidden cities http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21038-high-urban-adventure-moses-gates-explores-the-world%25E2%2580%2599s-hidden-cities.html  Moses Gates has been around the world. To be more exact: around, above and below. But that doesn't make him a high-flying airline pilot or a down-and-dirty West Virginia coal miner. The title bestowed upon him and his ilk

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A Delicate Truth (Viking), by John le Carré http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21039-a-delicate-truth-%2528viking%2529-by-john-le-carre.html  John le Carré was the supreme Cold War novelist, but history didn’t end with the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and he hasn’t had to beg for new plots. A

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Life on Stage and Screen - Biography of the director behind Dr. Jekyll and ‘Porgy and Bess’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21002-life-on-stage-and-screen-biography-of-the-director-behind-dr-jekyll-and-%25E2%2580%2598porgy-and-bess%25E2%2580%2599.html

 After reading Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen (University Press of Kentucky), David Luhrssen's comprehensive, illuminating biography of the pioneering director, I'm tempted to call its subject “the Kevin Bacon

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The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century (PublicAffairs), by Paul Collins http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-21003-the-birth-of-the-west-rome-germany-france-and-the-creation-of-europe-in-the-tenth-century-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-paul-collins.html  In 897 C.E. the corpse of the recently deceased Pope Formosus was unearthed, propped on a throne and tried for heresy in Rome. The motives had less to do with theology than naked secular politics, writes Paul Collins as he

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The Allure of the Streets - James Causey’s new novel struggles with urban violence http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20980-the-allure-of-the-streets-james-causey%25E2%2580%2599s-new-novel-struggles-with-urban-violence.html  Twisted, a new book by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist James E. Causey, is the sequel to his 2011 release The Twist. Both stories center around the young journalist Travon Brown and his struggle to make sense of an urban

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A Confluence of Humanity - Jean Thompson’s latest interpersonal drama http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20981-a-confluence-of-humanity-jean-thompson%25E2%2580%2599s-latest-interpersonal-drama.html  A school shooting sends sullen 15-year-old Linnea off to live with her estranged father in Jean Thompson’s new book The Humanity Project. Meanwhile, across town, Sean and his teenage son Conner face eviction in part due to Sean’s

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Monster Mash Novella - A comic riff on Frankenstein and friends http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20970-monster-mash-novella-a-comic-riff-on-frankenstein-and-friends.html

 Many of us grew up watching old horror films, those classic black-and-white pictures set in a foggy recreation of Eastern Europe where vampires prowl by night, werewolves roam in the light of a full moon and monsters

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Wisconsin Farmer’s Almanac - Short Stories from Odette County http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20962-wisconsin-farmer%25E2%2580%2599s-almanac-short-stories-from-odette-county.html In the mythical town of Odette County, Wis., hard-working citizens face the trials and tribulations of rural life in a series of compelling tales. Farmer’s Almanac: A Work of Fiction is a collection of short stories by Chris Fink that]]> 21st-Century ‘Scrooge’ Gets a Second Chance - Nicholas Dettmann’s Inspirational Time-Travel Narrative http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20963-21st-century-%25E2%2580%2598scrooge%25E2%2580%2599-gets-a-second-chance-nicholas-dettmann%25E2%2580%2599s-inspirational-time-travel-narrative.html

 Nicholas Dettmann’s debut novel, A Life Worth Dreaming About, follows the inspiring story of Carl Robertson as he moves from the rural Midwest to New York City. At age 32, Robertson acts like your modern-day Scrooge until he

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The Soundtrack of His Life - Clive Davis recalls his years as a music industry hit-maker http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20964-the-soundtrack-of-his-life-clive-davis-recalls-his-years-as-a-music-industry-hit-maker.html

 Clive Davis’ memoir The Soundtrack of My Life (Simon & Schuster) is a hefty 586 pages of thoughtful, analytical content—an unexpected pleasure from one of the most powerful and influential music executives in history

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Worse than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow and Justice in a Time of Terror (University of Wisconsin Press), by Dean A. Strang http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20965-worse-than-the-devil-anarchists-clarence-darrow-and-justice-in-a-time-of-terror-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-dean-a-strang.html

 The bomb that tore through a Milwaukee police station in 1917, killing 10, coincided with the trial of 11 Italian immigrants from Bay View, accused anarchists, on unrelated charges. As Marquette University law professor Dean

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Chicago Chronicle - How the Windy City built the American Dream http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20927-chicago-chronicle-how-the-windy-city-built-the-american-dream.html

 In The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, Chicago native Thomas Dyja transports readers to a time in the Windy City’s recent past when artists and innovators flourished. Focusing on the years between

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Nazi Noir - Brutal irony reigns in Philip Kerr’s latest novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20928-nazi-noir-brutal-irony-reigns-in-philip-kerr%25E2%2580%2599s-latest-novel.html

 The idea of a War Crimes Bureau in Nazi Germany sounds like a very bad joke, but in fact there was one. It was run by conservative but Nazi-despising Prussian judges dedicated to the principle, upheld by the Geneva Convention, that there was a proper and honorable way for an army, even the German Wehrmacht, to fight a

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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (SelfMadeHero), by H.P Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20929-the-case-of-charles-dexter-ward-%2528selfmadehero%2529-by-hp-lovecraft-and-inj-culbard.html

 Many short stories by 20th-century master of horror H.P. Lovecraft have been transposed in recent years into graphic novel format. One of the artists involved in those projects, I.N.J. Culbard, has moved on to Lovecraft’s novella

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More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions and the Fight For Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press), by Jason Stein and Patrick Marley http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20920-more-than-they-bargained-for-scott-walker-unions-and-the-fight-for-wisconsin-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-jason-stein-and-patrick-marley.html Friedrich Nietzsche said: “When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” The thought somehow applies to Wisconsin politics post-Scott Walker. The governor, with the backing of Republican legislators and a lobby]]> Detroit’s Postmortem - An insider’s look at a great city’s decline http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20887-detroit%25E2%2580%2599s-postmortem-an-insider%25E2%2580%2599s-look-at-a-great-city%25E2%2580%2599s-decline.html

 “Go ahead and laugh at Detroit. Because you are laughing at yourself.” This indictment of homegrown schadenfreude appears early in the pages of Charlie LeDuff’s compelling

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Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige (Cornell University Press), by Yanek Mieczkowski http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20888-eisenhowers-sputnik-moment-the-race-for-space-and-world-prestige-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-yanek-mieczkowski.html

 America's Chicken Little pundits and politicians cried "The sky is falling!" when the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. President Eisenhower, however, maintained an eerie calm that infuriated columnists and


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A Funny Contemplation - Sex, Death and Religion http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20889-a-funny-contemplation-sex-death-and-religion.html

 Humor and religion may not seem synonymous, especially these days, but theologian Daniel Maguire merges the two in his funny and contemplative new book A Merry Memoir of Sex, Death, and Religion. This enlightening memoir

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The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-in Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation (Hill and Wang), by Adam Rome http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20843-the-genius-of-earth-day-how-a-1970-teach-in-unexpectedly-made-the-first-green-generation-%2528hill-and-wang%2529-by-adam-rome.html  University of Delaware environmental historian Adam Rome has been teaching Earth Day for years, but when he looked into its origins, he was surprised by the scant documentation. In The Genius of Earth Day, Rome explores

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Ghost of the Family Farm - Novelist Jerry Apps on rural life in transition http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20846-ghost-of-the-family-farm-novelist-jerry-apps-on-rural-life-in-transition.html

Over the years farming has transitioned from operating primarily as a family business to the proliferation of large agri-farms, a switch hard felt in many small towns across the American Midwest. Author Jerry Apps’ timely new 

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The Porsche Santiaga Story - Sister Souljah’s ‘A Deeper Love Inside’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20847-the-porsche-santiaga-story-sister-souljah%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598a-deeper-love-inside%25E2%2580%2599.html  The Coldest Winter Ever, published in 1999, established Bronx-born orator/educator/organizer/essayist Sister Souljah as a first-rate novelist. The book set a standard for urban/street literature still unmatched. Its sociopathic

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Hitler’s Rival: Ernst Thälmann in Myth and Memory (University Press of Kentucky), by Russell Lemmons http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20848-hitler%25E2%2580%2599s-rival-ernst-th%25C3%25A4lmann-in-myth-and-memory-%2528university-press-of-kentucky%2529-by-russell-lemmons.html Ernst Thälmann ran against Hitler in Germany’s 1932 presidential election. Neither man won, but after Hitler seized power, the communist Thälmann was arrested and eventually murdered at Buchenwald. Ironically, as Russell 

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100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (Triumph Books), by Tom Haudricourt http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20819-100-things-brewers-fans-should-know-do-before-they-die-%2528triumph-books%2529-by-tom-haudricourt.html Murder in Paris - Cara Black’s Latest Noir Mystery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20815-murder-in-paris-cara-black%25E2%2580%2599s-latest-noir-mystery.html

 A good sleuth is hard to come by, and intelligent and unpredictable Aimée Leduc prides herself on being one of the best. This Parisian private investigator returns to star in author Cara Black’s new noir mystery Murder Below

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Revisiting Custer - Larry McMurtry on the man who lost Little Big Horn http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20816-revisiting-custer-larry-mcmurtry-on-the-man-who-lost-little-big-horn.html

 That history is written by the victorious is a truism repeated so many times that its veracity is unquestioned. But one need only browse the books, films and songs about American outlaws such as Jesse James, Cole Younger

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Alec Wilder (University of Illinois Press), by Philip Lambert http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20817-alec-wilder-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-philip-lambert.html

 Although not widely recognized today, Alec Wilder’s songs were sung by Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra and performed by Keith Jarrett and Kenny Burrell. His compositions for the concert hall combined jazz with classical

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Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20784-mary-nohl-a-lifetime-in-art-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-barbara-manger-and-janine-smith.html During her lifetime, some children were afraid of the woman in the “Witch’s House” on Beach Drive in Fox Point. Nowadays, the house’s owner, Mary Nohl (1914-2001), is remembered for the fund she endowed, giving scholarships]]> The Great American Novelist - Steinbeck’s Chronicle of Conscience http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20776-the-great-american-novelist-steinbeck%25E2%2580%2599s-chronicle-of-conscience.html

 John Steinbeck is familiar to film buffs for the raft of Hollywood movies based on his novels, including such classics as The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden; and many of us encountered Steinbeck in a high school or college

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Understanding McLuhan - Beginning to know the medium and its message http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20777-understanding-mcluhan-beginning-to-know-the-medium-and-its-message.html

 Looking back at the 20th century, it seems as if some philosophers deliberately marginalized philosophy by refusing to address important issues in language meaningful to the general public. Perhaps that disengagement

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A History of Opera (W.W. Norton), by Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20778-a-history-of-opera-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-carolyn-abbate-and-roger-parker.html

 Opera is a rebuke to the dogma of realism; after all, no one sings the dialogue of his life, and key moments aren’t emphasized with the roll of kettledrums or a resounding swell of orchestration. Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker

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The Poetics of Aging http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20729-the-poetics-of-aging.html

 John Yau is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and critic. His latest work, Further Adventures in Monochrome, delves into identity and aging through poems that are at once insightful and enigmatic. Yau earned his bachelor’s

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Education After Katrina http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20730-education-after-katrina.html  In post-Katrina New Orleans, the battle to educate children has been anything but easy. Author Sarah Carr’s new book, Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children, follows

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Black Paths (SelfMadeHero), by David B. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20731-black-paths-%2528selfmadehero%2529-by-david-b.html

 In 1919, the Italian futurist poet, novelist, screenwriter and aviator Gabriele D'Annunzio marshaled a private army and seized the Adriatic seaport of Fiume. In the confusion of post-World War I Europe, D'Annunzio was able to rule

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On the Ropes (W.W. Norton), by James Vance and Dan E. Burr http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20732-on-the-ropes-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-james-vance-and-dan-e-burr.html

 With their 1988 collaboration, Kings in Disguise, writer James Vance (The Crow) and Milwaukee illustrator Dan E. Burr were among the pathfinders of a genre that became well-established within a few years, the graphic novel

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A Superior Mystery - Murder and intrigue from Minnesota novelist Wendy Webb http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20691-a-superior-mystery-murder-and-intrigue-from-minnesota-novelist-wendy-webb.html Set on the shores of Lake Superior, The Fate of Mercy Alban is an enigmatic tale of legendary curses and family secrets. When divorced mother Grace Alban returns to the childhood home she has avoided for decades after her]]> The Contrarian Cartoonist - Wisconsin authors explore the life behind Li’l Abner http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20692-the-contrarian-cartoonist-wisconsin-authors-explore-the-life-behind-li%25E2%2580%2599l-abner.html

 Al Capp, creator of “Li’l Abner,” was a brilliant comic artist when comic strips were in their heyday, the 1920s through the 1960s. Brilliant is not too strong a word. There were several others, among them Walt Kelly

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Milwaukee’s Old South Side (Arcadia), by Jill Florence Lackey and Rick Petrie http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20693-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-old-south-side-%2528arcadia%2529-by-jill-florence-lackey-and-rick-petrie.html  Milwaukee’s South Side was considered solidly Polish until the 1970s, when the Poles withdrew to the suburbs and left the district to the Latinos. The latest local interest installment in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series

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Italian Family Reunion - Christopher Castellani’s ‘All This Talk of Love’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20659-italian-family-reunion-christopher-castellani%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598all-this-talk-of-love%25E2%2580%2599.html

 A trip back to one’s ancestral homeland should be a grand adventure, but that’s not at all how Maddalena Piccinelli sees it in Christopher Castellani’s new novel All This Talk of Love. It’s been 50 years since Maddalena and her husband set foot in their native Italy so when Prima, Maddalena’s

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The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? (Viking Adult), by Jared Diamond http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20660-the-world-until-yesterday-what-can-we-learn-from-traditional-societies-%2528viking-adult%2529-by-jared-diamond.html

 With his bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond stimulated discussion over the forces that have shaped humanity. In The World Until Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prize-winner examines tribal and pre-tribal societies for what they can tell us about our own WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic)

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The Gods of Heavenly Punishment (W. W. Norton & Company), by Jennifer Cody Epstein http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20661-the-gods-of-heavenly-punishment-%2528w-w-norton-company%2529-by-jennifer-cody-epstein.html

 Jennifer Cody Epstein’s novel begins on a carnival ride, but proceeds to explore William Tecumseh Sherman’s maxim, “War is Hell.” The general added: “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all

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History Comes to Life - John Tolan on Europe and Islam http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20632-history-comes-to-life-john-tolan-on-europe-and-islam.html A broad history comes to life in Europe and the Islamic World: A History, written by three distinguished scholars: John Tolan, Gilles Veinstein and Henry Laurens. This captivating and groundbreaking work sheds light on the shared roots of Islamic and European cultures as it recounts wars]]> The Stones at 50 - Looking back in words and pictures http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20633-the-stones-at-50-looking-back-in-words-and-pictures.html

 Despite all the pictures and memorabilia, The Rolling Stones 50 (Hyperion) is not to be mistaken for a coffee table book. It has incisive commentary by its authors—Messrs. Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood—and demonstrates

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Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962 (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), by Yang Jisheng http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20598-tombstone-the-great-chinese-famine-1958-1962-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-yang-jisheng.html

 Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” was a jump off the cliff. The ambitious, brutally implemented scheme by the Communist leader to reorganize Chinese society on utopian lines triggered a famine that claimed an estimated 36

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A Beautiful Noise - The story of Milwaukee garage rock http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20578-a-beautiful-noise-the-story-of-milwaukee-garage-rock.html

 Garage rock first gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1960s and today garage bands continue to find their way into the mainstream of rock ‘n’ roll. Perfect for both fans of rock and students of history, Peter Roller’s new book Milwaukee Garage Bands: Generations of Grassroots Rock follows

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Before the Ink is Dry - Philip Hensher’s handwriting manifesto http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20543-before-the-ink-is-dry-philip-hensher%25E2%2580%2599s-handwriting-manifesto.html Handwriting was once a measure of personality and, as the skill and interest in putting pen to paper dwindles, are we losing touch with an element of our humanity? Is this one reason why people are increasingly bereft of personality—flatliners roaming the media-cluttered landscape]]> From Germany to Germany: Diary 1990 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Günter Grass http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20544-from-germany-to-germany-diary-1990-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-g%25C3%25BCnter-grass.html

 As the East Bloc crumbled and Germany prepared to reunify, Günter Grass was the curmudgeon at the party. The author of The Tin Drum, and other novels that wrestle with German guilt, dislikes diaries but kept one in 1990, a year of rapid change. From Germany to Germany includes

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As the World Slows - Coming of age at the end of time http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20539-as-the-world-slows-coming-of-age-at-the-end-of-time.html

 It is called “the slowing”—the sudden and inexplicable change in the rotation of the earth that makes the days and nights grow longer and longer. Widespread panic ensues in The Age of Miracles, the debut novel by Karen Thompson Walker, as humanity struggles to understand what is

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The Moody Detective - Inspector Rebus stands in another man’s grave http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20520-the-moody-detective-inspector-rebus-stands-in-another-man%25E2%2580%2599s-grave.html Author Ian Rankin’s thrilling new crime novel, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, reunites readers with beloved protagonist Inspector John Rebus as he seeks the truth surrounding a series of seemingly unconnected disappearances in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s been five years since homicide]]> Who is Pete Townshend? - A rock star’s funny, profound, profane autobiography http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20507-who-is-pete-townshend-a-rock-star%25E2%2580%2599s-funny-profound-profane-autobiography.html If one person epitomizes the many dualities of rock music—brutality and tenderness, bombast and subtlety, artifice and spirituality, self-reinvention and deception, exhilaration and despair, heroism and hubris, intelligence and lunacy—that person would be bandleader/singer/guitarist/songwriter]]> Writings Inspired by Nature (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Jens Jensen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20508-writings-inspired-by-nature-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-jens-jensen.html

 Jens Jensen was a landscape architect who implemented his aesthetic wherever he could, from the grounds of Henry Ford’s estate to the public parks of Chicago. He probably had more sympathy with the latter project. As shown in this collection of his essays, he believed our engagement

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Mrs. Lincoln’s Confidant http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20489-mrs-lincoln%25E2%2580%2599s-confidant.html Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is an expansive historical novel that follows one freedwoman’s journey from simple seamstress to the First Lady’s confidante. The book opens in 1860 with the]]> Where Only Fools Dare Invade - Afghanistan, a country without rules http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20490-where-only-fools-dare-invade-afghanistan-a-country-without-rules.html

 Afghanistan has often been called unconquerable, the “graveyard of empires,” but as Tamim Ansary argues in his witty overview of that country’s history, truisms aren’t always entirely true. Ansary reminds readers that

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Unions for Beginners (For Beginners), by David Cogswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20491-unions-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-david-cogswell.html  Scott Walker’s face appears in this primer on unionism and the accompanying text isn’t flattering. Topping Walker’s agenda is union busting, a move many outside the unions support with little understanding of the implications

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A Real Emotional Girl (Skyhorse Publishing), by Tanya Chernov http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20469-a-real-emotional-girl-%2528skyhorse-publishing%2529-by-tanya-chernov.html  "Your brother called. Your father is dying," the school secretary told her. It was shocking news, especially since her father, whose illness has appeared suddenly enough, had just been pronounced as "out of the woods." So recalls

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Prairie Wolves - Thomas Maltman’s meditation on small town tragedy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20453-prairie-wolves-thomas-maltman%25E2%2580%2599s-meditation-on-small-town-tragedy.html

 Tragically, shootings in small town America have become all too frequent. Author Thomas Maltman chronicles one community’s reaction to a deadly shooting in his new book Little Wolves. This meditation on violence centers

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Light and Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page (Crown Publishing Group) by Brad Tolinski http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20454-light-and-shade-conversations-with-jimmy-page-%2528crown-publishing-group%2529-by-brad-tolinski.html

 Of all the influential aging rock stars, Jimmy Page has assumed an unexpected position in the pantheon of the loud ones who altered the course of popular music. He has achieved a reverential spot and is serene and, one

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Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power (Farrar, Straus, Giroux) by Seth Rosenfeld http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20455-subversives-the-fbi%25E2%2580%2599s-war-on-student-radicals-and-reagan%25E2%2580%2599s-rise-to-power-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-seth-rosenfeld.html

 Award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld examines the little known secret understanding between J. Edgar Hoover and California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Rosenfeld explains the collusion’s connection to the heavy

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American Naval History, 1607-1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy (University of Nebraska Press) by Jonathan R. Dull http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20456-american-naval-history-1607-1865-overcoming-the-colonial-legacy-%2528university-of-nebraska-press%2529-by-jonathan-r-dull.html

 American schools always taught that the U.S. Navy carried the day in early wars against Barbary pirates and the British, but in truth, Jonathan Dull tells us, the record is mixed. Despite redundant and occasionally unclear writing, Dull offers a thumbnail sketch

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Nirvana: The Recording Sessions (Soundcheck Books), by Rob Jovanovic http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20436-nirvana-the-recording-sessions-%2528soundcheck-books%2529-by-rob-jovanovic.html

 Used to be that antique jazz and blues recordings drew the obsessive attention of music buffs determined to track down recording session dates and determine who played which instrument. Rob Jovanovic brings a similar attention

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Magical Prague - Novelist Magnus Flyte’s mysterious thrill ride http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20416-magical-prague-novelist-magnus-flyte%25E2%2580%2599s-mysterious-thrill-ride.html When graduate student Sarah Weston lands a summer job in Prague, she knows she’ll have an adventure, but she is in no way prepared for the fantastical experience that unfolds. Magnus Flyte’s novel, City of Dark Magic, follows]]> The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press) by Stephen Wade http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20417-the-beautiful-music-all-around-us-field-recordings-and-the-american-experience-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-stephen-wade.html

 Genuine local folk culture, including folk music, was more common in pre-World War II America before television and the accelerating pace of communication leveled distinctions. Associates of the Library of Congress, especially the

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The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax (W.W. Norton), by Tom Piazza http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20401-the-southern-journey-of-alan-lomax-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-tom-piazza.html  Alan Lomax helped preserve the fast-fading traditions of the American South with his Library of Congress field recordings, which influenced the wider culture through their occasional release on LP from the 1940s through ‘60s

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The Future of Cities - Milwaukee a model for urban planning in new essay collection http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20364-the-future-of-cities-milwaukee-a-model-for-urban-planning-in-new-essay-collection.html

 Although Milwaukee’s longtime mayor, Henry Maier, cast himself as the champion of cities, no one seemed to hate urban life more than him—unless you count his equally egregious peers in other city halls across the U.S.

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Military History: The Definitive Visual Guide to the Objects of Warfare (DK Publishing) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20365-military-history-the-definitive-visual-guide-to-the-objects-of-warfare-%2528dk-publishing%2529.html

Even a 450-page coffee table book can’t picture or summarize every significant weapon since the Egyptians bounded across the Sinai in chariots, but Military History finds space for many of them. Profusely illustrated and handsomely

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Cry for Tolerance - Nobel-winner Orhan Pamuk’s Silent House released in English http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20348-cry-for-tolerance-nobel-winner-orhan-pamuk%25E2%2580%2599s-silent-house-released-in-english.html

 Originally published in Turkey in 1983 and now translated into English for the first time, Silent House (Knopf) is Orhan Pamuk's second novel. Although the Nobel Prize-winner makes no direct mention of the book’s historical

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Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay (Cornell University Press), by Andrew L. Erdman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20349-queen-of-vaudeville-the-story-of-eva-tanguay-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-andrew-l-erdman.html

 Her biographer readily admits that Eva Tanguay wasn’t much of a singer or a dancer, and yet she was one of America’s biggest stars a century ago. Andrew Erdman uncovers Tanguay as an influence on the later, better

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World Almanac and Book of Facts 2013 (World Almanac Books) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20336-world-almanac-and-book-of-facts-2013-%2528world-almanac-books%2529.html From Killers to Car Dealers - ‘The Wisdom of Psychopaths’ explores their strange determination http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20311-from-killers-to-car-dealers-%25E2%2580%2598the-wisdom-of-psychopaths%25E2%2580%2599-explores-their-strange-determination.html The steely-eyed gaze. The sudden glint of a hidden blade. The hulking contours of an ominous figure. Immediately you think: psychopath, serial killer. And rightfully so. But think again, for there exists a spectrum of psychopaths out there beyond that classic incarnation]]> New York Neon (W.W. Norton & Company), by Thomas E. Rinaldi http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20312-new-york-neon-%2528ww-norton-company%2529-by-thomas-e-rinaldi.html

 Nothing shouts “City!” like neon signs. Yet even in New York, the old glow is fading under pressure from LEDs and what critics have called the “suburbanization” of the city. Photographer-preservationist Thomas Rinaldi set

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Life, Death & Archaeology at Fort Blue Mounds (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Robert A. Birmingham http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20313-life-death-archaeology-at-fort-blue-mounds-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-robert-a-birmingham.html

 Of all the conflicts between natives and settlers, the Black Hawk War (1832) left the deepest impression on Wisconsin. UW-Waukesha professor Robert Birmingham, who excavated Fort Blue Mounds near Madison

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The Fourth Dimension of a Poesm and Other Essays (W.W. Norton), by M.H. Abrams http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20304-the-fourth-dimension-of-a-poesm-and-other-essays-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-mh-abrams.html  Cornell University’s M.H. Abrams has taught several generations how to read with care and insight. He turned 100 this year, as one-time pupil Harold Bloom observes in his forward, and remains active. In his latest collection

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Packers and Poetry http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20270-packers-and-poetry.html The poems in High Art & Love Poems by Keith Gaustad are striking with their smart language and unique lyrics. These concise and deliberate chapbook poems are submerged in deep feeling while being accessible to all readers by offering a...]]> Reaching the North Pole - Biography of Roald Amundsen, Hero of the Arctic http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20271-reaching-the-north-pole-biography-of-roald-amundsen-hero-of-the-arctic.html

Stephen Bown’s The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen (Da Capo) illustrates how Roald Amundsen took the reigns as one of the most crucial figures during the heroic age of Arctic exploration, standing far above any of his contemporaries and... 

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Schuster’s & Gimbels: Milwaukee’s Beloved Department Stores (The History Press) - by Paul H. Geenen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20273-schuster%25E2%2580%2599s-gimbels-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-beloved-department-stores-%2528the-history-press%2529-by-paul-h-geenen.html

Gimbels and Schuster’s were watchwords in Milwaukee retail as competing department stores vying for elegance, service and scope of merchandise. A Gimbels’ employee in the 1970s, Paul Geenen traces both stores to German immigrants who... 

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Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey (Clarion Books), by Gary Golio and Rudy Gutierrez http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20259-spirit-seeker-john-coltrane%25E2%2580%2599s-musical-journey-%2528clarion-books%2529-by-gary-golio-and-rudy-gutierrez.html From ‘The Hummingbird’s Daughter’ to ‘Queen of America’ - A sequel that stands alone http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20244-from-%25E2%2580%2598the-hummingbird%25E2%2580%2599s-daughter%25E2%2580%2599-to-%25E2%2580%2598queen-of-america%25E2%2580%2599-a-sequel-that-stands-alone.html A sequel always comes with heightened anticipation for readers and Queen of America, a continuation of the 2005 bestselling novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea, is a follow-up that stands alone]]> The Epitome of Modern - Baudelaire and his legacy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20245-the-epitome-of-modern-baudelaire-and-his-legacy.html

 “Modernity” is the central theme of Roberto Calasso’s La Folie Baudelaire (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), which, among many other things, explores the origins of the word as defined and executed by Baudelaire between

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Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Douglas Smith http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20246-former-people-the-final-days-of-the-russian-aristocracy-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-douglas-smith.html

 Before the revolution, the gentry and nobility formed a significant percentage of Russia’s population. Even Lenin emerged from its ranks. But even before the Bolsheviks secured control over the country, the gentry were under

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Sherman Park: A Legacy of Diversity in Milwaukee (The History Press), by Paul H. Geenen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20229-sherman-park-a-legacy-of-diversity-in-milwaukee-%2528the-history-press%2529-by-paul-h-geenen.html Illustrating a Movement - The Art (and Meaning) of Punk http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20225-illustrating-a-movement-the-art-%2528and-meaning%2529-of-punk.html  Punk rock emerged in a white-hot flame; it seemed like a revelation, and became a newborn religion for some adherents. Punk emerged in the U.K. and big U.S. cities during late ‘70s but the idea continued to spread

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‘Building Taliesin’ Shares New Insights http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20199-%25E2%2580%2598building-taliesin%25E2%2580%2599-shares-new-insights.html

 "Taliesin is a house in three acts," declares the preface of Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home of Love and Loss, a new book by Madison journalist Ron McCrea that tells the fascinating story of this famous residence

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Gutkind’s Engaging ‘You Can’t Make This Stuff Up’ - Guide offers tips for writing creative nonfiction http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20200-gutkind%25E2%2580%2599s-engaging-%25E2%2580%2598you-can%25E2%2580%2599t-make-this-stuff-up%25E2%2580%2599-guide-offers-tips-for-writing-creative-nonfiction.html

  No one knows exactly who coined the term "creative nonfiction," though author and writing teacher Lee Gutkind staked his claim on the phrase when he founded a literary journal by the same name in 1993. In fact, Vanity Fair

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The Painter’s Stone (PublishAmerica), by John C. David http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20201-the-painter%25E2%2580%2599s-stone-%2528publishamerica%2529-by-john-c-david.html

 The German army is in full retreat, with the Russians closing in on Berlin. In Milwaukee author John C. David’s page-turning novel The Painter’s Stone, German soldier Paul Behring is horrified by what he has seen at Auschwitz

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Bruce Springsteen FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Boss (Backbeat Books), by John D. Luerssen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20192-bruce-springsteen-faq-all-that%25E2%2580%2599s-left-to-know-about-the-boss-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-john-d-luerssen.html

 The writing conforms to that old journalistic acronym ODTAA—“One Damn Thing After Another.” In other words, Bruce Springsteen FAQ is not something to be consumed for the pleasure of reading as much as its detailed

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Lilly Goren Explores ‘Women and the White House’ - Also: ‘Wimpy Kid’ author visits Oconomowoc http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20160-lilly-goren-explores-%25E2%2580%2598women-and-the-white-house%25E2%2580%2599-also-%25E2%2580%2598wimpy-kid%25E2%2580%2599-author-visits-oconomowoc.html Given the prominence of women’s rights in the recently completed presidential campaign, it is a good time to take a look at the role that women play in the White House. In the timely new volume Women and the White House]]> The History Behind an ‘Army of Evil’ - Weale explores the truths behind Nazi Germany’s SS http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20161-the-history-behind-an-%25E2%2580%2598army-of-evil%25E2%2580%2599-weale-explores-the-truths-behind-nazi-germany%25E2%2580%2599s-ss.html

 In the preface to his Army of Evil: A History of the SS

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When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail (Liveright), by Eric Jay Dolin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20162-when-america-first-met-china-an-exotic-history-of-tea-drugs-and-money-in-the-age-of-sail-%2528liveright%2529-by-eric-jay-dolin.html

 Well before it became a political football, China made headlines with tales of economic growth in the face of a global downturn and reports of poor conditions in its factories. Eric Jay Dolin’s well-crafted account of chapter one in

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All Those Dead Rock Stars http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20156-all-those-dead-rock-stars.html

 My first thought on lifting the 800-plus pages of The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars (Chicago Review Press): I didn’t know there are that many dead rock stars. Of course, rock’n’roll is old enough by some measurements

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Sherman Alexie Comes to Centennial Hall http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20117-sherman-alexie-comes-to-centennial-hall.html

 Over the course of his prolific 20-year writing career, Sherman Alexie has given us a view into the modern American-Indian experience through favorites such as The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and

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The Rocky Road of Science and Religion - A geologist investigates ‘Noah’s Flood’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20118-the-rocky-road-of-science-and-religion-a-geologist-investigates-%25E2%2580%2598noah%25E2%2580%2599s-flood%25E2%2580%2599.html

 In some polls, nearly half of all Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old and was once entirely covered by Noah’s flood, which left behind the mountain ranges and canyons that constitute the topography of our world.

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Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses (The History Press), by Robert Tanzilo http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20119-historic-milwaukee-public-schoolhouses-%2528the-history-press%2529-by-robert-tanzilo.html

 Scattered across Milwaukee are school buildings that shine like gems, once you look past the chalk dust and grime for ornamental friezes, murals and solid architectural bones in shapes from Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne

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Woody Guthrie’s Hard-Hitting Songbook http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20114-woody-guthrie%25E2%2580%2599s-hard-hitting-songbook.html  Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People is a book with many authors. At its heart are a couple hundred songs, many of them anonymous and collected by John and Alan Lomax at the Library of Congress on field trips through the

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Handmade Signs - Faythe Levine’s Craft of Communicating http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20092-handmade-signs-faythe-levine%25E2%2580%2599s-craft-of-communicating.html

 Our urban landscape is packed with signs descended from a rich history of hand-painters unknown by most passersby. To pay tribute to artists who continue to hand-paint signs in the digital age, Faythe Levine

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Cedar Sigo: Stranger in Town http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20093-cedar-sigo-stranger-in-town.html  San Francisco poet Cedar Sigo is a writer of art, literature and film and the author of several books and pamphlets of poetry, some of which have been included in various magazines and anthologies. His most recent collection

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Year of the Braves - When Milwaukee Took the World Series http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20094-year-of-the-braves-when-milwaukee-took-the-world-series.html

 A number of remarkable circumstances had to come together to make the 1957 World Series the once-in-a-lifetime, cosmic drama that it was. John Klima gets to the heart of the circumstances in Bushville Wins!

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Exit the Colonel: The Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution (Public Affairs) by Ethan Chorin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20095-exit-the-colonel-the-hidden-history-of-the-libyan-revolution-%2528public-affairs%2529-by-ethan-chorin.html

 For decades, Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi was a fixture as immovable on the world stage as the Berlin Wall. Like it, he suddenly fell. Ethan Chorin, who served in the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya after the Bush administration’s

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Modern History in Pictures (DK Publishing) Great Buildings: The World’s Architectural Masterpieces Explored and Explained (DK Publishing), by Philip Wilkinson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20067-modern-history-in-pictures-%2528dk-publishing%2529-great-buildings-the-world%25E2%2580%2599s-architectural-masterpieces-explored-and-explained-%2528dk-publishing%2529-by-philip-wilkinson.html Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix (Chicago Review Press), Edited by Steven Roby http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20045-hendrix-on-hendrix-interviews-and-encounters-with-jimi-hendrix-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-edited-by-steven-roby.html One of the odd things in the early interviews collected in Hendrix on Hendrix are the many comparisons with Bob Dylan. Not only did several writers wonder whether Dylan influenced the guitarist’s trippier lyrics...]]> Joan Walsh Examines Middle-Class Decline http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20038-joan-walsh-examines-middle-class-decline.html

 Nations once aspired to have a middle class as strong as the one in the United States. However, as Salon editor Joan Walsh argues in her new release, What’s the Matter With White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age...

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Tarlach Debuts With Dark Age ‘Plaguewalker’ - Milwaukee author delivers a stunning novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20039-tarlach-debuts-with-dark-age-%25E2%2580%2598plaguewalker%25E2%2580%2599-milwaukee-author-delivers-a-stunning-novel.html Years ago, when my then-girlfriend saw me reading yet another Joyce Carol Oates book, she fretted, “But she's so dark!” “Hardly,” I countered...]]> The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess, and the Analysts (Oxford University Press), by Daniel Pick http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20040-the-pursuit-of-the-nazi-mind-hitler-hess-and-the-analysts-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-daniel-pick.html

 Daniel Pick’s apologetic tone is a measure of how far Freud has fallen. The University of London history professor has written a fascinating account of psychoanalysts who joined the war effort in the United Kingdom and the United...

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Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong With Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix It (Vintage), by Robert Reich http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20003-beyond-outrage-what-has-gone-wrong-with-our-economy-and-our-democracy-and-how-to-fix-it-%2528vintage%2529-by-robert-reich.html

 Resist the “regressives.” Don’t be fooled by their lies. Inform yourself on the issues and mobilize. These are among the ringing phrases in Beyond Outrage, a lively polemic by the Berkeley public policy professor...

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Characters Drive ‘The Lighthouse Road’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20000-characters-drive-%25E2%2580%2598the-lighthouse-road%25E2%2580%2599.html

 Set along the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minn., The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye recreates life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as it tells the tale of backwoods logging and bootlegging through tragic characters...

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Neil Young’s ‘Hippie Dream’ - Discovery, melancholy in ‘Waging Heavy Peace,’ a poetically detailed memoir http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-20002-neil-young%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598hippie-dream%25E2%2580%2599-discovery-melancholy-in-%25E2%2580%2598waging-heavy-peace%25E2%2580%2599-a-poetically-detailed-memoir.html At age 66, Neil Young is reaching an artistic zenith. Young recently released the album Americana with his longtime band Crazy Horse, and the end of this month will see yet another Crazy Horse album, Psychedelic Pill...]]> Milwaukee Mafia (Arcadia Publishing), by Gavin Schmitt http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19990-milwaukee-mafia-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-gavin-schmitt.html Police Chief Harold Brier piously maintained that there was no Mafia in Milwaukee, but anyone who ever got out of the house knew differently. Gavin Schmitt puts some pieces of this largely hidden story together, surmising...]]> New Books By Local Authors Bialas, Hintz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19962-new-books-by-local-authors-bialas-hintz.html

  They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but few could argue against the magnificent artistry that is captured in Paul Bialas’ photography book Pabst: An Excavation of Art. The book focuses on the...

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Great, Enduring Songs in ‘The Jazz Standards’ - An alphabetical walk through classic compositions http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19963-great-enduring-songs-in-%25E2%2580%2598the-jazz-standards%25E2%2580%2599-an-alphabetical-walk-through-classic-compositions.html

 The great thing about jazz, one of America’s distinct contributions to the world’s culture, is that it’s always changing—not just year to year, but also performance to performance. At least that’s the line from some...

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My American Revolution: Crossing the Delaware and I-78 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Robert Sullivan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19964-my-american-revolution-crossing-the-delaware-and-i-78-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-robert-sullivan.html

  A native New Yorker, Robert Sullivan was inspired to write My American Revolution while gazing from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. In between Bunker Hill and Yorktown, he decided, was the...

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When Books Can Kill? http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19966-when-books-can-kill.html

  From Martin Amis to Jeanette Winterson, from Günter Grass to Gabriel García Márquez, writers of
politically or socially charged fiction have in recent years redefined the memoir as a literary genre...

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The Carter Family: Don’t Forget the Song (Abrams), By Frank M. Young and David Lasky http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19958-the-carter-family-don%25E2%2580%2599t-forget-the-song-%2528abrams%2529-by-frank-m-young-and-david-lasky.html

 Graphic novels were once high-end comic books, but the definition has stretched lately to include histories and biographies that tell their stories in captioned pictures. Don’t Forget the Song is a narrative on the Carter Family...

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Bishop, Fuller Share Tales of ‘Co-Creation’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19938-bishop-fuller-share-tales-of-%25E2%2580%2598co-creation%25E2%2580%2599.html

 Two founding members of Milwaukee’s late Theatre X, Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller, recently released Co-Creation: Fifty Years in the Making, a profound memoir based on five decades of cooperating as partners...

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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Gotham Books), by R.J. Smith http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19939-the-one-the-life-and-music-of-james-brown-%2528gotham-books%2529-by-rj-smith.html

  This biography is called The One, but the title does not refer to its subject, James Brown. Instead, “the one” is a reference to the way Brown orchestrated his music with an unyielding emphasis on the first beat of ever...

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The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume II (Abrams), ed. by Dan Lockwood http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19940-the-lovecraft-anthology-volume-ii-%2528abrams%2529-ed-by-dan-lockwood.html

 Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will recognize the author’s face in Paul Peart-Smith’s illustrations for “He,” a story drawn from the horror master’s unhappy sojourn in New York. Volume II in the project of transforming Lovecraft’s...

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A Chinese Life (Abrams), by Li Kunwu and Philippe Otie http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19909-a-chinese-life-%2528abrams%2529-by-li-kunwu-and-philippe-otie.html

 Chinese dissident artists get all the press in the West, and Li Kunwu is not among their ranks. Now a Communist Party arts administrator, he grew up during the hateful Cultural Revolution of the 1960s...

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Kozol’s Powerful ‘Fire in the Ashes’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19907-kozol%25E2%2580%2599s-powerful-%25E2%2580%2598fire-in-the-ashes%25E2%2580%2599.html

 Jonathan Kozol is the author of Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, a powerful work that follows a hardened group of impoverished inner-city children he has known...

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Rosin Documents ‘The Rise of Women’ - Changing dynamics in education, workforce http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19908-rosin-documents-%25E2%2580%2598the-rise-of-women%25E2%2580%2599-changing-dynamics-in-education-workforce.html

 Men are in deep trouble, and it would seem it’s their own damn fault. In The End of Men and the Rise of Women (Riverhead), Hanna Rosin lays out an impressive array of studies, statistics, stories and anecdotes...

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If You Like Led Zeppelin… (Backbeat Books), By Dave Thompson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19903-if-you-like-led-zeppelin%25E2%2580%25A6-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-dave-thompson.html  The latest installment in the “If You Like…” series of fan books is admittedly short on theory. “This is not the place to ponder the reasons why,” writes the author on Led Zeppelin’s commercial and artistic achievements...

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Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Historic Bars & Breweries (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), By Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19866-bottoms-up-a-toast-to-wisconsin%25E2%2580%2599s-historic-bars-breweries-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-jim-draeger-and-mark-speltz.html  The problem for any book about historic Wisconsin taverns is that there are just so many of them in a state that has always loved to drink. The authors of Bottoms Up acknowledge the impossibility of getting to all of them an...

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Cousineau Reveals ‘Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19855-cousineau-reveals-%25E2%2580%2598treasure-chest-of-remarkable-words%25E2%2580%2599.html

 San Francisco-based Phil Cousineau has 15 documentary screenwriting credits, beginning in 1987 with The Hero’s Journey, focusing on his mentor Joseph Campbell and predating the Bill Moyers series of Campbell interviews...

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Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher (History Press), by Paul Hoffman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19856-murder-in-wauwatosa-the-mysterious-death-of-buddy-schumacher-%2528history-press%2529-by-paul-hoffman.html

 A murder in Wauwatosa would raise brows even today, but it was even more shocking in 1925, when 8-year-old Buddy Schumacher disappeared while playing with friends on a summer day. Mysteriously, his body turned...

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Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, The First Sixty Years (PublicAffairs), by Geoffrey Nunberg http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19857-ascent-of-the-a-word-assholism-the-first-sixty-years-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-geoffrey-nunberg.html

  In Ascent of the A-Word, UC Berkeley’s Geoffrey Nunberg discerns a significant cultural shift. Post-World War II, “phony” was the epithet of choice, but sometime in the ’70s, “asshole” elbowed it aside. Nunberg...

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The Haymarket Conspiracy: Transatlantic Anarchist Networks (University of Illinois Press), By Timothy Messer-Kruse http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19835-the-haymarket-conspiracy-transatlantic-anarchist-networks-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-timothy-messer-kruse.html  Just as some leftists continue to insist on the innocence of Alger Hiss, despite all incriminating evidence to the contrary that surfaced from the Soviet archives, others persist in glorifying the anarchists convicted of tossing a bomb at police—killing five—during Chicago’s infamous Haymarket Riot...

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Powers Discusses ‘Yellow Birds’ at Next Chapter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19809-powers-discusses-%25E2%2580%2598yellow-birds%25E2%2580%2599-at-next-chapter.html Next Chapter Bookshop welcomes Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds, on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. The Yellow Birds is a breathtaking account of friendship and loss told...]]> Wisconsin Farm Lore: Kicking Cows, Giant Pumpkins & Other Tales From the Back Forty (The History Press), by Martin Hintz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19810-wisconsin-farm-lore-kicking-cows-giant-pumpkins-other-tales-from-the-back-forty-%2528the-history-press%2529-by-martin-hintz.html Farming has been part of the Badger State since before it was a state. With Wisconsin Farm Lore, prolific Milwaukee author, gentleman farmer and Shepherd Express contributor Martin Hintz compiles...]]> Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures (Abrams), by Michael Goodwin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19753-economix-how-our-economy-works-%2528and-doesnt-work%2529-in-words-and-pictures-%2528abrams%2529-by-michael-goodwin.html Can the dismal science of economics be explicable to the average person—and fun? Well, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan won't find this comic book funny, since much of the humor is at the expense of the greed and irresponsibility he stands...]]> Evison's Inspiring 'Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19750-evisons-inspiring-revised-fundamentals-of-caregiving.html Schooner Days in Door County (Wisconsin Marine Historical Society), by Walter M. and Mary K. Hirthe http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19754-schooner-days-in-door-county-%2528wisconsin-marine-historical-society%2529-by-walter-m-and-mary-k-hirthe.html The little harbors of Door County are tourist resorts nowadays, but a century ago they were commercial ports visited only by hardy fishermen and burly sailors. The 25th anniversary edition of Schooner Days in Door County reflects...]]> Kati Marton's Remarkable 'Love Story' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19679-kati-martons-remarkable-love-story.html After being married to ABC News correspondent Peter Jennings for almost 15 years, Kati Marton met the love of her life in U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. These stories and more...]]> 'Where's the Truth' Behind Wilhelm Reich? - Letters and journals of the controversial psychiatrist http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19680-wheres-the-truth-behind-wilhelm-reich-letters-and-journals-of-the-controversial-psychiatrist.html Where's the Truth? Letters and Journals, 1948-1957 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), edited by Mary Boyd Higgins, is the fourth and final installment culled from the writings of highly...]]> Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped (Plume), by Dean Budnick and Josh Baron http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19681-ticket-masters-the-rise-of-the-concert-industry-and-how-the-public-got-scalped-%2528plume%2529-by-dean-budnick-and-josh-baron.html Rock concert promoters were a colorful cast of swashbucklers up until the '90s, when the business fell into corporate clutches. Before long, Live Nation became the dominant force in the...]]> Stories of Life and Love in 'Visiting Tom' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19612-stories-of-life-and-love-in-visiting-tom.html Meet Tom Hartwig, an 80-something farmer in small-town Wisconsin whose favorite hobby is firing his homemade cannons. Hartwig is at the center of Michael Perry's touching memoir, Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck...]]> 'Master of the Mountain' Re-evaluates Thomas Jefferson - A candid look at slave-holding founding father http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19613-master-of-the-mountain-re-evaluates-thomas-jefferson-a-candid-look-at-slave-holding-founding-father.html When one thinks of Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence surely comes to mind. Jefferson's words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain...]]> The Betrayal of the American Dream (PublicAffairs), by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19614-the-betrayal-of-the-american-dream-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-donald-l-barlett-and-james-b-steele.html Why do America's 1% care so little about the country's middle class? Investigative reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele answer this way: Even after reducing American workers to a cheap labor pool, the growing middle classes of Brazil...]]> Sean Chercover's Thrilling 'Trinity Game' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19561-sean-chercovers-thrilling-trinity-game.html Sean Chercover, author of the Chicago-based thrillers Big City, Bad Blood and Trigger City, brings readers a new crime drama that mixes mystery and intrigue with unpredictable twists and fascinating plotlines. The Trinity Game, full of heart-pounding action...]]> Frequently Asked Questions About Neil Young - New book covers 'Everything Left to Know' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19562-frequently-asked-questions-about-neil-young-new-book-covers-everything-left-to-know.html With his new “folk music” album Americana, a documentary film going into theaters this summer titled Journeys and his memoirs forthcoming this fall, it is impossible to dispute the prodigious artistry of Neil Young. Separating Young from...]]> Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler & Saved D-Day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Stephan Talty http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19563-agent-garbo-the-brilliant-eccentric-secret-agent-who-tricked-hitler-saved-d-day-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-stephan-talty.html Garbo was the code name for a World War II Spanish double agent who spied for the Nazis while actually helping the British. Journalist Stephan Talty isn't the first to write about the operative whose greatest accomplishment was to mislead Germany...]]> The World Almanac for Kids 2013 (World Almanac Books) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19538-the-world-almanac-for-kids-2013-%2528world-almanac-books%2529.html Can a paper World Almanac compete with apps for under-18s? The latest edition of The World Almanac for Kids answers with splashy, colorful layouts and lots of succinctly organized content with post-Millennial appeal. Geek chic and The Hunger Games...]]> The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century Spain (W.W. Norton), by Paul Preston http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19490-the-spanish-holocaust-inquisition-and-extermination-in-twentieth-century-spain-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-paul-preston.html Paul Preston of the London School of Economics wasn't being glib when he used the holocaust word to describe the Spanish Civil War. Through carefully collating the records from the period, he is able to describe not a sequence of battle but a series...]]> Zimmerman Debuts 'The Orphanmaster' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19492-zimmerman-debuts-the-orphanmaster.html Witchcraft, war, murder and romance abound in The Orphanmaster, the debut novel by Jean Zimmerman. Set in 1663 New Amsterdam (present-day Manhattan), The Orphanmaster tells the story of orphaned Blandine van Couvering...]]> 'Building Taliesin' Examines Home Before the Fire - McCrea shares love and loss of Frank Lloyd Wright http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19493-building-taliesin-examines-home-before-the-fire-mccrea-shares-love-and-loss-of-frank-lloyd-wright.html The 1914 fire that consumed portions of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin compound along with seven lives may have been sparked by racism. The servant who set the blaze and attacked the houseguests with a hatchet, Julian Carlton...]]> Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music (W.W. Norton), by Henry Horenstein http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19494-honky-tonk-portraits-of-country-music-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-henry-horenstein.html You could say Henry Horenstein wrote the book on photography—several, in fact. But long before he became a photography professor at Rhode Island School of Design, Horenstein roamed honky-tonks and country music festivals, making pictures...]]> Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP Disk, The Most Outrageous Record Label in America (Wesleyan University Press), by Jason Weiss http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19445-always-in-trouble-an-oral-history-of-esp-disk-the-most-outrageous-record-label-in-america-%2528wesleyan-university-press%2529-by-jason-weiss.html Independent labels have often pushed American music forward into areas deemed uncommercial or risky by the majors. One of the most adventurous indies, ESP, was founded in the early 1960s to document New York's avant-garde jazz scene...]]> 'Our House' Chronicles Improvements to Home, Heart http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19434-our-house-chronicles-improvements-to-home-heart.html Ron Tanner, author of the critically acclaimed books Kiss Me, Stranger and A Bed of Nails, debuts another noteworthy title, From Animal House to Our House. Through honest reflection and humor, Tanner recounts his and his then-girlfriend's efforts...]]> San Francisco: Gateway to America? - 'Season of the Witch' explores the Weird City on the West Coast http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19435-san-francisco-gateway-to-america-season-of-the-witch-explores-the-weird-city-on-the-west-coast.html If New York is the City that Never Sleeps and Chicago is the Second City, San Francisco emerges in our collective consciousness as the nation's Weird City. Forever synonymous with the 1960s and the “Summer of Love,” San Francisco...]]> The Holiday Makers: Magazines, Advertising, and Mass Tourism in Postwar America (LSU Press), by Richard K. Popp http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19436-the-holiday-makers-magazines-advertising-and-mass-tourism-in-postwar-america-%2528lsu-press%2529-by-richard-k-popp.html A century ago, Americans were renowned as dour working stiffs. But by mid-century, the country was going on vacation. UW-Milwaukee media studies assistant professor Richard K. Popp investigates the shift in The Holiday Makers and...]]> Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie (W.W. Norton), by Ed Cray http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19368-ramblin-man-the-life-and-times-of-woody-guthrie-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-ed-cray.html Woody Guthrie was born a century ago this month and anyone deeply interested in American music—and America—knows his name. The award-winning Ramblin' Man is a model for biographical writing, beautifully composed with a poet's ear...]]> Berney's Wild, Twisting 'Whiplash River' - Crime novelist appears at Mystery One http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19365-berneys-wild-twisting-whiplash-river-crime-novelist-appears-at-mystery-one.html Charles “Shake” Bouchon thought that escaping to exotic Belize and opening a small restaurant on the beach would be the perfect way to leave behind his life of crime. However, trouble seems to follow Shake, the lead character in Lou Berney...]]> The Drowned World: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition (Liveright), by J.G. Ballard http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19367-the-drowned-world-fiftieth-anniversary-edition-%2528liveright%2529-by-jg-ballard.html “Soon it will be too hot” is a great opening line for a novel, especially one about global warming. As Martin Amis writes in his introduction for the anniversary edition of The Drowned World, prescience isn't everything, yet J.G. Ballard's 1962 novel...]]> Chuck Thompson argues for benefits of secession http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19366-chuck-thompson-argues-for-benefits-of-secession.html 'Return to Wake Robin' Recalls Trips Up North http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19300-return-to-wake-robin-recalls-trips-up-north.html A summer trip to northern Wisconsin is a rich tradition for many, including author Marnie Mamminga, who recounts childhood visits up north in Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the...]]> Deadly Intrigue in 'Bring Up the Bodies' - Novelist Mantel returns to reign of Henry VIII, Cromwell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19301-deadly-intrigue-in-bring-up-the-bodies-novelist-mantel-returns-to-reign-of-henry-viii-cromwell.html In an afterword to her second novel about Thomas Cromwell, Hilary Mantel writes that there is still uncharted territory in his character. I wonder what it could be. Her portrait of him in Wolf...]]> Making Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, by Leonard Koren http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19302-making-wet-the-magazine-of-gourmet-bathing-by-leonard-koren.html If a “magazine of gourmet bathing” is a slippery concept to get hold of, well, that was part of the intrigue of Wet. Published from 1976-1981, Wet was a glossy, high-end fanzine for provocative...]]> Many Observations of a Milwaukee Author http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19257-many-observations-of-a-milwaukee-author.html More self-published books are being produced than ever before and it's no surprise there are no assurances for quality of writing, much less quality of thinking. One of the more interesting recent efforts by a self-published Milwaukeean, a booklet with the...]]> The Story of Barack Obama - A presidential biography by a celebrated author http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19238-the-story-of-barack-obama-a-presidential-biography-by-a-celebrated-author.html One of the most anticipated political books of recent memory is an exhaustively reported, absorbing biography that sheds a real-life look on our current president. Drawing from hundreds of interviews, including with President Obama himself...]]> The Promise of Springsteen? - New biography tries to write the Boss's history http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19239-the-promise-of-springsteen-new-biography-tries-to-write-the-bosss-history.html Marc Dolan is a professor of English and American Studies and, as with so many who are writing about their rock music heroes these days, is a long-time fan who knows nothing about music...]]> Heaven on Earth: A Journey through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), by Sadakat Kadri http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19240-heaven-on-earth-a-journey-through-sharia-law-from-the-deserts-of-ancient-arabia-to-the-streets-of-the-modern-muslim-world-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-sadakat-kadri.html Shari'a law has become the panic button for fools—the sort of people who believe in death panels and fear the black helicopters of One World Government—as well as the hobbyhorse of Islamic fundamentalists. In Heaven on Earth, Sadakat Kadri...]]> Boswell Hosts Fuller for 'Cocktail Hour' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19168-boswell-hosts-fuller-for-cocktail-hour.html Selected by The New York Times' Book Review as a 2011 “Notable Book of the Year,” Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an unforgettable memoir by author Alexandra Fuller. In this firsthand account, Fuller takes readers to the continent...]]> The Future's No 'Roadside Picnic' - Classic Soviet sci-fi reissued in paperback http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19169-the-futures-no-roadside-picnic-classic-soviet-sci-fi-reissued-in-paperback.html Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic, reissued in a paperback English-language edition by Chicago Review Press, is a classic Soviet-era science fiction novel that rivals the work of Bradbury, Asimov and Ellison. It's hard not to notice the Cold War...]]> Final Victory (Da Capo), Stanley Weintraub http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19170-final-victory-%2528da-capo%2529-stanley-weintraub.html Historian Stanley Weintraub's Final Victory, about the 1944 presidential campaign between the popular but aged three-time incumbent, Franklin Roosevelt, and Republican challenger Thomas Dewey, arrives appropriately enough during another election...]]> Rock Guitarists Feedback - Interviews with the Alternative Greats http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19157-rock-guitarists-feedback-interviews-with-the-alternative-greats.html David Todd wants Feeding Back: Conversations with Alternative Guitarists (Chicago Review Press) to be more than just a good collection of interviews with rock guitarists—not “guitar heroes,” mind you, but representatives of what he terms...]]> Stocke, Brenner Discuss 'Love Affair With Turkey' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19081-stocke-brenner-discuss-love-affair-with-turkey.html Milwaukee-born Joy Stocke and Michigan native Angie Brenner met on the balcony of a guesthouse on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. After discovering a shared love of travel, history, cuisine and literature, they began a 10-year journey...]]> Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution (PublicAffairs), by Robert Service http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19082-spies-and-commissars-the-early-years-of-the-russian-revolution-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-robert-service.html The Bolshevik Revolution has been written about many times from many perspectives, but the balance of research and wit in Robert Service's account is outstanding. The Oxford University history professor focuses on the nascent Soviet regime...]]> Matthew Flynn's Fast, Funny 'Pryme Knumber' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19018-matthew-flynns-fast-funny-pryme-knumber.html Local author Matthew Flynn pits Milwaukee versus Washington in the fast-paced, funny novel Pryme Knumber. Fifteen-year-old Bernie Weber is just an ordinary high-school student until he is discovered by the CIA, Washington and Yale for his...]]> Buddy Guy's Dazzling 'My Story' - Blues great shares tales from a singular life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19019-buddy-guys-dazzling-my-story-blues-great-shares-tales-from-a-singular-life.html Buddy Guy and co-author David Ritz have come up with a dazzling book, rife with details about people, guitars and historically significant musical events. When I Left Home: My Story (Da Capo) will enthrall Guy's fans as well...]]> Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb (Hill & Wang), by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19020-trinity-a-graphic-history-of-the-first-atomic-bomb-%2528hill-amp-wang%2529-by-jonathan-fetter-vorm.html The story of the Manhattan Project has been told in fictionalized films and books, in documentaries and biographies. With Trinity, the development of the atom bomb is illustrated in black-and-white drawings and told in graphic-novel style...]]> Poles in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Susan Gibson Mikos http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19030-poles-in-wisconsin-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-susan-gibson-mikos.html The Poles came with the second wave of European immigrants to Wisconsin, but the thrifty, hardworking arrivals soon built neighborhoods, churches and left a deep impression on many parts of the state, especially Milwaukee. Susan Gibson...]]> Jane Austen for Beginners (For Beginners), by Robert G. Dryden with illustrations by Joe Lee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-19007-jane-austen-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-robert-g-dryden-with-illustrations-by-joe-lee.html Two hundred years have passed since Jane Austen first saw print and, with the aid of the newer media of film and television, her novels are more popular than ever. Hillyer College English professor Robert Dryden investigates the phenomenon...]]> Discover Rosenblum's 'Herself When She's Missing' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18941-discover-rosenblums-herself-when-shes-missing.html In Herself When She's Missing, local author Sarah Terez Rosenblum paints a portrait of a tumultuous female relationship that involves mid-20s protagonist Andrea and her on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jordan. Through clever metaphors...]]> Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois Champollion (Oxford University Press), by Andrew Robinson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18942-cracking-the-egyptian-code-the-revolutionary-life-of-jean-francois-champollion-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-andrew-robinson.html In the 1800s, deciphering hieroglyphics was the great and much-publicized goal of scholarship, much as finding life on Mars is for science in the 2000s. Cracking the Egyptian Code is the fascinating account of the Frenchman who finally deciphered...]]> My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family (Gotham Books), by Zach Wahls (with Bruce Littlefield) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18943-my-two-moms-lessons-of-love-strength-and-what-makes-a-family-%2528gotham-books%2529-by-zach-wahls-%2528with-bruce-littlefield%2529.html Disclosure: I've known Zach Wahls after he could talk but before he could read or write and years before he became a YouTube sensation at 19. His testimony on a proposed constitutional amendment in Iowa to deny legal status to same-sex couples...]]> 'Green Shore' Brings to Life Greek Unrest - Bakopoulos explores 1967 military coup through family's eyes http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18877-green-shore-brings-to-life-greek-unrest-bakopoulos-explores-1967-military-coup-through-familys-eyes.html In 1967, a military coup toppled the Greek government and ushered in a seven-year period of devastating domestic brutality and repression...]]> War Correspondents Receive 'Assignment to Hell' - Informative look at reporters covering WWII http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18878-war-correspondents-receive-assignment-to-hell-informative-look-at-reporters-covering-wwii.html “If you ever have to go to war,” Walter Cronkite said late in life, “don't go by glider.” Gliders in wartime do not always glide the way they are supposed to, and the canvas-covered, aluminum-framed one carrying Cronkite to cover Operation Market...]]> Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations, Part One: 1783-1953 (Abrams), by Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18879-best-of-enemies-a-history-of-us-and-middle-east-relations-part-one-1783-1953-%2528abrams%2529-by-jean-pierre-filiu-and-david-b.html History told as a graphic novel is nothing new, but Best of Enemies is a singular accomplishment, packing episodes little known and less understood into striking black-and-white frames crowded with imagery and ideas. The imaginative landscape...]]> Great Ghosts of Britain - Legacy of a Global Empire http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18883-great-ghosts-of-britain-legacy-of-a-global-empire.html “British” and “Empire” were once inseparable on any word association test, but the character of the globe-spanning realm on which the sun never set has long been in dispute. Some call it a vast and callous system of exploitation while others...]]> Milwaukee Hosts Midwest Small Press Festival http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18808-milwaukee-hosts-midwest-small-press-festival.html The first Midwest Small Press Festival will be held in Milwaukee from June 1-3. This innovative event aims to celebrate regional accomplishments in the growing small-press...]]> Reel Life in Larry Baker's 'Love and Other Delusions' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18809-reel-life-in-larry-bakers-love-and-other-delusions.html Imagine yourself as a character in a movie produced and directed by you, a movie set to music of your choosing and a cast of supporting actors selected to support your imaginings. You are Alice, “The Star,” wearing white while being washed...]]> The Poems of Jesus Christ (W.W. Norton), translated by Willis Barnstone http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18810-the-poems-of-jesus-christ-%2528ww-norton%2529-translated-by-willis-barnstone.html Willis Barnstone, poet and Indiana University comparative literature professor, has been on a mission to shine new light on the sacred writings of Jews and Christians. The latest chapter in his often-intriguing project recovers the poetry at the heart...]]> Post-9/11 Anxiety in a 'Non-Enemy Combatant' - Novelist Alex Gilvarry fashions a winning satire http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18755-post-9_11-anxiety-in-a-non-enemy-combatant-novelist-alex-gilvarry-fashions-a-winning-satire.html From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant (Viking Adult) is Alex Gilvarry's fictional indictment of Homeland Security's post-9/11 paranoia. The book's hero, Boyet...]]> Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away (Sarah Crichton Books), by Eric G. Wilson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18756-everyone-loves-a-good-train-wreck-why-we-cant-look-away-%2528sarah-crichton-books%2529-by-eric-g-wilson.html Our society hides death in a haze of euphemism (what did he pass, a kidney stone?) and antibacterial has become a lifestyle, yet we also live in a culture where gruesome flourishes and horror are an industry. These are among the paradoxes explored...]]> Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Marnie O. Mamminga http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18758-return-to-wake-robin-one-cabin-in-the-heyday-of-northwoods-resorts-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-marnie-o-mamminga.html Vacations once meant plunging into an environment different from everyday life. A vacation “up North” for Wisconsin city dwellers meant roughing it a little, not recreating he alleged comforts of home in time-share McMansions complete...]]> Marx's Das Kapital for Beginners (For Beginners), by Michael Wayne http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18743-marxs-das-kapital-for-beginners-%2528for-beginners%2529-by-michael-wayne.html “Know More, Read Less” is the slightly off-putting slogan behind For Beginners, a series of illustrated, compact paperbacks serving important thinkers and topics into easy bites. If the Karl Marx title is any indicator, however, For Beginners...]]> The Tender Hours of Twilight: Paris in the '50s. New York in the '60s, A Memoir of Publishing's Golden Age (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), by Richard Seaver http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18668-the-tender-hours-of-twilight-paris-in-the-50s-new-york-in-the-60s-a-memoir-of-publishings-golden-age-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-richard-seaver.html As editor of Grove Press in the 1960s, Richard Seaver successfully challenged America's censorship laws over the publication of D.H. Lawrence's sexually explicit and long outlawed novel, Lady Chatterly's Lover. He also shepherded Henry Miller...]]> Abu-Jaber's Soaring 'Birds of Paradise' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18674-abu-jabers-soaring-birds-of-paradise.html The sunny city of Miami takes center stage in Diana Abu-Jaber's engrossing new novel, Birds of Paradise. The Florida hot spot becomes the backdrop for a dynamic familial tale of identity, loss and forgiveness. The Muirs are a typical yet fractured...]]> Bernie Gunther Returns in 'Prague Fatale' - Genre master Philip Kerr pens another gem http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18675-bernie-gunther-returns-in-prague-fatale-genre-master-philip-kerr-pens-another-gem.html What an unusual household Philip Kerr's must be, what with his wife and children presumably living a fairly conventional life in contemporary Britain and he a most unconventional one in the middle of Europe in the middle of the previous century...]]> Silence: 50th Anniversary Edition (Wesleyan University Press), by John Cage http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18676-silence-50th-anniversary-edition-%2528wesleyan-university-press%2529-by-john-cage.html John Cage the composer was almost inseparable from Cage the essayist. They were facets of the same persona. Prefacing the handsome 50th anniversary edition of Cage's seminal collection of writings, Silence, is an introductory essay...]]> Growing Power's Will Allen Sparks 'Good Food Revolution' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18606-growing-powers-will-allen-sparks-good-food-revolution.html Growing Power began in 1993 as a program that offered inner-city Milwaukee teens an opportunity to work by growing food for their community. Since then, Growing Power has received national attention for its efforts and expanded into one of the most...]]> Esoteric Nazism in 'Hammer of the Gods' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18607-esoteric-nazism-in-hammer-of-the-gods.html David Luhrssen's Hammer of the Gods: The Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism (Potomac Books) evaluates a little-examined element of Nazism and does so...]]> The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (W.W. Norton), by Gavin Flood & Charles Martin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18608-the-bhagavad-gita-a-new-translation-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-gavin-flood-amp-charles-martin.html In their introduction, Oxford Hindu studies professor Gavin Flood and American poet Charles Martin make their case for the enduring relevance of the Bhagavad Gita. Aside from its canonical status in the Hindu scriptures, with its emphasis...]]> Jenni Radosevich's 'DIY Style' Fashion Tips http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18539-jenni-radosevichs-diy-style-fashion-tips.html Thanks to do-it-yourself (DIY) fashion, runway looks have become much more affordable. DIY style has gained widespread acclaim in recent years, as countless blogs and websites have devoted themselves to teaching others how to cost-effectively...]]> 'Butterfly in the Typewriter' Remembers John Kennedy Toole http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18540-butterfly-in-the-typewriter-remembers-john-kennedy-toole.html John Kennedy Toole, author of the venerated cult classic A Confederacy of Dunces, was (the following may be a well-worn maxim, but its relevance remains steadfast in this case) a brief, bright comet in the dark skies of the literary night...]]> The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1 (Abrams), edited by Dan Lockwood http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18541-the-lovecraft-anthology-volume-1-%2528abrams%2529-edited-by-dan-lockwood.html H.P. Lovecraft probably didn't care for comic books, yet his remarkable stories at the cusp of horror and science fiction emerged from a parallel pulp-fanzine...]]> Rethinking Herbert Hoover - New Biography of a President and a Humanitarian http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18542-rethinking-herbert-hoover-new-biography-of-a-president-and-a-humanitarian.html Perceptions of U.S. presidents can often stray into the realm of myth where truth and fact become indistinguishable. History is, after all, largely a matter of perspective, and when it comes to viewing presidents as human beings, it becomes difficult...]]> The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China (Hill & Wang), by David J. Silbey http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18530-the-boxer-rebellion-and-the-great-game-in-china-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-david-j-silbey.html They were called the Boxers for their martial arts skills and, whether with fists, cudgels or guns, those Chinese insurgents came close to defeating a powerful coalition of foreign armies as the 20th century began. The Boxers have usually been depicted...]]> Feingold Offers Vision in 'While America Sleeps' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18461-feingold-offers-vision-in-while-america-sleeps.html Wisconsinites are familiar with longtime Sen. Russ Feingold and his progressive foreign-policy vision. Now, readers everywhere can take in his ideas. Feingold...]]> On and Off Bass (Three Rooms Press), by Mike Watt http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18462-on-and-off-bass-%2528three-rooms-press%2529-by-mike-watt.html Not unlike Black Flag's Henry Rollins, the Minutemen's Mike Watt took up photography as a hobby and assembled some of his pictures (along with accompanying musings) into a book. On and Off Bass features photos of his beloved hometown of San Pedro...]]> Mike Seeger's Folk Tradition - 'True Vine' biography details vital musician http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18463-mike-seegers-folk-tradition-true-vine-biography-details-vital-musician.html Mike Seeger was a founding member of the folk-blues revival string band the New Lost City Ramblers as well as a distinguished solo artist, concentrating on early American music. He was a virtuoso on many instruments, such as banjo...]]> House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Anthony Shadid http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18464-house-of-stone-a-memoir-of-home-family-and-a-lost-middle-east-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-anthony-shadid.html Foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid had often been praised for bravery in covering Iraq and Libya, but the Pulitzer Prize winner's greatest characteristics were intelligence and insight. Before his death early this year in Syria (from an asthma attack...]]> 'The Hunger Angel' Lifts the Silence - Mller takes readers inside Soviet labor camp http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18399-the-hunger-angel-lifts-the-silence-m%25FCller-takes-readers-inside-soviet-labor-camp.html For a past writing project I interviewed about two-dozen ex-POWs concerning their experiences in a Chinese-run POW camp in North Korea. When asked what topic or issue most occupied their thoughts and conversation, almost to a man they said it...]]> Thomas Hart Benton: A Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Justin Wolff http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18400-thomas-hart-benton-a-life-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-justin-wolff.html Thomas Hart Benton embodied the New Deal aesthetic as solidly as any painter. A public-minded artist who found high ideals in the everyday life of America, his most characteristic works were the murals he painted in public libraries and statehouses to inspire...]]> Humane Society's Pacelle Shares 'The Bond' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18404-humane-societys-pacelle-shares-the-bond.html With more than 11 million supporters in the United States, the Humane Society is doing its part to ensure a hopeful future for animals by helping to connect them with loving people. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the...]]> The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food (Penguin Press), by Lizzie Collingham http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18387-the-taste-of-war-world-war-ii-and-the-battle-for-food-%2528penguin-press%2529-by-lizzie-collingham.html Napoleon famously observed that an army marches to war on its stomach. Seldom was this truer than in World War II, a globe-spanning conflict in which millions of men marched, flew or sailed toward battle. In The Taste of War, Lizzie Collingham...]]> Woodland Pattern Hosts Joshua Clover - Plus: Earth Poets at Urban Ecology Center http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18326-woodland-pattern-hosts-joshua-clover-plus-earth-poets-at-urban-ecology-center.html Joshua Clover is an accomplished writer, critic, teacher and journalist specializing in poetry and poetics, with an emphasis on the contemporary. Clover, who currently teaches in the Department of English at UC-Davis, is the author of two books of poems...]]> Early Signs of Kerouac in 'Sea Is My Brother' - Long-lost novel reveals promise http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18327-early-signs-of-kerouac-in-sea-is-my-brother-long-lost-novel-reveals-promise.html Drawing from his brief service in the Merchant Marines, Jack Kerouac wrote The Sea Is My Brother in the 1940s. Discovered recently among his papers, Kerouac's long-lost first novel has...]]> Design After Modernism: Furniture and Interiors 1970-2010 (W.W. Norton), by Judith Gura http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18328-design-after-modernism-furniture-and-interiors-1970-2010-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-judith-gura.html After modern, what's next? That question began to trouble architects, philosophers and artists well before the 20th century slipped into the new millennium. As Judith Gura stresses in Design After Modernism, 21st-century designers embrace the eclecticism...]]> Humans Are 'The Storytelling Animal' - Gottschall explains how narrative shapes our world http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18196-humans-are-the-storytelling-animal-gottschall-explains-how-narrative-shapes-our-world.html Jonathan Gottschall has written a smart, concise book on the history and implications of storytelling, providing a refreshing and insightful overview...]]> Kingdom Come (Liveright), by J.G. Ballard http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18197-kingdom-come-%2528liveright%2529-by-jg-ballard.html J.G. Ballard's final novel before his death in 2009 offers an almost apocalyptic picture of darkness festering in the shadows of suburbia and the emptiness of a society constructed only for consumption. A murder mystery and a bizarre shooting in...]]> Framing Oswald - Novelist Nick Nero Digs for Truth in JFK Conspiracy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18175-framing-oswald-novelist-nick-nero-digs-for-truth-in-jfk-conspiracy.html If you're like most Americans, you've never believed that a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In one recent poll, 80 percent of those surveyed disputed the findings of the...]]> Susan Troller Talks 'City Chicks' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18150-susan-troller-talks-city-chicks.html Keeping chickens in cities is not a new phenomenon. It was only recently, though, that Milwaukee legalized the right for urbanites to keep chickens in their backyards, joining a growing trend of urban areas allowing residents to raise fowl at home...]]> The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East (PublicAffairs), by Marc Lynch http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18151-the-arab-uprising-the-unfinished-revolutions-of-the-new-middle-east-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-marc-lynch.html History seldom repeats itself but often offers a guide to what might happen next. Given the media's general incomprehension over the “Arab Spring,” the analysis by Marc Lynch, director of George Washington University's Institute for Middle East...]]> Getting It Wright? - Restoring Frank Lloyd's House http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18140-getting-it-wright-restoring-frank-lloyds-house.html It's the great irony of Frank Lloyd Wright's career: his mission to build aesthetically pleasing, low-cost housing resulted almost entirely in homes for the wealthy. Perched in the Hollywood hills, the Freeman House is one example of a dwelling built...]]> Benjamin Busch Explores Life in 'Dust to Dust' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18073-benjamin-busch-explores-life-in-dust-to-dust.html As its name implies, Benjamin Busch's stunning new memoir Dust to Dust is largely a meditation on life and death. Although Busch is a decorated Marine Corps officer who served two tours of duty in Iraq, Dust to Dust is much more than a war memoir...]]> Future Babble: Why Pundits Are Hedgehogs and Foxes Know Best (Plume), by Dan Gardner http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18074-future-babble-why-pundits-are-hedgehogs-and-foxes-know-best-%2528plume%2529-by-dan-gardner.html Crackpot evangelists and doomsday cultists aren't the only false prophets. According to Future Babble, few professions are as consistently wrong in their predictions as the economists of our world, whose propensity for error is almost as staggering...]]> 'Until the Next Time' Transcends Time - Kevin Fox to appear in Oconomowoc http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18000-until-the-next-time-transcends-time-kevin-fox-to-appear-in-oconomowoc.html Myth, belief, identity and lasting love are all themes in Kevin Fox's Until the Next Time. When 21-year-old Sean Corrigan receives a journal belonging to an uncle he didn't even know existed, he embarks on a journey across the Atlantic—and across...]]> Paul Nelson: Rock Criticism Pioneer - Life, writings captured in 'Everything Is an Afterthought' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18001-paul-nelson-rock-criticism-pioneer-life-writings-captured-in-everything-is-an-afterthought.html Paul Nelson was one of the first critics to analyze popular music with the seriousness that had previously been reserved for classical and jazz. All of the notable, first-generation rock critics such as Lester Bangs, Ellen Willis, Richard Meltzer...]]> Exit Music: The Radiohead Story (Backbeat), by Mac Randall http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-18002-exit-music-the-radiohead-story-%2528backbeat%2529-by-mac-randall.html The final chapter on rock history might yet be written, but meanwhile, it looks as if Radiohead could be the music's last superstar band. In his linear, blow-by-blow account, American music writer Mac Randall traces the band's emotional energy to its...]]> Starting in Wisconsin - The Badger State Responds http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17981-starting-in-wisconsin-the-badger-state-responds.html Even Scott Walker's corporate pay-and-puppet masters must be wondering if they miscalculated by choosing Wisconsin as the laboratory for their toxic vision of the future. The Badger State's progressive tradition had increasingly seemed like history...]]> Woodland Pattern's Array of Poetry Readings http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17948-woodland-patterns-array-of-poetry-readings.html Conflict in the Capitol - Guy Gugliotta offers excellent account in 'Freedom's Cap' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17938-conflict-in-the-capitol-guy-gugliotta-offers-excellent-account-in-freedoms-cap.html The bitter irony running through Guy Gugliotta's Freedom's Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War (Hill & Wang) is that the politician most responsible for constructing the country's physical seat of government in Washington...]]> West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 (University of Minnesota Press), ed. by Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17939-west-of-center-art-and-the-counterculture-experiment-in-america-1965-1977-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-ed-by-elissa-auther-and-adam-lerner.html Much of the art history of the 1960s focuses on New York, especially Andy Warhol and other proponents of Pop Art as well as Fluxus and other trends toward performance. As West of Center reminds us, the myopic focus needs to be expanded to include...]]> Rockabilly Lives at Kochanski's - Photography book captures South Side landmark http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17839-rockabilly-lives-at-kochanskis-photography-book-captures-south-side-landmark.html Whether or not it was life-changing, Philip “Philo” Kassner's first encounter with a South Side landmark became a second encounter and then a third—until the...]]> Heinrich Himmler (Oxford University Press), by Peter Longerich http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17840-heinrich-himmler-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-peter-longerich.html Mild-mannered Heinrich Himmler wasn't the architect of the Holocaust and other acts of mass murder by the Nazi Germans, but he was the principal engineer and chief operating officer of a terror machine. Peter Longerich's massively detailed biography...]]> Les Paul, Guitar Wizard (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Bob Jacobson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17760-les-paul-guitar-wizard-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-bob-jacobson.html The Les Paul story has been told many times, but finally, children get their version. The latest installment in the Badger Biographies series begins with the 15-year old musical and electrical prodigy already about to embark on a career that would...]]> 'Ten Thousand Saints' an Eye-Opening Debut - Eleanor Henderson to appear at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17762-ten-thousand-saints-an-eye-opening-debut-eleanor-henderson-to-appear-at-boswell.html Eleanor Henderson's eye-opening Ten Thousand Saints is an emotional tale filled with vulnerable young characters amid hard-edged settings. Ten Thousand Saints tells the story of Jude Keffy-Horn, a young boy coming of age in Vermont...]]> Brother Booker Ashe: “It's Amazing What the Lord Can Do” (Marquette University Press), by Willy Thorn http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17763-brother-booker-ashe-ldits-amazing-what-the-lord-can-dord-%2528marquette-university-press%2529-by-willy-thorn.html The legions whose lives were touched by the late Brother Booker T. Ashe and his House of Peace, the revolutionary social service community center at 17th and Walnut in Milwaukee, will have their memories enriched by Willy Thorn's well-organized...]]> Talking About Nathan Englander's New Works http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17698-talking-about-nathan-englanders-new-works.html What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank is a powerful, timeless collection of short stories, captured in exquisite prose. Author Nathan Englander's eight new narratives hit the full range of human emotions as they charismatically explore...]]> Much to Love in 'Buildings on Fire' - Will Hermes studies five years that changed music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17700-much-to-love-in-buildings-on-fire-will-hermes-studies-five-years-that-changed-music.html The Talking Heads' first recording was titled “Love Goes to Building on Fire,” and although Will Hermes never does explicate the title of his intriguing...]]> Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert (Chicago Review Press), by Michael Krondl http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17701-sweet-invention-a-history-of-dessert-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-by-michael-krondl.html Pleasure has a long history, and so do desserts in Michael Krondl's delicious account. The award-winning cooking instructor finds a sweet tradition going back thousands of years in India, where the ambrosia is described in Hindu scriptures, and archeological...]]> Wisconsin Uprising - From Madison and the World http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17666-wisconsin-uprising-from-madison-and-the-world.html Scott Walker underestimated the people of Wisconsin. He probably imagined the usual dozen activists, plus a handful of trade unionists already dispirited from a quarter-century of retreat, would gather outside his office with the usual brain dead chant...]]> Milwaukee's Lauren Fox Turns to 'Friends Like Us' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17623-milwaukees-lauren-fox-turns-to-friends-like-us.html Complex, intimate friendships that span decades are true examples of the power of relationships. In Lauren Fox's new book Friends Like Us, the seasoned friendship between Willa and Jane is at the heart of the story. This duo lives together...]]> Exploring Why Americans 'Pity the Billionaire' - Thomas Frank examines campaign of the Far Right http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17624-exploring-why-americans-pity-the-billionaire-thomas-frank-examines-campaign-of-the-far-right.html With Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right (Metropolitan), Thomas Frank continues his corrosive critique of right-wing ascendance in American politics. In What's the Matter With Kansas?]]> The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll (W.W. Norton), by Preston Lauterbach http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17625-the-chitlin-circuit-and-the-road-to-rock-n-roll-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-preston-lauterbach.html Cultural historians usually write off the “chitlin' circuit” that sustained African-American musicians from the 1930s through the '60s as a cruel, exploitative system. Preston Lauterbach thinks otherwise. In his endlessly fascinating and richly evocative account...]]> Quantum Hippies - From Counterculture to String Theory http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17502-quantum-hippies-from-counterculture-to-string-theory.html The 1960s counterculture was certainly anti-technocratic and distrustful of technology, but was it also anti-science? David Kaiser thinks not, and in How the Hippies Saved Physics (W.W. Norton), the MIT physics professor explores a little known convergence...]]> Wisconsin Writer Zakharin Displays Russian Soul http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17503-wisconsin-writer-zakharin-displays-russian-soul.html Although he was born in Watertown and continues to live in southeast Wisconsin, Mishka Zakharin often migrates in his thoughts thousands of miles to the east. “I feel I have a Russian soul,” he says, and his spiritual and intellectual wandering has resulted...]]> From the Shadows of North Korea - Adam Johnson's chilling, entertaining 'Orphan Master's Son' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17504-from-the-shadows-of-north-korea-adam-johnsons-chilling-entertaining-orphan-masters-son.html Co-Creation: Fifty Years in the Making, by Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17505-co-creation-fifty-years-in-the-making-by-conrad-bishop-and-elizabeth-fuller.html Becoming Ray Bradbury (University of Illinois Press), by Jonathan R. Eller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17449-becoming-ray-bradbury-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-jonathan-r-eller.html Ray Bradbury was one of the most significant writers to find his way from science-fiction subculture to mainstream literature. Becoming Ray Bradbury is a detailed, readable account of Bradbury's early years, starting with the sci-fi fanzines whose scope...]]> The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions, and their Peoples (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by David Gilmour http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17438-the-pursuit-of-italy-a-history-of-a-land-its-regions-and-their-peoples-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-david-gilmour.html A dull author makes for dry history; happily, there is nothing dull in David Gilmour's lucid history of a nation created from many parts. Most Americans are vaguely aware of Italy's north-south divide if only from the vogue for “northern Italian...]]> Hannah Pittard Finds Her Way to Sugar Maple http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17414-hannah-pittard-finds-her-way-to-sugar-maple.html The Fates Will Find Their Way is the haunting first novel by acclaimed short-story writer Hannah Pittard. The unforgettable story centers on the disappearance of 16-year-old Nora Lindell, as told by the neighborhood boys who can't quite let her go...]]> Inside North Korea With the 'Orphan Master's Son' - Author Adam Johnson to visit Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17371-inside-north-korea-with-the-orphan-masters-son-author-adam-johnson-to-visit-boswell.html Despite an influx of news reports on the nation's recently departed leader, North Korea remains an unknown entity to most. Indeed, few Americans can imagine the lives of the individuals of that secretive country. Enter Adam Johnson, author of the timely novel...]]> Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It (University of Texas Press), by H.W. Brands http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17372-greenback-planet-how-the-dollar-conquered-the-world-and-threatened-civilization-as-we-know-it-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-by-hw-brands.html The 20th century was the Age of the Dollar, but the world champion among currencies staggered through the first decade of the new millennium, weakened by the dot-com bust, 9/11, a pair of costly wars, the housing bubble and the Great Recession...]]> Ayad Akhtar's Elegant, Forceful 'American Dervish' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17324-ayad-akhtars-elegant-forceful-american-dervish.html Author Ayad Akhtar, a first-generation Pakistani-American who grew up in Milwaukee, graduated from both Brown and Columbia universities. His somewhat-autobiographical debut novel, American Dervish, tells the emotional story of Hayat...]]> Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything (Faber & Faber), by David Bellos http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17325-is-that-a-fish-in-your-ear-translation-and-the-meaning-of-everything-%2528faber-amp-faber%2529-by-david-bellos.html David Bellos is an author who could make anything interesting, engaging and informative. In Is That a Fish in Your Ear?, the Princeton professor addresses communication across the lines of language. Bellos points out that in many previous eras and...]]> Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light (Public Affairs), by Neill Lochery http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17258-lisbon-war-in-the-shadows-of-the-city-of-light-%2528public-affairs%2529-by-neill-lochery.html In the Bogart classic Casablanca, Lisbon is depicted as a portal of escape from Nazi-occupied Europe. In his account of the city during World War II, Neill Lochery shows that the Portuguese capital might have been a better setting than Casablanca for a film...]]> Lil' Rev Heads 'Ukulele Nation' at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17207-lil-rev-heads-ukulele-nation-at-boswell.html The ukulele, which roughly translates as “the jumping flea” in a Hawaiian language, is that adorable Hawaiian instrument that resembles a miniature guitar. And now, the instrument is the subject of a new book, Ukulele Nation, by renowned local musician...]]> Showcasing Hugo Brehme's 'Timeless Mexico' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17208-showcasing-hugo-brehmes-timeless-mexico.html Picturesque images of Mexico as a land of tall cacti and towering volcanoes, adobe dwellings and Aztec ruins, were already circulating by the time German photographer Hugo Brehme traveled...]]> René Blum & The Ballets Russes: In Search of a Lost Life (Oxford University Press), by Judith Chazin-Bennahum http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17209-reneacute-blum-amp-the-ballets-russes-in-search-of-a-lost-life-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-judith-chazin-bennahum.html René Blum may not have been one of the great 20th-century cultural figures, but as shown in the first biography of the writer, editor and impresario, he worked with several of them and knew many more. The brother of France's socialist prime minister...]]> Greil Marcus Delivers Another Masterpiece - Rock critic explores The Doors making cultural history http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17147-greil-marcus-delivers-another-masterpiece-rock-critic-explores-the-doors-making-cultural-history.html Greil Marcus is already regarded as one of the leading rock music critics. With The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years (PublicAffairs)...]]> Tolstoy: A Russian Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Rosamund Bartlett http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17148-tolstoy-a-russian-life-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-rosamund-bartlett.html This fascinating biography of Tolstoy, the first since the fall of the Soviet Union, draws on newly accessible information. Cultural historian Rosamund Bartlett carefully reconstructs each era of Tolstoy's personal history, from his aristocratic childhood to his final...]]> Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (University Press of Kentucky), by Stephen G. Fritz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17117-ostkrieg-hitlers-war-of-extermination-in-the-east-%2528university-press-of-kentucky%2529-by-stephen-g-fritz.html Not unlike the Manifest Destiny expounded by Americans a century earlier, many Germans in the early 20th century advocated expansion into what they regarded as the Eastern Frontier. Hitler, for one, was determined to turn the old dream into reality by...]]> Kids Explore Outer Space in 'Astrojammies' - Milwaukee author talks book, iPad app at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17046-kids-explore-outer-space-in-astrojammies-milwaukee-author-talks-book-ipad-app-at-boswell.html A truly interactive children's storybook, Astrojammies is the fantastical tale of a little boy named Jimmy whose magical pajamas transport him on an amazing adventure through outer space. Created by Stacey Williams-Ng, Astrojammies is written in a simple...]]> Eva Braun: More Than Just a Pretty Face - Grtemaker examines mistress' 'Life With Hitler' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17047-eva-braun-more-than-just-a-pretty-face-g%25F6rtemaker-examines-mistress-life-with-hitler.html In April 1945, as Russian artillery rounds fell like leaden hail on Berlin, a plain yet eerie ceremony took place in the bunker underneath the Old Reich...]]> Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery (W.W. Norton), by Menzie D. Chinn and Jeffry A. Frieden http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-17048-lost-decades-the-making-of-americas-debt-crisis-and-the-long-recovery-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-menzie-d-chinn-and-jeffry-a-frieden.html UW-Madison's Menzie Chinn and Harvard's Jeffry Frieden see the Great Recession as the result of excessive borrowing and spending by the average American as well as the federal government. Our borrowing binge was emulated by other nations...]]> Discover 'The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy' - Bob Riesman provides complete history and analysis http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16980-discover-the-life-and-times-of-big-bill-broonzy-bob-riesman-provides-complete-history-and-analysis.html I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy (University of Chicago Press) traces Broonzy's rise as an internationally heralded blues...]]> The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India (Faber & Faber), by Siddhartha Deb http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16981-the-beautiful-and-the-damned-a-portrait-of-the-new-india-%2528faber-faber%2529-by-siddhartha-deb.html The windbags of Wall Street and their echo chamber in the media trumpet the value of economic “reform” in developing nations, including the benefits for ordinary people from deregulation and open markets. Siddhartha Deb's The Beautiful and the Damned...]]> Objectivist Poet Lorine Niedecker Gets Her Due - Margot Peters presents free reading at Woodland Pattern http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16982-objectivist-poet-lorine-niedecker-gets-her-due-margot-peters-presents-free-reading-at-woodland-pattern.html Renowned biographer Margot Peters has penned the first complete biography of Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), an Objectivist poet who made her home on Blackhawk Island, a marshy area near Fort Atkinson, Wis. In Peters' thoroughly researched...]]> Carla Bley (University of Illinois Press), by Amy C. Beal http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16935-carla-bley-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-amy-c-beal.html For the sake of convenience as much as anything else, Carla Bley is almost always filed under jazz. But as University of California music professor Amy Beal finds in her account of the artist's life and work, Bley started her performance career in jazz...]]> Erika Janik Gets to the Core of the 'Apple' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16911-erika-janik-gets-to-the-core-of-the-apple.html Apples are a significant part of our culture—whether in reference to the food, the story of Adam and Eve or the brand of personal computers, apples surround us. Even sayings like “as American as apple pie” have become part of our lexicon...]]> Judy Garland's 'Legendary Film Career' - Former Milwaukeean John Fricke shines light on Hollywood star http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16912-judy-garlands-legendary-film-career-former-milwaukeean-john-fricke-shines-light-on-hollywood-star.html Judy Garland was one of the most enduring creations of the Hollywood studio system. With her strong but tremulous voice, she became one of the brightest stars of musicals. She seemed born to be a trouper and, indeed, she was, debuting in her family...]]> Amazing Grace (Continuum), by Aaron Cohen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16913-amazing-grace-%2528continuum%2529-by-aaron-cohen.html The white baby boomers who filled the ranks of the first generation of rock critics undervalued or overlooked the role of gospel music in the development of R&B and rock 'n' roll...]]> Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up (Jossey-Bass), by Paul Schmitz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16908-everyone-leads-building-leadership-from-the-community-up-%2528jossey-bass%2529-by-paul-schmitz.html The title of Paul Schmitz's book seems prescient of the Occupy movement sweeping over America. As CEO of Public Allies, Schmitz is dedicated to the proposition that ideas and leadership can rise from the bottom to rebuild communities...]]> Bay View (Arcadia Publishing), by Ron Winkler http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16894-bay-view-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-ron-winkler.html Although Bay View has been part of Milwaukee since the 1880s, many Milwaukeeans still think it's a suburb. Until the opening of the Hoan Bridge, isolation reinforced the neighborhood's independent identity, a tradition embraced since the '90s by an influx of...]]> Railroad Stations: The Buildings that Linked the Nation (Norton/Library of Congress), by David Naylor http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16884-railroad-stations-the-buildings-that-linked-the-nation-%2528norton_library-of-congress%2529-by-david-naylor.html Before the Interstate system and the growth of domestic air service, trains were the main way people went from city to city and train stations were at the vital heart of every town. Architectural historian David Naylor visits the archives in Railroad Stations...]]> Drew Magary Talks 'Postmortal' Life at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16866-drew-magary-talks-postmortal-life-at-boswell.html In a world where old age disappears, life comes with a different set of problems, including little green people, vicious government crackdowns and deranged quasi-cults. Author Drew...]]> Remembering the 'Pearl Harbor Christmas' - Weintraub examines incongruity of December 1941 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16867-remembering-the-pearl-harbor-christmas-weintraub-examines-incongruity-of-december-1941.html As traumatizing as the Dec. 7 raid on Pearl Harbor had been, the hits just kept on coming as Germany's grip on Europe tightened and the Japanese followed their attack on Hawaii with invasions throughout the South Pacific. For the Allies, December...]]> Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell With Black Sabbath (Da Capo), Tony Iommi with T.J. Lammers http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16868-iron-man-my-journey-through-heaven-and-hell-with-black-sabbath-%2528da-capo%2529-tony-iommi-with-tj-lammers.html Tony Iommi was born in Birmingham, England, son of an Italian immigrant. He wasn't a good student, ran with gangs, worked in a factory and wanted to start a band. As he recalls in Iron Man, an industrial accident took several fingers from his fretting...]]> Blue Jenkins: Working for Workers (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Julia Pferdehirt http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16846-blue-jenkins-working-for-workers-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-julia-pferdehirt.html Northpoint Milwaukee Lighthouse (Arcadia Publishing), by Ken and Barb Wardius and the NPLH Friends http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16826-northpoint-milwaukee-lighthouse-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-ken-and-barb-wardius-and-the-nplh-friends.html Any account of the North Point Lighthouse inevitably becomes at least a partial history of the port of Milwaukee. The latest book on our city in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series is a profusely illustrated chronicle, beginning with early photos...]]> Walter Mosley's Redemption Quest - Famed author to appear at benefit for Woodland Pattern http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16780-walter-mosleys-redemption-quest-famed-author-to-appear-at-benefit-for-woodland-pattern.html Imagine Walter Mosley standing at the proverbial crossroads where Robert Johnson legendarily sold his soul to the devil for blues genius. But Mosley's crossroads also intersect with poor and middle-class black America. His talent, prolific versatility...]]> Joseph Epstein Dishes on 'Gossip' - Witty writer tackles idle chatter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16781-joseph-epstein-dishes-on-gossip-witty-writer-tackles-idle-chatter.html The New World Dictionary defines gossip as “a person who chatters or repeats idle talk and rumors, especially about the private affairs of others,” and “to be a gossip by indulging in idle talk about others...]]> Government Issue: Comics for the People, 1940s-2000s (Abrams ComicArts), edited by Richard L. Graham http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16782-government-issue-comics-for-the-people-1940s-2000s-%2528abrams-comicarts%2529-edited-by-richard-l-graham.html The U.S. government has been in the comic book business since World War I, and many state and local authorities have followed suit. Government Issue can't begin to exhaust the topic—there are too many officially produced funny books moldering in the...]]> The Fog of War - Making Sense of Gallipoli http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16755-the-fog-of-war-making-sense-of-gallipoli.html Thompson's 'Habibi' an Artful, Epic Graphic Novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16729-thompsons-habibi-an-artful-epic-graphic-novel.html Craig Thompson's graphic novel Habibi is sure to attract attention: With the opulent hard cover, artful, Islamic-influenced pages and the epic fable...]]> An 'American Demon' Remembers - TSOL's Jack Grisham digs deep http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16730-an-american-demon-remembers-tsols-jack-grisham-digs-deep.html Imagine, as literary premise, a demon in young Caucasian male form. So far, so Goth. Make this demon handsome, athletic and intelligent. Put him in Huntington Beach, Calif. Have him surf, hate Reagan and listen to Rodney Bingenheimer...]]> Gimbels Has It! (History Press), by Michael J. Lisicky http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16731-gimbels-has-it_-%2528history-press%2529-by-michael-j-lisicky.html Thrift was once as vital to Milwaukee as beer, and for the city's thrifty citizens, Gimbels was a department store in their own image—until the rise of homogenized national budget chains. Gimbels Has It! tells of the Jewish-American entrepreneurial...]]> Cyril Colnik, Man of Iron (University of Wisconsin Press), by Alan J. Strekow http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16646-cyril-colnik-man-of-iron-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-alan-j-strekow.html When he came to Milwaukee in 1894, Austrian-born artisan Cyril Colnik found steady and profitable work from the city's industrialists, who spent lavishly on their mansions, offices and philanthropies. Alan J. Strekow's...]]> I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio (Terrace Books/University of Wisconsin Press), by Jean Feraca http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16596-i-hear-voices-a-memoir-of-love-death-and-the-radio-%2528terrace-books_university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-jean-feraca.html Jean Feraca's mellifluous voice is a familiar presence for Wisconsin Public Radio listeners; her choice of guests and her conversations on “Hear on Earth: Radio Without Borders” evince a thoughtful, intuitive and tolerant mind...]]> 'Holy Ghost Girl' Recalls a Pentecostal Childhood - Donna Johnson's compelling, exquisitely detailed memoir http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16597-holy-ghost-girl-recalls-a-pentecostal-childhood-donna-johnsons-compelling-exquisitely-detailed-memoir.html A book has to go a long way to live up to the opening, “I heard Daddy's gonna try to raise Randall from the dead. Call me.” Happily, Donna Johnson's memoir does, and in spades. Holy Ghost Girl (Gotham) is the most compelling, exquisitely...]]> Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16598-chasing-aphrodite-the-hunt-for-looted-antiquities-at-the-worlds-richest-museum-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-jason-felch-and-ralph-frammolino.html With Chasing Aphrodite, Los Angeles Times investigative reporters Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino delve into a scandal at the highest echelon of the art and antiquities market. Their target, the richly endowed Getty Museum, purchased objects...]]> To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Adam Hochschild http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16557-to-end-all-wars-a-story-of-loyalty-and-rebellion-1914-1918-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-adam-hochschild.html An almost unstoppable wave of emotion poured across Europe at the outbreak of World War I, triggered by boredom and nationalism. Many saw the war as an opportunity to race for glory and break with the numbing routine of a world before...]]> Niemann Shares Tips on Living 'Homegrown and Handmade' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16535-niemann-shares-tips-on-living-homegrown-and-handmade.html Deborah Niemann, former big-city dweller, has become a well-known independent homesteader and sustainability expert. Her tips on pesticide-free...]]> The Best American Comics 2011 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), edited by Alison Bechde http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16523-the-best-american-comics-2011-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-edited-by-alison-bechde.html Always diverse in theme and style, The Best American Comics is an annual anthology of the universe beyond the DC superheroes. The 2011 edition offers a good sampling of the prolific permutations in the post-Love & Rockets world. Most selections are smart...]]> Eugenides Returns With 'The Marriage Plot' - Pulitzer Prize-winning author to speak at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16447-eugenides-returns-with-the-marriage-plot-pulitzer-prize-winning-author-to-speak-at-boswell.html Jeffrey Eugenides is the gifted author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex and the book-turned-movie The Virgin Suicides. His latest narrative, The Marriage Plot, offers a romantic...]]> Rock 'n' Roll's Forgotten Revolution - Crowley's 'Surf Beat' rides wave after wave of music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16449-rock-n-rolls-forgotten-revolution-crowleys-surf-beat-rides-wave-after-wave-of-music.html Kent Crowley's Surf Beat (Backbeat Books) is, at long last, a correct, detailed history of the rock 'n' roll idiom known as surf music. All previous books on the subject can be tossed from the shelves or deleted from electronic reading devices...]]> Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union (PublicAffairs), by Conor O'Clery - Book Reviews http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16450-moscow-december-25-1991-the-last-day-of-the-soviet-union-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-conor-oclery-book-reviews.html Somehow the commanding heights of history clearly emerge from the forest of small facts in Conor O'Clery's account of the Soviet Union's demise. The color of Mikhail Gorbachev's favorite tie (and what he ate for lunch while wearing it) fills...]]> Pictures of the Ho-Chunk - A Beautiful Record of Wisconsin's Indians http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16427-pictures-of-the-ho-chunk-a-beautiful-record-of-wisconsins-indians.html Charles Van Schaick photographed anyone who came to his studio in Black River Falls, Wis., with money in hand, including members of the nearby Ho-Chunk Nation. Nearly 300 of those portraits (plus a few outdoor shots of American Indian...]]> 'Pale Kid' Watsky Fast-Talks His Way to South Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16389-pale-kid-watsky-fast-talks-his-way-to-south-milwaukee.html George Watsky, the 23-year-old spoken-word artist behind the show Where the Magic Happens, launched to slam poetry stardom for his original writing and performance style, churning out verses that are serious, emotional, hilarious and moving...]]> Beaumont Uncovers 'The Life & Times of Son House' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16369-beaumont-uncovers-the-life-times-of-son-house.html If the blues is the foundation of American music, then Son House is one of the builders' greatest stones. The acclaimed Mississippi Delta guitarist embodied the tension between fundamentalist religiosity and secular hedonism felt in some of the music's...]]> Haunted Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press), by Michael Norman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16370-haunted-wisconsin-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-michael-norman.html It's the time of year when you expect the nights to get cold and frost to settle on the pumpkins—autumn, when the spirits rise and people enjoy the exhilarating sensation of fear. Right on time, Michael Norman brings us the newest edition of Haunted Wisconsin...]]> Hamburg Backbeat - Where the Beatles Began http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16371-hamburg-backbeat-where-the-beatles-began.html As British rock chronicler Spencer Leigh puts it, the Beatles were a tale of two cities. The first, of course, was the town where they were born, Liverpool. Next came Hamburg, where their early sound was hammered out under the intense pressure...]]> Henry Rollins' World Tour - The Singer and his Camera http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16347-henry-rollins-world-tour-the-singer-and-his-camera.html Henry Rollins has been the muscular, testosterone-powered voice of personal responsibility and bull-headed clarity since Black Flag in the '80s. With its fey, dilettantish implications, “dabbled” is a word one dare not use with him; instead, let's say he's...]]> Paul McComas Turns 50 in Style - Also: Wisconsin Humane Society hosts Jon Katz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16304-paul-mccomas-turns-50-in-style-also-wisconsin-humane-society-hosts-jon-katz.html Paul McComas is a multidimensional performance artist whose high-energy acts have transfixed audiences for more than 20 years...]]> Jane Fonda's Very Public 'Private Life' - New biography examines controversial star http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16305-jane-fondas-very-public-private-life-new-biography-examines-controversial-star.html When Jane Fonda was about to turn 60, she asked her daughter Vanessa to help her put together a short video of her life. Replied Vanessa: “Why don't you just get a chameleon and let it crawl across the screen?”]]> Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Janet Reitman - Book Reviews http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16306-inside-scientology-the-story-of-americas-most-secretive-religion-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-janet-reitman-book-reviews.html Whether Scientology is considered a cult, a confidence racket, a religion or a self-help movement, the organization has reached a crossroads. As Rolling Stone editor Janet Reitman reports, the problems run deeper than Tom Cruise's public meltdown and the...]]> Labor in Wisconsin - The History of a Movement http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16247-labor-in-wisconsin-the-history-of-a-movement.html Thanks to Scott Walker, the dull monotony of Wisconsin politics has become a raging battleground between union busters and union supporters. As Robert W. Ozanne's The Labor Movement in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) reminds...]]> Sebastian Barry's Poetic 'On Canaan's Side' - Best-selling author to speak at Boswell Book Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16248-sebastian-barrys-poetic-on-canaans-side-best-selling-author-to-speak-at-boswell-book-co.html Drinking in History of 'Milwaukee Brews & Booze' - Martin Hintz reads from latest book at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16233-drinking-in-history-of-milwaukee-brews-booze-martin-hintz-reads-from-latest-book-at-boswell.html Though alcohol first arrived in Milwaukee in the baggage of the early French explorers, the history of drinking...]]> 'Dancing Barefoot' With Patti Smith - The story of an outsider who changed rock's direction http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16236-dancing-barefoot-with-patti-smith-the-story-of-an-outsider-who-changed-rocks-direction.html It might be hard for an alt-rock generation not yet born to realize the startling, riveting power of Horses when it appeared in November 1975. Patti Smith's debut album was like lightning in...]]> The Unexamined Orwell - (University of Texas Press) by John Rodden http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16240-the-unexamined-orwell-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-by-john-rodden.html More than 25 years after the year 1984 and 60 years since his death, George Orwell remains one of the world's most important public intellectuals, defined as a smart, literate person engaged in...]]> Read While Stoned - Laughing with the Potheads http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16207-read-while-stoned-laughing-with-the-potheads.html Readers Will Want 'The Unwanteds' - Lisa McMann to talk at West Allis Public Library http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16157-readers-will-want-the-unwanteds-lisa-mcmann-to-talk-at-west-allis-public-library.html Good books appeal to those outside of a single target market, as evidenced by today's many Young Adult (YA) narratives that are satisfying readers of all ages. YA “teen” novels tend to...]]> Is Today's Pop Culture Living in the Past? - Simon Reynolds delivers insightful 'Retromania' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16158-is-todays-pop-culture-living-in-the-past-simon-reynolds-delivers-insightful-retromania.html Nostalgia has become the password for entry into contemporary music. With ease and elegance, Simon Reynolds describes this complex condition in Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past (Faber & Faber) and delivers an insightful polemic...]]> The Hero of a Hundred Fights: Ned Buntline (Union Square Press), edited by R. Clay Reynolds http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16159-the-hero-of-a-hundred-fights-ned-buntline-%2528union-square-press%2529-edited-by-r-clay-reynolds.html A prolific writer of “dime novels,” Edward Zane Carroll Judson, better known by the pen name Ned Buntline, spun the legend of Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok from the sparse threads of actual events. The Hero of a Hundred Fights collects some...]]> When Summer Ended - The Beach Boys' Sad, Brilliant Story http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16120-when-summer-ended-the-beach-boys-sad-brilliant-story.html The Beach Boys are one of rock's most storied groups, and perhaps the most paradoxical. When they raced to the top of the charts in the early '60s, the Beach Boys embodied the dream of Southern California's breezy surfing subculture, yet only one...]]> Wade Rouse Lands in Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16108-wade-rouse-lands-in-milwaukee.html A new compilation of essays by some of today's most renowned humorists celebrates the unrivaled bonds that exist between dog lovers and their furry, four-legged friends. To go with a memorable title, I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship...]]> Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted (Da Capo), by Justin Martin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-16087-genius-of-place-the-life-of-frederick-law-olmsted-%2528da-capo%2529-by-justin-martin.html The brilliant landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted is famous for designing Central Park, but he worked elsewhere in 19th-century America, too. Locally, he laid out the vision for Milwaukee's beautiful Lake Park. As chronicled in Justin Martin...]]> A Wisconsin Woman's Nazi Resistance - Jewish Museum Milwaukee highlights Mildred Fish-Harnack http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15997-a-wisconsin-womans-nazi-resistance-jewish-museum-milwaukee-highlights-mildred-fish-harnack.html Mildred Fish-Harnack, a born-and-bred Wisconsin heroine, was the only American woman to be executed on Hitler's direct...]]> American Indians in Milwaukee (Arcadia), by Antonio J. Doxtator and Renee J. Zakhar http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15998-american-indians-in-milwaukee-%2528arcadia%2529-by-antonio-j-doxtator-and-renee-j-zakhar.html Milwaukee is an Algonquin word, and American Indians lived at the junction of the rivers and the great lake long before Father Marquette made his way to these shores. The latest in the “Images of America” series, American Indians in Milwaukee begins with...]]> When Cleveland Rocked - Lost Photographs of the '50s http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15991-when-cleveland-rocked-lost-photographs-of-the-50s.html Cleveland was briefly the epicenter of rock'n'roll, largely through the role of pathfinding disc jockey Alan Freed. But there were other prominent DJs in the city in those days. Among them, Tommy Edwards, who unlike Freed was never the subject of...]]> Lesley Kagen's Highly Anticipated 'Good Graces' - Next Chapter Bookshop hosts release party http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15909-lesley-kagens-highly-anticipated-good-graces-next-chapter-bookshop-hosts-release-party.html Lesley Kagen looks to build on the phenomenal success of her 2007 novel, Whistling in the Dark, with the sequel Good Graces. The second book again features a captivating, locally based...]]> PS Magazine: The Best of The Preventive Maintenance Monthly (Abrams), by Will Eisner http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15913-ps-magazine-the-best-of-the-preventive-maintenance-monthly-%2528abrams%2529-by-will-eisner.html Will Eisner, regarded as one of the pre-eminent stylists of 20th-century comics, is a good storyteller to boot. He remains best known for his 1940s series The Spirit, which set the bar for superheroes for decades to come. From 1951 through 1971, Eisner worked for Uncle Sam, producing a series of Army...]]> Saving the Prairie - Persistence and Preservation in the Midwest http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15875-saving-the-prairie-persistence-and-preservation-in-the-midwest.html Much of the Midwest was once covered by prairie, including the land where Chicago now stands. The first thing Bernice Benedict Popelka learned when she became involved in preserving the last virgin land in Cook County was that a prairie isn't simply a grassy field. The unique ecosystem...]]> Escape Into '80s Pop Culture in 'Ready Player One' - Author Ernest Cline to appear at Boswell, Next Chapter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15817-escape-into-80s-pop-culture-in-ready-player-one-author-ernest-cline-to-appear-at-boswell-next-chapter.html An impoverished society so bleak that happiness can only be found by saturating the mind in pseudo-reality: Welcome to America in 2044, as depicted in Ernest Cline's novel...]]> Visionaries of British Folk Reside in 'Electric Eden' - Rob Young delves deep into strange, wonderful characters http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15818-visionaries-of-british-folk-reside-in-electric-eden-rob-young-delves-deep-into-strange-wonderful-characters.html Very few of the artists featured in Rob Young's Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music (Faber & Faber) have left a legacy clearly discernable to anyone who is not a serious observer of the British folk scene of the 1960s. Donovan, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span...]]> Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters (Chicago Review Press), ed. by Paul Maher Jr. - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15819-tom-waits-on-tom-waits-interviews-and-encounters-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-ed-by-paul-maher-jr-book-review.html Tom Waits has granted as few interviews as possible through a career that began in Los Angeles' underbelly in the early '70s; when he sits still for one, usually in a barrio bar or a decrepit diner, he evades questions with studied ease and leads reporters into a labyrinth of yarns and tall tales...]]> Beyond the Pleasure Principle - Inside Dr. Reich's Orgasmatron http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15781-beyond-the-pleasure-principle-inside-dr-reichs-orgasmatron.html Nowadays the notion of sexual healing is more or less taken for granted; a healthy sex life is seen as a prerequisite for psychological health—and with physical benefits beyond the pleasure principle. One of the idea's early and influential proponents, the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich...]]> The League of Extraordinary Taverns - Carl Corey photographs corner bars in Wisconsin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15754-the-league-of-extraordinary-taverns-carl-corey-photographs-corner-bars-in-wisconsin.html Loss and anxiety are the undertones of Carl Corey's Tavern League, an intriguing collection of color photographs from the interiors of Badger State bars. Its publication by the Wisconsin...]]> 'At the Fights' Collects Best Writing on Boxing - Norman Mailer, Jack London among selected authors http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15755-at-the-fights-collects-best-writing-on-boxing-norman-mailer-jack-london-among-selected-authors.html Pro boxing kills. Emile Griffith beat Benny “Kid” Paret into his grave. Sugar Ray Robinson punched Jimmy Doyle to death. Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, in a WBA title defense, killed South Korea's Duk Koo Kim with the infliction of a right, subdural hematoma. The human head...]]> Woody Guthrie: American Radical (University of Illinois Press), by Will Kaufman - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15756-woody-guthrie-american-radical-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-will-kaufman-book-review.html Everyone who knows Woody Guthrie's music links him with the left, but in the aftermath of McCarthyism, it was more convenient to portray him as a secular saint of the common man rather than highlight his ties to the Communist Party. In his new biography, American culture professor...]]> Jungle Book - One Woman in Search of the Mayas http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15726-jungle-book-one-woman-in-search-of-the-mayas.html Mary Jo McConahay fell in love with the native people of the rainforest straddling the border of Mexico and Guatemala through an exhibit at Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology. It was 1973 and many descendents of the Maya, the great lost civilization of Central America...]]> 'You're Next' Up Next at Mystery One - Gregg Hurwitz to sign copies of latest thriller http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15685-youre-next-up-next-at-mystery-one-gregg-hurwitz-to-sign-copies-of-latest-thriller.html Mike Wingate, a young man with a murky past, is at the center of a new thriller by best-selling author Gregg Hurwitz. You're Next is a heart-wrenching adventure that opens with a chilling scene of 4-year-old Mike being abandoned by his father at an unfamiliar playground, setting the stage for the tale's page-turning suspense...]]> Finding Elvis Presley, the 'Reluctant Rebel' - Milwaukee authors explore cultural impact of the King http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15686-finding-elvis-presley-the-reluctant-rebel-milwaukee-authors-explore-cultural-impact-of-the-king.html The late rock critic Lester Bangs once predicted, “We will never again agree on anything the way we agreed on Elvis.” The harmonic convergence that was Elvis Presley's career continues to be turned over and explored, reflecting culture as we were and as we are. Rock 'n' roll was supposed...]]> 'Shame the Devil' Shines Light on Fanny Fern - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15631-shame-the-devil-shines-light-on-fanny-fern-book-preview.html Fanny Fern, celebrated newspaper columnist and author in the 1850s-'70s, was born in 1811 as Sara Willis Parton. Her writings captured the attention...]]> Christine Todd's 'Pins' Sticks It to Controlling Men - Whimsy, humor and anger drive debut novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15632-christine-todds-pins-sticks-it-to-controlling-men-whimsy-humor-and-anger-drive-debut-novel.html Molly Makepeace Jamison, a mid-30s Chicago-area suburbanite, wakes in the morning to find her husband, Bob, dead in bed beside her, one day after learning that he has been having “illicit nooners” with a friend named Shirley. Molly is shocked, of course, but also feeling guilty...]]> Lastingness: The Art of Old Age (Grand Central), by Nicholas Delbanco http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15633-lastingness-the-art-of-old-age-%2528grand-central%2529-by-nicholas-delbanco.html Novelist and essayist Nicholas Delbanco hopes that artistic impulses need not be depleted with age. In Lastingness, Delbanco examines art in relation to aging and finds that, unlike with athletics, growing old doesn't have to be the end. Of course, he finds exception...]]> Preachin' The Blues: The Life & Times Of Son House by Daniel Beaumont - (Oxford University Press) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15574-preachin-the-blues-the-life-times-of-son-house-by-daniel-beaumont-%2528oxford-university-press%2529.html Daniel Beuamont is a brilliant historian and critic and his Preachin' The Blues: The Life & Times of Son House (Oxford University Press) is an absolute necessity for everyone interested in the origins of the blues. Beaumont delineates a life and career marked by internal demons and external realities...]]> John Schissler Jr.'s Long Path to America - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15575-john-schissler-jrs-long-path-to-america-book-review.html 'The Vault' Filled With Explosive Thrills - Boyd Morrison to visit Mystery One Bookstore http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15492-the-vault-filled-with-explosive-thrills-boyd-morrison-to-visit-mystery-one-bookstore.html An international mystery by thrill-writer Boyd Morrison blends explosive, fast-paced 21st-century exploits with centuries-old intrigue. The Vault begins with an exhilarating high-stakes robbery that leaves all but one conspirator dead. The sole survivor takes possession of a 2,000-year-old Greek manuscript penned...]]> Empire and Assassination in President McKinley's Time - Scott Miller studies the 'Dawn of the American Century' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15493-empire-and-assassination-in-president-mckinleys-time-scott-miller-studies-the-dawn-of-the-american-century.html Our libraries do not suffer from a shortage of books about President William McKinley, the Spanish-American War or the dawn of American imperialism, yet Scott Miller's The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century (Random House) is a welcome and useful addition. It examines two swelling historical forces of the late 19th century to explain what led to the assassination of the president at the Pan-American Exposition...]]> Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World (Viking), by John Szwed - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15494-alan-lomax-the-man-who-recorded-the-world-%2528viking%2529-by-john-szwed-book-review.html Harassed by Southern thugs early in life for recording the songs and stories of black folk, Alan Lomax was pilloried before his death in 2002 by academic cultural studies creeps as well as accusations that he unfairly exploited the black artists he discovered, especially Lead Belly. In The Man Who Recorded the World, Columbia University...]]> Rescuing Regina: The Battle to Save a Friend from Deportation and Death (Lawrence Hill Books), by Josephe Marie Flynn - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15471-rescuing-regina-the-battle-to-save-a-friend-from-deportation-and-death-%2528lawrence-hill-books%2529-by-josephe-marie-flynn-book-review.html Jennifer Shaw's Stunning Pictures Tell 'Hurricane Story' - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15430-jennifer-shaws-stunning-pictures-tell-hurricane-story-book-preview.html Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating storms to ever strike the Gulf Coast, ultimately displacing more than 1 million residents. Much of the destruction occurred in the New Orleans area, prompting that city's first...]]> 'Fire and Rain' Examines 1970 Musical Transition - David Browne repackages old information in entertaining new book http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15431-fire-and-rain-examines-1970-musical-transition-david-browne-repackages-old-information-in-entertaining-new-book.html David Browne's Fire and Rain (Da Capo) sets out to understand the 1970 transition from the rock of the 1960s to the softer sounds of the '70s. He focuses on three early-'70s artists that helped to shape this period: James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) and Simon & Garfunkel...]]> American Recordings (Continuum), by Tony Tost - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15432-american-recordings-%2528continuum%2529-by-tony-tost-book-review.html Sometimes labored in his effort to mix academia with the street, Tony Tost veers from profound to crass in his analysis of Johnny Cash's persona-shaping CD, American Recordings. The latest contributor to the “33 1/3” series, which offers close readings of particular and significant albums, Tost makes many excellent...]]> Sex and Mom and God - A Memoir of the Christian Right http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15396-sex-and-mom-and-god-a-memoir-of-the-christian-right.html The literature of self-rebuke is not as voluminous as it should be, given the catastrophes inflicted on the world by literate people with big ideas. Frank Schaeffer, who emerged in the 1980s with the Young Turks of the Christian Right, has grown into rueful middle age with his sense of sarcasm sharpened...]]> 'Made to Write' Reflects on Life - Milwaukee's Calderone-Stewart to appear at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15367-made-to-write-reflects-on-life-milwaukees-calderone-stewart-to-appear-at-boswell.html In Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart's Made to Write, 51-year-old Nellie Massa decides to enter a religious order. First, however, she must reflect on her life through correspondence...]]> 'Druggist of Auschwitz' Recounts Nazi Horrors - Schlesak mixes fact with fictional narrative in gripping tales http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15368-druggist-of-auschwitz-recounts-nazi-horrors-schlesak-mixes-fact-with-fictional-narrative-in-gripping-tales.html “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” For this reason and others, readers continue to seek out books recounting tales from Nazi Germany's mass extermination of Jews, the Romani (gypsies), homosexuals and other groups in Europe in the 1930s and '40s. One of the latest...]]> Nica's Dream: The Life and Legend of the Jazz Baroness (W.W. Norton), by David Kastin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15370-nicas-dream-the-life-and-legend-of-the-jazz-baroness-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-david-kastin-book-review.html Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk were inspired to write songs in her honor. And when Charlie Parker died in her hotel suite, gossip columnists and headline writers were busy for weeks. Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild de Koenigswarter, a baroness from one of the world's wealthiest families...]]> Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's Henchmen Fled Justice (Oxford University Press), by Gerald Steinacher - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15293-nazis-on-the-run-how-hitlers-henchmen-fled-justice-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-gerald-steinacher-book-review.html After World War II, the legend grew of a powerful, shadowy organization, ODESSA, dedicated to sheltering Nazi fugitives from justice. No less than Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal believed in the ODESSA conspiracy. University of Nebraska-Lincoln history professor Gerald Steinacher begs to differ, doubting...]]> 'The Borrower' Is Book Lovers' Delight - Rebecca Makkai discusses debut novel at Next Chapter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15269-the-borrower-is-book-lovers-delight-rebecca-makkai-discusses-debut-novel-at-next-chapter.html Book lovers are sure to savor The Borrower, the debut novel by Chicago writer Rebecca Makkai. Main character Lucy is a children's librarian who delights in recommending just the right book and whose intelligent speech is peppered with literary references. But this discontented 26-year-old woman didn't...]]> Twesigye Jackson Kaguri to Speak at Boswell - Also: Douglas Armstrong visits Books & Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15217-twesigye-jackson-kaguri-to-speak-at-boswell-also-douglas-armstrong-visits-books-co.html If you are wondering whether one person can really make a difference in the world, look no further than Twesigye Jackson Kaguri. In A School for My Village, Kaguri provides...]]> Looking Back at 'The Siege of Washington' - Lockwoods detail when the North nearly lost the Civil War http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15218-looking-back-at-the-siege-of-washington-lockwoods-detail-when-the-north-nearly-lost-the-civil-war.html This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War and has been the occasion for many books on a conflict that continues to fascinate Americans. One of the war's great puzzles was why the Confederacy failed to seize Washington, D.C., defended in the early weeks by...]]> Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy Shaped the Response to 9/11 (Temple University Press), by Athan G. Theoharis - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15219-abuse-of-power-how-cold-war-surveillance-and-secrecy-policy-shaped-the-response-to-9_11-%2528temple-university-press%2529-by-athan-g-theoharis-book-review.html Perhaps no one has investigated the FBI more thoroughly than Marquette University history professor Athan Theoharis, who pursued Freedom of Information Act document requests over many decades to assemble a partial record of the agency's secrets. In Abuse of Power, Theoharis argues that the Patriot Act and other...]]> Heartbreaking Tragedy in Strauss' 'Half a Life' - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15134-heartbreaking-tragedy-in-strauss-half-a-life-book-preview.html Author Darin Strauss' searing Half a Life is more than a moving portrait of a tragic accident. This powerful, award-winning memoir is also a tale of hope, a coming-of-age journey of a boy becoming a man, and a fresh look at what it means to be human...]]> '33 Revolutions Per Minute': Too Many Revolutions? - Dorian Lynskey offers a history of protest songs http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15121-33-revolutions-per-minute-too-many-revolutions-dorian-lynskey-offers-a-history-of-protest-songs.html By Dorian Lynskey's definition, a protest song “addresses a political issue in a way which aligns itself with the underdog.” This is clear enough. But the wide-ranging material in his 33 Revolutions Per Minute (Ecco Press) ultimately proves limiting. The 660-page book is comprehensive and will be a lasting...]]> Out of the Vinyl Deeps (University of Minnesota Press), by Ellen Willis - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15122-out-of-the-vinyl-deeps-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-by-ellen-willis-book-review.html Rock critics often carried on like a boys' club (but then, so did most rock bands). An important, often overlooked female voice from the early years, Ellen Willis, became The New Yorker's first pop music critic in 1968. Sensing that the music was losing its edge along with its social significance, she moved on in the...]]> 'Hell Is Empty' Full of Riveting Adventure - Craig Johnson visits Next Chapter Bookshop http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15071-hell-is-empty-full-of-riveting-adventure-craig-johnson-visits-next-chapter-bookshop.html Exploring 'Humor in Hitler's Germany' - Rudolph Herzog examines comedy in Nazi era http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15041-exploring-humor-in-hitlers-germany-rudolph-herzog-examines-comedy-in-nazi-era.html Is it permissible to laugh at Adolf Hitler? The opinion of Rudolph Herzog and many others is that not only is it permissible, but it is a necessary reaction to Hitler and all tyrants. In any event, Germans always did laugh, even during Hitler's reign—but carefully...]]> Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution (Backbeat Books), by Jason Draper - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-15042-prince-chaos-disorder-and-revolution-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-jason-draper-book-review.html Prince was perhaps the most fascinating, confounding figure to emerge from '80s music. As shown in Jason Draper's perceptive critical analysis, Prince cast himself as black and white, spiritual and carnal, rock and R&B; in private he was a sexually profligate recluse. He was compulsively controlling. Capable of being...]]> Lynden Sculpture Garden's Poetic Inspiration - Plus: Boswell hosts award-winning author Danielle Sosin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14985-lynden-sculpture-gardens-poetic-inspiration-plus-boswell-hosts-award-winning-author-danielle-sosin.html Nestled within 40 acres of parkland, Milwaukee's Lynden Sculpture Garden is the backdrop for an upcoming poetry workshop titled The Boundaries Between Visual Art and Text: Sculpting Language and...]]> Schomer Lichtner 'In the Moment' - Montgomery details the life of beloved Wisconsin artist http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14986-schomer-lichtner-in-the-moment-montgomery-details-the-life-of-beloved-wisconsin-artist.html Schomer Lichtner never would have painted cows in order to “brand” himself as a Wisconsin artist. His subjects came about organically, not through any business scheme. In her profusely illustrated account, In the Moment: The Life and Art of Schomer Lichtner (Museum of Wisconsin Art), Susan J...]]> Molotov's Magic Lantern: Travels in Russian History (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Rachel Polonsky - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14987-molotovs-magic-lantern-travels-in-russian-history-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-rachel-polonsky-book-review.html When British writer Rachel Polonsky moved to a luxurious Moscow condo, she gained access to the apartment once occupied by Vyacheslav Molotov, a confidant of Stalin who signed off on the murder of millions of people. What surprised her was the discovery of Molotov's library, a bibliophile's delight with...]]> Dairyland Stories - Caring for the Cow http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14988-dairyland-stories-caring-for-the-cow.html All of us know the dairy industry is important to Wisconsin; our (hopefully) contented cows have become the state's totem more so than our official mascot, the badger. Edward Janus walks a step further by declaring: “I believe the dairy cow created Wisconsin...]]> The Redemption of Johnny Cash - From Schmaltz to Alt Rock Star http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14913-the-redemption-of-johnny-cash-from-schmaltz-to-alt-rock-star.html Johnny Cash became an elder statesman of alt country, alt rock and all things alternative by the time of his death in 2003. Ten years earlier few could have foreseen...]]> Local Entrepreneur Offers LinkedIn 'Power Formula' - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14914-local-entrepreneur-offers-linkedin-power-formula-book-preview.html When LinkedIn first appeared as an online networking site for the business community, naysayers dismissed its potential power. Among those skeptics was author Wayne Breitbarth, who initially thought that LinkedIn, today's foremost tool for building a Web-based Rolodex...]]> Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (PublicAffairs), by Jason K. Stearns - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14915-dancing-in-the-glory-of-monsters-the-collapse-of-the-congo-and-the-great-war-of-africa-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-jason-k-stearns-book-review.html Nearly a million lives were lost in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994; afterward, the situation in Central Africa only worsened. Since 1996, a civil war in the Congo has killed another 5 million people in a vicious cycle of vengeance. With Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, human rights activist Jason Stearns writes a vivid...]]> Heroes of Rock - Guitar Player's Picks of the '70s http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14846-heroes-of-rock-guitar-players-picks-of-the-70s.html Anyone who ever aspired to being a guitar hot shot picked up Guitar Player at one time or another, and even just plain music fans sometimes read it for the interviews with well known and influential figures in rock and jazz. The magazine's chief, Michael Molenda, culled through the back issues and edited a collection of...]]> Milwaukee Author Debuts With 'Annie Times Four' - Also: Next Chapter Bookshop hosts Mary Doria Russell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14834-milwaukee-author-debuts-with-annie-times-four-also-next-chapter-bookshop-hosts-mary-doria-russell.html Though the 1970s marked a decade of growth for women's rights, it was still a time in which birth control was not readily available. This sets the scene for unseasoned teen Annie Spring, who finds herself pregnant at 14. In the eloquent first novel Annie Times Four, Milwaukee-area native Flora Milyn...]]> Bob Dylan's New York - Sawyers brings the Big Apple of the '60s to life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14835-bob-dylans-new-york-sawyers-brings-the-big-apple-of-the-60s-to-life.html New York's luster as the world's cultural capital, a city of lights brighter than Paris, faded a little as rents climbed out of reach for starving artists and the de-centering of culture proceeded at a dizzying pace along the World Wide Web...]]> Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway (Oxford University Press), by Alyn Shipton) - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14836-hi-de-ho-the-life-of-cab-calloway-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-alyn-shipton%2529-book-review.html Cab Calloway was the wild man of swing whose kinetic act foreshadowed Prince some 50 years earlier. According to British music writer Alyn Shipton, Calloway also invented the “moonwalk” dance move (maybe we'll never know whether Michael Jackson rediscovered those moves purely by chance). Shipton's...]]> Art in the Public Face? - A History of Graffiti http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14770-art-in-the-public-face-a-history-of-graffiti.html Art museums and galleries have embraced graffiti as long as it's confined to carefully curated shows; spontaneous acts of graffiti on their walls could provoke grave consternation. Such is the paradox that eludes Roger Gastman and Caleb Nelson in their massive and profusely illustrated tome, The History of...]]> 'When Men Are Young' Explores Bonds of Brotherhood - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14774-when-men-are-young-explores-bonds-of-brotherhood-book-preview.html A trio of close-knit confidants—Kevin, Zach and Mike—spent their lives growing up together in Milwaukee. On the day of their college graduation, their futures should seem promising and bright. Tragically, it is on this day that these three friends must confront a crisis so unexpected and catastrophic that...]]> Clarence Darrow's Life as an 'American Iconoclast' - Andrew Kersten's take on famed attorney for the have-nots http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14775-clarence-darrows-life-as-an-american-iconoclast-andrew-kerstens-take-on-famed-attorney-for-the-have-nots.html I now have two books on my shelves with “American Iconoclast” in their titles, Andrew E. Kersten's Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast (Hill & Wang) and Marion Elizabeth Rodgers' life of H.L. Mencken. They are fitting titles in both cases, for the two men were, besides being friends, dedicated to...]]> The Comics: The Complete Collection (Abrams ComicArts), by Brian Walker - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14776-the-comics-the-complete-collection-%2528abrams-comicarts%2529-by-brian-walker-book-review.html Brian Walker was a pioneering historian of comics for a pair of books that explored the popular art form pre- and post-World War II. The Complete Collection combines both books into a hefty coffee-table tome. Walker does great work clearing away misconceptions over the origin of comics, reminding us that...]]> Chronicling Austin Music - Writing About a Great City http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14714-chronicling-austin-music-writing-about-a-great-city.html The staff of the Austin Chronicle didn't have to search far to fill their music section when the alternative weekly was founded in 1981. Music was all around, and not only because the city had become an outlaw country mecca a decade earlier. “It's in the air, in the intense unending heat of summer, in the brief cold of a...]]> 'The Last Stand' Sheds New Light on Custer - Boswell hosts best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14690-the-last-stand-sheds-new-light-on-custer-boswell-hosts-best-selling-author-nathaniel-philbrick.html Because early American history is often entangled in misinformation, modern historians are obliged to try to differentiate fact from fiction. Nathaniel Philbrick, recognized as a maritime expert following his best-selling chronicles Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, heads for land in a narrative depiction of the infamous...]]> Mark Blake Shares 'The Untold Story of Queen' - Biography peels back layers of iconic band http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14691-mark-blake-shares-the-untold-story-of-queen-biography-peels-back-layers-of-iconic-band.html Queen was a popular and prolific music factory, selling more than 300 million albums across the planet. With sales numbers second only to the Beatles, Queen ruled the airways and the concert circuits. According to Mark Blake's Is This the Real Life? The Untold Story of Queen (Da Capo Press)...]]> What Makes Civilization? The Ancient Near East & the Future of the West (Oxford University Press), by David Wengrow - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14692-what-makes-civilization-the-ancient-near-east-the-future-of-the-west-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-david-wengrow-book-review.html David Wengrow tries to do a great deal with a small book. An archaeologist at University College London, Wengrow not only synthesizes what's new in our understanding of what's old, but also proposes an explanation for the fascination in the modern West with walking mummies and aristocratic vampires...]]> 'The Invisible Bridge' Marks a Powerful Debut - Author Julie Orringer to visit Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14619-the-invisible-bridge-marks-a-powerful-debut-author-julie-orringer-to-visit-boswell.html Julie Orringer's impassioned first novel documents an oft-forgotten tragedy within the familiar literary topic of World War II and the Holocaust. Mixing religion and historical fact with a compelling narrative, The Invisible Bridge paints a stunning picture of world...]]> 'Bob Dylan By Greil Marcus' - Writings illuminate artist and critic http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14620-bob-dylan-by-greil-marcus-writings-illuminate-artist-and-critic.html If any critic has permission to enter the linear progression of Bob Dylan's presence in American popular music through a quirky but at once astute perspective, it is Greil Marcus. Often mixing in his own personal experience of Dylan's music, he gives an...]]> The Other Eighties: A Secret History of America in the Age of Reagan (Hill & Wang), by Bradford Martin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14621-the-other-eighties-a-secret-history-of-america-in-the-age-of-reagan-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-bradford-martin-book-review.html If the 1980s were the "Age of Reagan," Bryant University history professor Bradford Martin reminds us that not everyone sang the Gipper's tune. The Other Eighties is a succinct overview of the opposition and its effects. Example: Although the nuclear freeze...]]> Events to Honor Earth Day and National Poetry Month - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14527-events-to-honor-earth-day-and-national-poetry-month-book-preview.html The saying "April showers bring May flowers" comes with no certainty; what is certain, however, is that each April the beauty and allure found in poetry and the environment will be commemorated no matter what the weather brings. National Poetry Month and...]]> Allegory Abounds in Téa Obreht's Masterful 'The Tiger's Wife' - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14528-allegory-abounds-in-tea-obrehts-masterful-the-tigers-wife-book-review.html Twenty-five-year-old Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife (Random House) has garnered vast praise and landed on best-seller and best new novel lists alike. Much is being said about Obreht's youth—and it is remarkable that such a beautiful, wise piece of...]]> Lisa Scottoline's Latest Explosive Thriller - 'Save Me' author to appear at Books & Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14460-lisa-scottolines-latest-explosive-thriller-save-me-author-to-appear-at-books-co.html Unimaginable horror explodes at a suburban elementary school in the recently released novel Save Me. Concerned, slightly overbearing mother Rose volunteers as a lunch monitor at the school, mostly...]]> Bernie Gunther Returns in 'Field Gray' - Novelist Philip Kerr revisits his hard-boiled sleuth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14461-bernie-gunther-returns-in-field-gray-novelist-philip-kerr-revisits-his-hard-boiled-sleuth.html The epigraph to Philip Kerr's seventh Bernie Gunther novel, Field Gray (Putnam), is from Graham Greene's The Quiet American: "I don't like Ike." The choice of epigraph is as apt as it is pointed, for Greene did not like Americans, period, and neither does Bernie. But then, Bernie does not like many nationalities. And with good reason...]]> Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America (Oxford University Press), by John McMillian - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14462-smoking-typewriters-the-sixties-underground-press-and-the-rise-of-alternative-media-in-america-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-john-mcmillian-book-review.html Alternative publications existed long before The Village Voice debuted in 1955, but Georgia State University history professor John McMillian is correct to stress the important legacy of 1960s "underground" papers. Smoking Typewriters is a supportive but not uncritical assessment of the era's radical left press. Like the political movement it manifested, the papers were often...]]> Painting the Strike - Action in Brush Strokes http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14447-painting-the-strike-action-in-brush-strokes.html Robert Koehler was an accomplished 19th century artist with a trans-Atlantic career. Born in working class Hamburg, his family arrived in Milwaukee in 1854 where his father founded a small machine shop. Koehler attended Munich's Royal Academy and...]]> Wisconsin's Literary Conservationists - Milwaukee library discusses August Derleth and Aldo Leopold http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14391-wisconsins-literary-conservationists-milwaukee-library-discusses-august-derleth-and-aldo-leopold.html Soon Wisconsinites across the state will emerge from indoor hibernation with a grateful appreciation for their natural surroundings...]]> Understanding 'The Last Days of the Working Class' - Jefferson Cowie provides back-story to current political maneuvers http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14392-understanding-the-last-days-of-the-working-class-jefferson-cowie-provides-back-story-to-current-political-maneuvers.html As the assault on organized labor continues in Madison, protesters and observers alike have had great difficulty in explaining why many members of the state's working class voted for Scott Walker back in November—and why some still support him even...]]> Literary Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Literature (Skyhorse Publishing), by Alex Palmer - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14393-literary-miscellany-everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-literature-%2528skyhorse-publishing%2529-by-alex-palmer-book-review.html The novels of Jane Austen and other authors of that time period were denounced by the era's cultural elite, including poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who claimed that reading their work "occasions in time the...]]> Up Against the Wall - Desperate Times in the Territories http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14369-up-against-the-wall-desperate-times-in-the-territories.html The "security barrier" Israel erected during the past decade to separate itself from West Bank Palestinians has diminished terrorist strikes and thwarted the opportunity for lasting peace. Aside from its physical ugliness, the wall violated internationally recognized boundaries by zigzagging across the land to protect...]]> Boswell Book Co. Goes 'Beyond DiMaggio' - Baldassaro explores Italian Americans in baseball http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14304-boswell-book-co-goes-beyond-dimaggio-baldassaro-explores-italian-americans-in-baseball.html Just in time for Major League Baseball's Opening Day, retired UW-Milwaukee faculty member Lawrence Baldassaro provides readers with a story of America's national pastime by exploring the role that Italian Americans have played throughout the history of the game. Casual baseball fans, and probably even...]]> Focusing on 'The Never-Ending Revival' - Scully examines the role of Rounder Records http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14305-focusing-on-the-never-ending-revival-scully-examines-the-role-of-rounder-records.html The revival of traditional music in America by young, urban singer/scholars began in the postwar years and peaked in the early to mid-'60s. Even as we have come to another revival...]]> The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Paul Davies - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14306-the-eerie-silence-renewing-our-search-for-alien-intelligence-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-paul-davies-book-review.html Astronomers have been sweeping the sky with radio telescopes since 1960, listening for signals from alien civilizations. In his provocative study The Eerie Silence, astrobiologist Paul Davies asks probing questions about the preconceptions behind SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence): Why would we assume...]]> Remembering SXSW - Chronicling a Great Music Festival http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14301-remembering-sxsw-chronicling-a-great-music-festival.html Austin is well situated as the site for one of the world's most important music festivals. The weather is warm, the students are numerous and PBS's "Austin City Limits" called attention to its thriving outlaw country scene. But the South By Southwest festival had no assurances of success in its early years. As recounted...]]> UWM Hosts Poet, Dance Critic Jack Anderson - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14238-uwm-hosts-poet-dance-critic-jack-anderson-book-preview.html Jack Anderson, witty and sharp-eyed poet and dance writer, has childhood roots in Milwaukee. Anderson was born in 1935 and, though he has long been a resident of New York City, often writes of his boyhood...]]> To Improve Memory, Go 'Moonwalking With Einstein' - Joshua Foer explores 'The Art and Science of Remembering Everything' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14239-to-improve-memory-go-moonwalking-with-einstein-joshua-foer-explores-the-art-and-science-of-remembering-everything.html Forgetting is easy. But not forgetting lies in a curious and complex place, journalist Joshua Foer tells us in Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Penguin), a beguiling exploration of the manifold aspects of memory and memorizing...]]> American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution (Da Capo), by Harlow Giles Unger - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14240-american-tempest-how-the-boston-tea-party-sparked-a-revolution-%2528da-capo%2529-by-harlow-giles-unger-book-review.html The original "Tea Party Patriots" have entered American folklore as defiant rebels against tyranny, striking a blow against taxation without representation. Harlow Giles Unger is not entirely impressed. In American Tempest, the prolific biographer of America's founders finds much to criticize about the Boston merchants...]]> Maritime Milwaukee (Arcadia Publishing), by the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14227-maritime-milwaukee-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-the-wisconsin-marine-historical-society-book-review.html Maritime Milwaukee (Arcadia Publishing), by the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society]]> 'Oatmeal' in Book Form - Web cartoonist Matthew Inman to visit Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14159-oatmeal-in-book-form-web-cartoonist-matthew-inman-to-visit-boswell.html "Unique," "unusual" and "hilarious" only begin to describe TheOatmeal.com, where wry observations and innocent-looking drawings on the absurdities of life have garnered millions of laughs since the site's debut in 2009. Site creator Matthew Inman, a 28-year-old web designer turned web cartoonist, has seen...]]> Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by James Miller - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14160-examined-lives-from-socrates-to-nietzsche-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-james-miller-book-review.html Even if part of the fault lies with the abstruseness favored by some of its practitioners, the decline in respect for philosophy during the last century leaves an unfortunate gap in social discourse. We live in times when practicality and productivity are valued above all else, and the search for meaning is often relegated to...]]> Milwaukee's Rich History of Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14090-milwaukees-rich-history-of-movie-theaters-bowling-alleys-book-preview.html Two fresh entries in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series give readers a peek into Wisconsin history through vintage movie theaters and turn-of-the...]]> Leonard Cohen's 'Remarkable Life' - Anthony Reynolds chronicles one-of-a-kind poet, novelist and musician http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14091-leonard-cohens-remarkable-life-anthony-reynolds-chronicles-one-of-a-kind-poet-novelist-and-musician.html Leonard Cohen may be the only important singer-songwriter who arrived on the music scene already recognized as a significant poet and novelist. But as shown in Anthony Reynolds' biography, Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life (Omnibus Press), the singer-songwriter label, suggesting saccharine...]]> Cecil B. DeMille's 'Empire of Dreams' - Scott Eyman reviews life of iconic filmmaker http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14049-cecil-b-demilles-empire-of-dreams-scott-eyman-reviews-life-of-iconic-filmmaker.html Cecil B. DeMille gave us the Ten Commandments by grace of Charlton Heston's descent from Sinai. He parted the Red Sea for us, as graphically pictured on the dust jacket of Scott Eyman's carefully detailed new...]]> Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War (Simon & Schuster), by A.J. Langguth - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14050-driven-west-andrew-jackson-and-the-trail-of-tears-to-the-civil-war-%2528simon-schuster%2529-by-aj-langguth-book-review.html With a lifelong career of cruelty to American Indians and his role in the genocidal Trail of Tears, which forced the Cherokees from their towns and farms in Georgia to the badlands of the West, Andrew Jackson is perhaps the U.S. president most likely to face a human rights tribunal had he lived today. And yet he still...]]> Lori Horbas on Aldo Leopold, 'Land Ethic' - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14032-lori-horbas-on-aldo-leopold-land-ethic-book-preview.html Decades before environmentalism emerged as a leading social issue, wilderness preservationist Aldo Leopold was professing his "land ethic" philosophy that encouraged the public to live in harmony with the physical world through greater reverence toward the land. Leopold's innovative ideals of eco-protection and...]]> Outcast Blues - Tom Waits and Michael O'Brien on the Homeless http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-14024-outcast-blues-tom-waits-and-michael-obrien-on-the-homeless.html Civil War for Children - Heroes from the Badger State http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13952-civil-war-for-children-heroes-from-the-badger-state.html T.C. Boyle to Appear at Boswell Book Co. - Best-selling author talks ‘When the Killing's Done' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13948-tc-boyle-to-appear-at-boswell-book-co-best-selling-author-talks-lswhen-the-killings-done.html When the Killing’s Done is a timely and socially conscious look at 21st-century idealism and the asperities people surmount in order to live up to the values they espouse. This powerful new novel by T.C. Boyle spotlights...]]> ‘Soul Mining’ With Daniel Lanois - Famed music producer offers engineering, compositional insight http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13949-lssoul-miningrs-with-daniel-lanois-famed-music-producer-offers-engineering-compositional-insight.html Producer culture in American popular music took off with Rick Rubin, who restored or recreated Johnny Cash as the folk-singing Man in Black. Rubin failed to entirely reinvent Neil Diamond and Kris Kristofferson, but with his imprimatur those artists received some kind of renewed pretense regarding...]]> Alan Arkin: An Improvised Life (Da Capo Press), by Alan Arkin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13950-alan-arkin-an-improvised-life-%2528da-capo-press%2529-by-alan-arkin-book-review.html The title of Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin's new memoir, An Improvised Life, is slightly misleading. The book isn't so much about Arkin's life as it is about improvisation, a theatrical art form he encountered upon landing a gig at the nascent Second City in Chicago. It's clear that Arkin is, well, smitten...]]> Lisa Paul Talks ‘Swimming in the Daylight’ - The gift of hope in Cold War-era Soviet Union http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13867-lisa-paul-talks-lsswimming-in-the-daylightrs-the-gift-of-hope-in-cold-war-era-soviet-union.html In 1983 Lisa Paul, a Russian studies major, accepted a job in Moscow as a nanny for an American executive with Caterpillar. She looked forward to an exciting, yearlong paid vacation...]]> ‘Frank: The Voice’ a Stylish Sinatra Biography - James Kaplan covers first 40 years of iconic singer's life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13868-lsfrank-the-voicers-a-stylish-sinatra-biography-james-kaplan-covers-first-40-years-of-iconic-singers-life.html Frank: The Voice (Doubleday), James Kaplan’s terrific new look at the most iconic singer of the 20th century, is a refreshing example of how an upscale celebrity biography can remain stylishly objective—reading like good fiction while capturing the vernacular pungency that humanizes...]]> The End of Discovery (Oxford University Press), by Russell Stannard - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13869-the-end-of-discovery-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-russell-stannard-book-review.html In past centuries some scientists mistakenly thought that everything important was already known. In The End of Discovery, physicist Russell Stannard persuasively argues that the cosmos contains more than we will ever know, so much that we are already approaching the barrier of human comprehension...]]> From Berlin to Barcelona With ‘The Second Son’ - Concluding volume in Jonathan Rabb's ‘Berlin Trilogy' traverses Europe on the brink of war http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13789-from-berlin-to-barcelona-with-lsthe-second-sonrs-concluding-volume-in-jonathan-rabbs-lsberlin-trilogy-traverses-europe-on-the-brink-of-war.html In the (admittedly small) thriller subgenre of historical European noir, two names dominate: Philip Kerr and Alan Furst. Bringing up the rear and not closing fast, if The Second Son (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is any evidence, is Jonathan Rabb. Of course, Rabb is something...]]> Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America (Spiegel & Grau), by Matt Taibbi - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13790-griftopia-bubble-machines-vampire-squids-and-the-long-con-that-is-breaking-america-%2528spiegel-grau%2529-by-matt-taibbi-book-review.html In Griftopia, Matt Taibbi rails at the culture of greed that submerged American society and led to the economic meltdown of 2008. He skewers a mob of malevolent figures, including CNBC’s Rick Santelli (“a half-baked PR stooge”) and the incompetent oracle of Wall Street, Alan Greenspan, tracing the insidious...]]> Peter Hessler Talks ‘Country Driving’ at Boswell - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13791-peter-hessler-talks-lscountry-drivingrs-at-boswell-book-preview.html Romance and Wit in ‘Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand’ - Helen Simonson comes to Next Chapter Bookshop http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13721-romance-and-wit-in-lsmajor-pettigrewrss-last-standrs-helen-simonson-comes-to-next-chapter-bookshop.html Major Pettigrew is an archetypal British gentleman: staunchly reserved and properly mannered with a wry English wit (and, of course, a fond appreciation for tea). In Helen Simonson’s debut novel, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, this decorous title character finds himself unexpectedly courting a woman that the local community deems...]]> ‘For Milwaukee Braves Fans Only!’ - An in-depth look at a beloved baseball club http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13722-lsfor-milwaukee-braves-fans-only_rs-an-in-depth-look-at-a-beloved-baseball-club.html Baseball salvation was granted to our city in 1953, when the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee and became an instant hit with the fans. The Milwaukee Braves soon astounded...]]> A Visit From the Goon Squad (Alfred A. Knopf), by Jennifer Egan - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13723-a-visit-from-the-goon-squad-%2528alfred-a-knopf%2529-by-jennifer-egan-book-review.html Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit From the Goon Squad falls in that range between brilliant and overreaching. The plot and narrative intricacies are as challenging as William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. She has a myriad of well-developed characters, and nearly each one gets a shot at his or her own chapter.]]> The Heart of Joyce Carol Oates - Stories of Domestic Nightmare http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13696-the-heart-of-joyce-carol-oates-stories-of-domestic-nightmare.html Joyce Carol Oates is probably more prolific than any prominent author in America. Not since Isaac Asimov has anyone written as much or as often, albeit Asimov’s resume included non-fiction in areas where he demonstrated no special authority and fiction mostly in the science-fiction genre, pounded out with interesting ideas but little literary polish...]]> Words Get Their Due at Woodland Pattern’s Poetry Marathon - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13677-words-get-their-due-at-woodland-patternrss-poetry-marathon-book-preview.html A Nation Within a Nation: Voices of the Oneida in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), edited by L. Gordon McLester III and Laurence M. Hauptman - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13668-a-nation-within-a-nation-voices-of-the-oneida-in-wisconsin-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-edited-by-l-gordon-mclester-iii-and-laurence-m-hauptman-book-review.html Informed, Thorough Analysis of ‘The Songs of Bob Dylan’ - Clinton Heylin chronicles the work of seminal American songwriter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13648-informed-thorough-analysis-of-lsthe-songs-of-bob-dylanrs-clinton-heylin-chronicles-the-work-of-seminal-american-songwriter.html In volume one of Clinton Heylin’s chronicle of a great artist, Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973, the author meticulously cataloged and analyzed Dylan’s canon for the first half of his career. With Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1974-2006 (Chicago Review Press), he brings the subject almost up to date...]]> The Envoy (Da Capo), by Alex Kershaw - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13649-the-envoy-%2528da-capo%2529-by-alex-kershaw-book-review.html The story of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who rescued tens of thousands of Jews in the last year of the Holocaust, has been told many times. What Alex Kershaw adds to the conversation are his own interviews with some of the people Wallenberg saved. Using his...]]> OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word (Oxford University Press), by Allan Metcalf - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13590-ok-the-improbable-story-of-americarss-greatest-word-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-allan-metcalf-book-review.html Mystery One to Host Author Robert Crais - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13575-mystery-one-to-host-author-robert-crais-book-preview.html The Sentry, the impressive new thriller by Robert Crais, is the third in a series featuring the quiet, fearless ex-L.A.P.D. officer and mercenary Joe Pike. The Sentry uses a combination of first-person detective work, shockingly complex plotlines and powerful characters to capture readers right from the start...]]> Keith Richards Reflects on ‘Life’ - An inside look at the legendary musician http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13576-keith-richards-reflects-on-lslifers-an-inside-look-at-the-legendary-musician.html Like his idols among the great Delta bluesmen, Keith Richards is intent on playing music until he dies. In fact, he may have cheated the Grim Reaper a few times already. Fittingly, Richards titled his autobiography Life (Little, Brown). Rock ’n’ roll was in its infancy in the early ’60s, and there were no templates...]]> Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America (Cornell University Press), by David J. Silverman - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13577-red-brethren-the-brothertown-and-stockbridge-indians-and-the-problem-of-race-in-early-america-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-david-j-silverman-book-review.html The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians met every demand the United States imposed on them. They learned English, adopted Christianity and established farms and democratic institutions. And yet they were forced from New England and New York and finally to Wisconsin. With their command of English, they left...]]> The Complete History of Guitar World: 30 Years of Music, Magic, and Six-String Mayhem (Backbeat Books), by the editors of Guitar World - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13530-the-complete-history-of-guitar-world-30-years-of-music-magic-and-six-string-mayhem-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-the-editors-of-guitar-world-book-review.html Music magazines have come and gone, but Guitar World is among the survivors. The Complete History of Guitar World chronicles the publication’s 30-year run and anthologizes dozens of musician interviews—not all of them guitarists. While many of the conversations were gear head gabfests, some of the...]]> Leah Dobkin Captures ‘Soul of a Port’ - Local author to discuss lively, well-researched work at Next Chapter Bookshop http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13519-leah-dobkin-captures-lssoul-of-a-portrs-local-author-to-discuss-lively-well-researched-work-at-next-chapter-bookshop.html Every day a sea of Milwaukeeans passes by the 2300 block of South Lincoln Memorial Drive, the site of the Port of Milwaukee, but few city residents are aware of its rich history or its bustling...]]> Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory (Penguin Press), by Patrick Wilcken - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13520-claude-leacutevi-strauss-the-poet-in-the-laboratory-%2528penguin-press%2529-by-patrick-wilcken-book-review.html For Claude Lévi-Strauss, anthropology was not merely the study of marginal, “primitive” societies, but also the road to discovering the deep laws of human life and nature itself. Patrick Wilcken’s biography is a fascinating and critical exploration of Lévi-Strauss and his world—a time and place when old...]]> American Rose—A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee (Random House), by Karen Abbott - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13471-american-rosemdasha-nation-laid-bare-the-life-and-times-of-gypsy-rose-lee-%2528random-house%2529-by-karen-abbott-book-review.html Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-1970) was America’s most infamous woman—a shrewd, intelligent, sexually provocative Madonna of her day. It’s hard to come to grips with exactly why that was the case in Karen Abbott’s biography, a well-written re-creation of Lee’s life employing the novelist’s tools of inventing...]]> Chrysler’s Quest for the Turbine Car - Steve Lehto examines Space Age technology that never caught on http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13405-chryslerrss-quest-for-the-turbine-car-steve-lehto-examines-space-age-technology-that-never-caught-on.html As a child in the ’60s, I knew that innovations and wonders abounded, and I had no doubt that at some point technology would ensure that cars would fly. While that dream never materialized...]]> Amexica: War Along the Borderline (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Ed Vulliamy - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13406-amexica-war-along-the-borderline-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-ed-vulliamy-book-review.html British journalist Ed Vulliamy writes beautifully about the horror along the Mexican side of the border. The murderous sprees by rival drug cartels flash across the U.S. media from time to time, but receive little perspective. Vulliamy has lived on the border for years and pegs the conflict as postmodern war without...]]> Brookfield Native on ‘Stuff Hipsters Hate’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13330-brookfield-native-on-lsstuff-hipsters-haters-book-preview.html Hipsterdom, a fascinating counterculture of 20- and 30-somethings that rose to distinction by its hatred of everything mainstream while remaining highly market-oriented...]]> Urban Renewal Pros and Cons in ‘Manhattan Projects’ - Samuel Zipp documents the conflict over saving New York City http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13331-urban-renewal-pros-and-cons-in-lsmanhattan-projectsrs-samuel-zipp-documents-the-conflict-over-saving-new-york-city.html For much of her life, architectural critic Jane Jacobs was seen as the leading figure in the movement to stop urban renewal efforts in cities around the world. Her classic 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, is often seen as ground zero for the public campaign that...]]> Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities (W.W. Norton), by Alexander Garvin%u2028 - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13332-public-parks-the-key-to-livable-communities-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-alexander-garvinu2028-book-review.html Alexander Garvin’s thesis on the importance of public parks has wider implications about the value of defending the community, especially public spaces, against the encroachments of the windbags and greed jockeys who seek to privatize everything. Public parks were created in the 19th century to give poor and...]]> Heading for Deep Space - The Life of Syd Barrett http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13329-heading-for-deep-space-the-life-of-syd-barrett.html For years before his death in 2006, Syd Barrett was rock’s greatest living legend, even if he hadn’t played a note of music in ages. Perhaps it was his isolation that allowed the legend to grow. Barrett was the brilliant mind behind the original Pink Floyd, but flamed out from too many of the psychedelic...]]> Ching-In Chen to Read From ‘The Heart’s Traffic’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13247-ching-in-chen-to-read-from-lsthe-heartrss-trafficrs-book-preview.html Poet and community activist Ching-In Chen is scheduled to make an appearance at Woodland Pattern Book Center Dec. 17 as part of the center’s “Redletter” reading series. Ching-In is the author of The Heart’s Traffic, an engrossing book-length sequence of poetry crafted with a passionate voice and riveting...]]> Lee Sandlin Captures the ‘Wicked River’ - Entertaining history about the Mississippi running wild http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13248-lee-sandlin-captures-the-lswicked-riverrs-entertaining-history-about-the-mississippi-running-wild.html “It was as though they were all walking around in a perpetual state of rage.” No, we are not talking about 21st-century Tea Party activists here, but everyday society in the lower Mississippi River Valley in the early 19th century, as marvelously captured by Lee Sandlin’s Wicked River: The Mississippi When It...]]> Nemesis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Philip Roth - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13249-nemesis-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-philip-roth-book-review.html In Philip Roth’s novella Nemesis, Bucky Cantor is a physical education teacher in a Jewish part of Newark struck by a polio epidemic in the stifling summer of 1944. Told in an often-reportorial...]]> Soul of a Port: The History and Evolution of the Port of Milwaukee (The History Press), by Leah Dobkin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13241-soul-of-a-port-the-history-and-evolution-of-the-port-of-milwaukee-%2528the-history-press%2529-by-leah-dobkin.html Butterfly Expert to Stop at Next Chapter Bookshop - Also: Ex Fabula returns to Turner Hall Ballroom http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13164-butterfly-expert-to-stop-at-next-chapter-bookshop-also-ex-fabula-returns-to-turner-hall-ballroom.html Most of us know about the annual patterns of migratory birds that head south to escape the bone-chilling winters of northern climates, but even devout nature lovers may be unfamiliar with a similar flight by butterflies. Mariposa Road, by lepidopterist Robert Michael Pyle, details Pyle’s fervent cross-country tour...]]> Music and Commerce: ‘Fortune’s Fool’ - Fred Goodman examines an industry in crisis http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13165-music-and-commerce-lsfortunerss-foolrs-fred-goodman-examines-an-industry-in-crisis.html Fred Goodman, author of the unrivaled The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerce, has written another unbeatable story...]]> Conversations With Myself (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Nelson Mandela http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13166-conversations-with-myself-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-nelson-mandela.html Nelson Mandela opened his archives for Conversations With Myself, composed of long sequences with snippets from interviews, journal entries, essays and an unpublished prison memoir. The swatches of words, which are of varying interest, help round out our understanding of the regal figure whose lifelong battle...]]> U2 FAQ (Backbeat Books), by John D. Luerssen - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13122-u2-faq-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-john-d-luerssen-book-review.html During the ‘80s U2 became the biggest rock band in the world for the size of their audience and the scale of their sound. By the time they hit their stride with War, the Irish band managed to fuse the stadium scope of the Who with the refined guitar strategy of Television and a message based on the Christian social gospel...]]> Watch for ‘Christmas TV Companion’ at Boswell - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13093-watch-for-lschristmas-tv-companionrs-at-boswell-book-preview.html Among its many joys, December ushers in a wide variety of new and classic holiday TV specials. Joanna Wilson captures the spirit of these seasonal shows in her new book...]]> ‘The Horror! The Horror!’ - Jim Trombetta delves into comic-book censorship of the 1940s and '50s http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13094-lsthe-horror_-the-horror_rs-jim-trombetta-delves-into-comic-book-censorship-of-the-1940s-and-50s.html Like video games, rap and rock ’n’ roll, comic books were once the object of moral panic and scrutiny from congressional committees and public watchdogs. The genuinely concerned and the professional busybodies weren’t worried about “Prince Valiant” or “Dick Tracy,” but by an...]]> December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died (Backbeat Books), by Keith Elliot Greenberg - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13095-december-8-1980-the-day-john-lennon-died-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-keith-elliot-greenberg-book-review.html In his last years John Lennon was able to slip from the captivity of celebrity into the tolerant anonymity of New York City—or so he thought. Tragically, he became the victim of a delusional celebrity hound just as his recording career had revived. Writer and TV producer Keith Elliot Greenberg recalls the shock and...]]> The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2011 (World Almanac Books) - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13074-the-world-almanac-and-book-of-facts-2011-%2528world-almanac-books%2529-book-review.html In the era of search engines, the World Almanac might not be as indispensable as it once was. But aside from its attraction to people who love holding paper and ink in their hands, the annual compendium remains an enormous, well-organized and researched body of knowledge. Fact checking matters. Where Wikipedia...]]> Tharps’ ‘Substitute Me’ Examines Race, Motherhood - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13013-tharpsrs-lssubstitute-mers-examines-race-motherhood-book-preview.html Lori L. Tharps’ Substitute Me follows a story line that appears innocent enough at first: Kate and Brad Carter, a young, 30-something husband and wife living in New...]]> Ian Frazier’s ‘Travels in Siberia’ - American author shares his fascination with Russia http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13014-ian-frazierrss-lstravels-in-siberiars-american-author-shares-his-fascination-with-russia.html Siberia, on the vast, frozen eastern climes of Asiatic Russia, is the oldest new frontier on the planet—a place of death marches, gulags and exile, with a history of Mongols, fur traders, czars, peasant uprisings, Eastern Orthodoxy and Communism. The challenge of comprehending these living...]]> The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ’N’ Roll Rivalry (Voyageur Press), by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-13015-the-beatles-vs-the-rolling-stones-sound-opinions-on-the-great-rock-rsnrs-roll-rivalry-%2528voyageur-press%2529-by-jim-derogatis-and-greg-kot-book-review.html The debate over which ’60s-spawned band is best has raged for decades, but renowned Chicago rock critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot claim the question has never been the focus of an entire book. Well, now it is. In The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones—an attractive volume loaded with rare photographs and...]]> ‘A Matter of Happenstance’ at Next Chapter Bookshop - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12968-lsa-matter-of-happenstancers-at-next-chapter-bookshop-book-preview.html The Last Years of ‘Colonel Roosevelt’ - Pulitzer Prize-winning Edmund Morris completes three-volume biography http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12940-the-last-years-of-lscolonel-rooseveltrs-pulitzer-prize-winning-edmund-morris-completes-three-volume-biography.html Theodore Roosevelt, the columnist Walter Lippmann wrote, was the only president in American history “who could truthfully be described as lovable.” He was our nation’s 26th president, there have been 18 more since then, and Lippmann’s statement still holds true...]]> The Secret History of MI6 1909-1949 (Penguin Press), by Keith Jeffery - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12941-the-secret-history-of-mi6-1909-1949-%2528penguin-press%2529-by-keith-jeffery-book-review.html There never was a James Bond, but Her Majesty’s Secret Service numbered some fascinating agents in its ranks, including the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper and authors Malcolm Muggeridge and Graham Greene. Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, worked with the service during World War II. Keith Jeffery, a history...]]> Journey to the Center of Prog Rock - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12936-journey-to-the-center-of-prog-rock-book-review.html Progressive rock is like pornography, Will Romano admits in his intro to Mountains Come out of the Sky: The Illustrated History of Prog Rock (Backbeat Books). It’s hard to define but you know it when you hear it. That said, definitions are in order—and frustrating. If by “progressive” you mean rock that pushed beyond the boundary of its early years...]]> Milwaukee’s Movie Theaters (Arcadia Publishing), by Larry Widen - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12917-milwaukeerss-movie-theaters-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-larry-widen-book-review.html Next Chapter, Boswell Host Cooking Sensations - Nigella Lawson, Buddy Valastro bring sweet treats to Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12869-next-chapter-boswell-host-cooking-sensations-nigella-lawson-buddy-valastro-bring-sweet-treats-to-milwaukee.html This week a mouthwatering array of everyday meals and exotic spreads—not to mention cakes—is on the menu at local bookstores. Two fresh literary offerings about food and family, by noted culinary masters Nigella Lawson and Buddy Valastro, hit the stands in time for the holiday season...]]> The Significant Insight of ‘Bob Dylan in America’ - Sean Wilentz's revealing analysis of a vital songwriter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12871-the-significant-insight-of-lsbob-dylan-in-americars-sean-wilentzs-revealing-analysis-of-a-vital-songwriter.html Sean Wilentz’s Bob Dylan in America (Doubleday) is a significant work that connects Dylan’s narrative shift from American oral tradition song to literary text. It is also a definitive social and political history regarding what is buried deep in Dylan’s songs. The research and writing is impeccable, and we at long last have a serious study of Dylan’s artistic...]]> Apathy for the Devil: A 70s Memoir (Da Capo), by Nick Kent - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12872-apathy-for-the-devil-a-70s-memoir-%2528da-capo%2529-by-nick-kent-book-review.html Rock critics once wielded enormous power over pop culture and, especially in the United Kingdom and among American Anglophiles, Nick Kent was among the most influential...]]> Bound to Last: 30 Writers on their Most Cherished Book (DaCapo), ed. by Sean Manning - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12851-bound-to-last-30-writers-on-their-most-cherished-book-%2528dacapo%2529-ed-by-sean-manning-book-review.html In his forward for Bound to Last, Ray Bradbury recalls the aunt who lent him an Edgar Allan Poe collection and the enormous influence it had on his vocation as a writer. Most of the essayists gathered in this slender volume are of younger generations and speak of particular books as memory chests—not just the words...]]> Milwaukee’s Historic Bowling Alleys (Arcadia Publishing), by Manya Kaczkowski - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12806-milwaukeerss-historic-bowling-alleys-%2528arcadia-publishing%2529-by-manya-kaczkowski-book-review.html Bill Lueders: Madison's 'Watchdog' - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12795-bill-lueders-madisons-watchdog-book-preview.html Bill Lueders is the watchdog whose bite is sharper than his bark. As one of Madison’s leading investigative journalists, he has kept a wary eye on state and local politics since coming to work for the weekly alternative Isthmus in...]]> Kris Kristofferson: ‘The Wild American’ - Stephen Miller reveals singer-songwriter to be more than a '70s sex symbol http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12796-kris-kristofferson-lsthe-wild-americanrs-stephen-miller-reveals-singer-songwriter-to-be-more-than-a-70s-sex-symbol.html If you’re like me, you may have dismissed Kris Kristofferson as a 1970s sex symbol due to his appearance alongside Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. But like me, you may not have known that he wrote his major dissertation on William Blake during a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University; that he...]]> When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Gal Beckerman - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12797-when-they-come-for-us-wersll-be-gone-the-epic-struggle-to-save-soviet-jewry-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-gal-beckerman-book-review.html Just a kid during the Cold War, Gal Beckerman opens his lengthy, lucid account with memories of his unseen bar mitzvah “twin”—a boy whose family was refused permission to immigrate from the Soviet Union. When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone is both an insightful history of the plight of Russian Jews...]]> Austin City Limits: 35 Years in Photographs (University of Texas Press), by Scott Newton and Terry Lickona - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12767-austin-city-limits-35-years-in-photographs-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-by-scott-newton-and-terry-lickona-book-review.html Photographed by Scott Newton and edited by Newton and Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits is a coffee table record of the successful concert program’s long run on PBS. As principal photographer for the show since the first season, Newton has had full access to every performer. Sometimes he chose black and white...]]> Milwaukee Jazz - Profiles in Music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12721-milwaukee-jazz-profiles-in-music.html H.H. Bennett, Photographer His American Landscapes (Terrace/ University of Wisconsin Press), by Sara Rath - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12701-hh-bennett-photographer-his-american-landscapes-%2528terrace_-university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-sara-rath-book-review.html H.H. Bennett isn’t usually discussed in the same breadth as Ansel Adams or Edward Steichen, but as Sara Rath insists in her biography, he deserves to be considered along with great American photographers during the first century of the camera’s existence. The proof is in the pictures, and Rath’s account is profusely...]]> ‘Wordcatcher’ Phil Cousineau at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12708-lswordcatcherrs-phil-cousineau-at-boswell.html Phil Cousineau, the San Francisco-based writer, world traveler and documentary filmmaker, will hold forth at Boswell Book Co. this Friday, Oct. 29. He’s well worth catching, no matter what subjects his latest books are addressing. He’s a compelling raconteur who never fails to regale a roomful of listeners. When I accompanied my friend Antler...]]> Why We Need Another ‘Hellhound of Wall Street’ - Michael Perino examines ‘Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12709-why-we-need-another-lshellhound-of-wall-streetrs-michael-perino-examines-lspecoras-investigation-of-the-great-crash.html What is it they say? That history repeats itself, or that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it? Doesn’t matter. There is plenty of support for both statements in Michael Perino’s admirable study, The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora’s Investigation of the Great...]]> The Lazy Intellectual: Maximum Knowledge, Minimum Effort (Adams Media), by Richard J. Wallace and James V. Wallace http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12710-the-lazy-intellectual-maximum-knowledge-minimum-effort-%2528adams-media%2529-by-richard-j-wallace-and-james-v-wallace.html For those of us who find the life of the mind tough going because the guidebooks are impenetrable, The Lazy Intellectual is the ticket. A succinct overview of philosophy, math, music, literature, history, religion and sciences soft and hard, The Lazy Intellectual defines...]]> Next Chapter Presents ‘The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia’ - Milwaukee native Mary Helen Stefaniak returns http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12642-next-chapter-presents-lsthe-cailiffs-of-baghdad-georgiars-milwaukee-native-mary-helen-stefaniak-returns.html Independent booksellers across the country chose Mary Helen Stefaniak’s The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia as an “Indie Next” pick for the month of September...]]> Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews (Chicago Review Press), ed. by Chris DeVito - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12652-coltrane-on-coltrane-the-john-coltrane-interviews-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-ed-by-chris-devito-book-review.html Apparently, John Coltrane preferred playing music over talking music. But when he agreed to be interviewed, he was usually (though not inevitably) profound on matters musical and spiritual. Coltrane on Coltrane collects interviews with the great saxophonist by Leonard Feather, Nat Hentoff and others...]]> Liz Taylor, Richard Burton’s Roller-Coaster Romance - New book explores ‘The Marriage of the Century' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12643-liz-taylor-richard-burtonrss-roller-coaster-romance-new-book-explores-lsthe-marriage-of-the-century.html Officials at 20th Century Fox didn’t know what was in store for them when they signed Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in a mammoth production intended to shore up the studio’s declining profits. At 29 she was acknowledged as one of the most beautiful women in the world...]]> Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by M. Caren Connolly, Louis Wasserman and Zane Williams - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12479-wisconsinrss-own-twenty-remarkable-homes-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-m-caren-connolly-louis-wasserman-and-zane-williams-book-review.html When wealth arrives, mansions will follow to house the oversize desires of the rich and to trumpet the status of the owners. At least until the age of the McMansion, conspicuous architectural consumption was also a forum of creativity for patron and architect alike. Wisconsin’s Own looks inside 20 stately homes built from...]]> ‘Secret Historian’ Reveals Life of Samuel Steward - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12481-lssecret-historianrs-reveals-life-of-samuel-steward-book-preview.html Though the fight for gay rights continues, it is heartening to know that we live in an age when the topic has entered the public discourse. Not long ago, gays and lesbians were subject to such...]]> Confessional Angle Hinders ‘Listening to Van Morrison’ - Music critic Greil Marcus not in top form http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12482-confessional-angle-hinders-lslistening-to-van-morrisonrs-music-critic-greil-marcus-not-in-top-form.html For all of its unforgivable flaws, Greil Marcus’ When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison (PublicAffairs) does have an innovative and evocative manner about it. The most significant success is its form. Twenty-three chapters, excluding an introduction, are divided into four parts...]]> Amore: The Story of Italian American Song (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Mark Rotella - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12483-amore-the-story-of-italian-american-song-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-mark-rotella-book-review.html From the end of World War II until the rise of rock ’n’ roll, Italian singers dominated the charts; the leading stars—Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett among them—enjoyed long careers even after pop culture moved on. As Mark Rotella reminds us, Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso was America’s first recording star in...]]> Swiss in Greater Milwaukee (Arcadia), by Maralyn A. Wellauer-Lenius - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12445-swiss-in-greater-milwaukee-%2528arcadia%2529-by-maralyn-a-wellauer-lenius-book-review.html Swiss immigration to Wisconsin is usually associated with New Glarus and other rural areas, but according to genealogist Marilyn Wellauer-Lenius, the first Swiss citizen arrived in Milwaukee as early as 1837. Her book, the latest Milwaukee title in Arcadia Press’ Images of America series, traces the Swiss presence in...]]> Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin Talks Evolutionary Science - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12413-bad-religionrss-greg-graffin-talks-evolutionary-science-book-preview.html Greg Graffin is an accomplished academic, having earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University and a highly respected position as lecturer in evolutionary science at...]]> Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Early Days http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12412-stevie-ray-vaughan-the-early-days.html Well before his 1990 death, when his helicopter crashed after playing Alpine Valley, Stevie Ray Vaughan had become blues-rock’s great white hope. The Austin-based guitarist was inspired by fiery blues-steeped players such as Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. In an era when arena rock fans...]]> Dark, Funny ‘Elegies for the Brokenhearted’ - Remarkable characters carry Christie Hodgen's winning novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12414-dark-funny-lselegies-for-the-brokenheartedrs-remarkable-characters-carry-christie-hodgens-winning-novel.html Small wonder Christie Hodgen dedicates her jewel of a novel Elegies for the Brokenhearted (W.W. Norton) “for Michael, who works in pessimism.” Her characters live on a blasted heath where love is illusory, family a horror show, and crushing failure the norm...]]> The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB (PublicAffairs), by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12415-the-new-nobility-the-restoration-of-russiarss-security-state-and-the-enduring-legacy-of-the-kgb-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-andrei-soldatov-and-irina-borogan-book-review.html The KGB was abolished with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but by the time Boris Yeltsin stepped down as Russia’s president, the various agencies that emerged from the old Soviet secret police coalesced into a powerful new entity called the FSB. In The New Nobility, Russian investigative journalists trace the...]]> Life of Bob Marley Continues to Inspire Books - ‘Untold Story' and ‘Wailing Blues' add to lore of reggae superstar http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12334-life-of-bob-marley-continues-to-inspire-books-lsuntold-story-and-lswailing-blues-add-to-lore-of-reggae-superstar.html Timothy White’s Catch a Fire will probably remain the classic Bob Marley biography, but that hasn’t prevented everyone who ever met the reggae artist from writing his or her own account. British music journalist Chris Salewicz interviewed Marley only once, but his time spent in Jamaica has resulted in a...]]> By Hook or By Crook and 30 More of the Best Crime Mystery Stories of the Year (Tyrus Books), Edited by Ed Gorman & Martin H. Greenberg - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12335-by-hook-or-by-crook-and-30-more-of-the-best-crime-mystery-stories-of-the-year-%2528tyrus-books%2529-edited-by-ed-gorman-martin-h-greenberg-book-review.html 2009 was a landmark year for the mystery genre, according to the introduction of By Hook or By Crook. It was the 80th anniversary of the publication of the first installment of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon in Black Mask magazine. It was also the bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. And it was a year...]]> Anna Lappé Talks ‘Diet for a Hot Planet’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12336-anna-lappeacute-talks-lsdiet-for-a-hot-planetrs-book-preview.html Diets and climate change, seemingly disparate topics, have both been the subject of social fodder and the focus of ever-increasing media commentary. Only now, as we settle into the second decade of the...]]> Rock Guitar Heroes - Interviewing Clapton, Beck and Page http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12337-rock-guitar-heroes-interviewing-clapton-beck-and-page.html The three most important guitarists in 1960s British rock all belonged to the same band though not at the same time. When Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck replaced him. Eventually Jimmy Page joined the band—before transforming it into Led Zeppelin. Separately and occasionally together, they pushed the...]]> People You’d Like to Know: Legendary Musicians Photographed by Herb Wise (Omnibus Press) - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12245-people-yoursd-like-to-know-legendary-musicians-photographed-by-herb-wise-%2528omnibus-press%2529-book-review.html To capture a moment in an instant is the gift of a great photographer. Herb Wise stumbled into photography during the 1960s and into the era’s burgeoning music scene. People You’d Like to Know samples from what must be an enormous body of work gathered in an atmosphere where the posturing of the promo shot...]]> Joshua Ferris Tackles Corporate America at Boswell - Also: South Milwaukee Public Library hosts renowned children's book author http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12247-joshua-ferris-tackles-corporate-america-at-boswell-also-south-milwaukee-public-library-hosts-renowned-childrens-book-author.html Joshua Ferris’ debut novel, Then We Came to the End, is not only a story of workers struggling through the daily grind of corporate America, it is also an engaging and bittersweet look...]]> Richard Nixon and ‘The Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture’ - Mark Feldstein examines relationship between White House and the press http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12248-richard-nixon-and-lsthe-rise-of-washingtonrss-scandal-culturers-mark-feldstein-examines-relationship-between-white-house-and-the-press.html When Richard Nixon declared to a gathering of editors in 1973, “I am not a crook,” he was wrong. He was a crook, and columnist Jack Anderson did more than anyone to expose his manifold crookedness. Anderson, meanwhile, was the Rodney Dangerfield of journalists. Even worse, actually...]]> The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Stefanie Syman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12249-the-subtle-body-the-story-of-yoga-in-america-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-stefanie-syman.html As recently as the 1970s, yoga was still seen as an exotic eccentricity in many parts of the United States. Since then it has become a pervasive and popular exercise regimen if nothing else—a means of maintaining physical health even for those who disconnect it from its...]]> Faith, Fact and Wonder - Building Bridges between Science and Religion http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12177-faith-fact-and-wonder-building-bridges-between-science-and-religion.html The argument between science and religion is as old as Copernicus, but the shouting got louder during the last decade, fueled in part by an American administration whose policies sometimes appeared to be written by biblical fundamentalists. William P Brown, a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary...]]> President Obama: Year One - Jonathan Alter reflects on a busy 365 days http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12184-president-obama-year-one-jonathan-alter-reflects-on-a-busy-365-days.html If it seems premature and injudicious to undertake a critical look at President Barack Obama’s daunting first year in office, journalist-historian Jonathan Alter, author of the Franklin Roosevelt biography The Defining Moment...]]> Freedom Summer (Viking), by Bruce Watson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12185-freedom-summer-%2528viking%2529-by-bruce-watson-book-review.html Idealism hasn’t fared well in the age of irony, but ideals are sometimes the signposts to a better world. Freedom Summer is a lyrical account of the often-naive Northern white college students who went to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to fight for an ideal—to help blacks register to vote. They faced mob...]]> Jennifer Crusie Drops By Next Chapter Bookshop - Plus: UWM hosts former poet laureate Rita Dove http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12186-jennifer-crusie-drops-by-next-chapter-bookshop-plus-uwm-hosts-former-poet-laureate-rita-dove.html Romance, mystery and ghosts inhabit the enchanting new novel by best-selling author Jennifer Crusie. Maybe This Time centers around Andie Miller, a 34-year-old divorcée whose hopes of moving on from the past come to an abrupt halt when her ex-husband beseeches her to care for two orphaned children...]]> The Roots of Pop Culture? - Exploring Variety Shows and Vaudeville http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12151-the-roots-of-pop-culture-exploring-variety-shows-and-vaudeville.html The Astor Place Riot of May 10, 1849 is usually chalked up as an especially colorful scenario in the long run of Broadway. On that day, disgruntled mobs attacked the new opera house where British thespian William Macready was performing. A favorite of Manhattan’s Anglophile elite, Macready was accused...]]> Urban Ecology Center Talks ‘Plenty’ About Local Food - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12132-urban-ecology-center-talks-lsplentyrs-about-local-food-book-preview.html Denis Kitchen’s ‘Oddly Compelling Art’ - Underground comix and other works by a Milwaukee master http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12133-denis-kitchenrss-lsoddly-compelling-artrs-underground-comix-and-other-works-by-a-milwaukee-master.html Comics fans tend to forget—if, in fact, they ever knew—that prior to founding Kitchen Sink Press and publishing some of the most important work in comics history, Denis Kitchen was an artist himself, producing everything from underground comix to commercial art. The publisher, who printed the early...]]> The Silk Road in World History (Oxford University Press), by Xinru Liu - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12134-the-silk-road-in-world-history-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-xinru-liu-book-review.html The England’s Dreaming Tapes (University of Minnesota Press), by Jon Savage http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12081-the-englandrss-dreaming-tapes-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-by-jon-savage.html Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond (1991) was considered a seminal study of British punk. In music industry terms, The England’s Dreaming Tapes is the outtakes collection. The new book includes the complete interviews Savage conducted in his research with...]]> ‘Neil Young’s Greendale’ as Graphic Novel - Music legend's masterpiece continues to morph http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12053-lsneil-youngrss-greendalers-as-graphic-novel-music-legends-masterpiece-continues-to-morph.html The graphic novel based on Neil Young’s Greendale (published by Vertigo) is the illustrated version, replete with variant narrative, of the original. But what exactly is the “original” when it comes to this work? Is it the live concert series?]]> Inside America’s Concentration Camps: Two Centuries of Internment and Torture (Lawrence Hill), by James L. Dickerson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12054-inside-americarss-concentration-camps-two-centuries-of-internment-and-torture-%2528lawrence-hill%2529-by-james-l-dickerson.html The title is provocative and the tone polemical. James L. Dickerson is an investigative reporter, not a historian, and sometimes leaps to simplistic conclusions. He maintains that immigrants who came to America for economic reasons “tended to view torture as a legitimate tool with which to protect their wealth...]]> Spirit of the Phoenix: Beirut and the Story of Lebanon (Lawrence Hill Books), by Tim Llewellyn - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12012-spirit-of-the-phoenix-beirut-and-the-story-of-lebanon-%2528lawrence-hill-books%2529-by-tim-llewellyn-book-review.html Lebanon was once a watchword for intractable conflict, a symbol of all the troubles plaguing the region. But before the catastrophic civil war of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the little nation was called the “Switzerland of the Middle East” and its capital, Beirut, was compared to Paris. BBC correspondent Tim Llewellyn can only...]]> Readers Decide Fate in ‘Million Little Mistakes’ - Heather McElhatton's grown-up take on ‘Choose Your Own Adventure' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-12013-readers-decide-fate-in-lsmillion-little-mistakesrs-heather-mcelhattons-grown-up-take-on-lschoose-your-own-adventure.html Many Gen-Xers will recall the “Choose Your Own Adventure” children’s books, where the reader assumes the guise of the main character and is able to determine how the story should progress, leading to multiple plotlines and fresh, divergent escapades with the single jump of a page. In Million...]]> Star Trek: The Original Series 365 (Abrams), by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11959-star-trek-the-original-series-365-%2528abrams%2529-by-paula-m-block-and-terry-j-erdmann-book-review.html For a couple of generations, the original 1960s “Star Trek” was an encounter with Philosophy 101 in interstellar space as Kirk, Spock and McCoy wrestled with eternal questions, even as they contemplated the complications of advanced technology. In the colorfully...]]> Discover ‘The Best American Noir of the Century’ - Ellroy, Penzler's anthology of dark fiction http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11960-discover-lsthe-best-american-noir-of-the-centuryrs-ellroy-penzlers-anthology-of-dark-fiction.html Noir. The word has at least two meanings—the first is blackness, darkness and mystery; the other defines a genre of fiction in which hard-boiled detectives and cops mop up crime or commit them, and the common theme is death of the cop or the criminal, or both. Shakespeare once said that a rose by any other name would smell...]]> Neil Young: Long May You Run—The Illustrated History (Voyageur Press), by Daniel Durchholz and Gary Graff - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11961-neil-young-long-may-you-runmdashthe-illustrated-history-%2528voyageur-press%2529-by-daniel-durchholz-and-gary-graff-book-review.html Almost a half-century after the release of his first official recordings, in 1963 with a short-lived group called The Squires, Neil Young continues to captivate listeners. He has released multiple vintage recordings in recent years, including the massive, groundbreaking Archives Vol. I. The new book Long May You...]]> Boswell Hosts Du Vernay, ‘The Simpsons in the Classroom’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11902-boswell-hosts-du-vernay-lsthe-simpsons-in-the-classroomrs.html Eric Rauchway Revisits ‘The Great Gatsby’ - ‘Banana Republican' expands on life, times of Tom Buchanan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11903-eric-rauchway-revisits-lsthe-great-gatsbyrs-lsbanana-republican-expands-on-life-times-of-tom-buchanan.html George MacDonald Fraser plucked Harry Flashman, a cad and bully in Thomas Hughes’ Victorian novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays, and turned him into the cynical anti-hero of a series of 12 consistently entertaining Flashman historical novels. Similarly, Eric Rauchway has taken Tom Buchanan, equally...]]> A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), by Wendy Moffat - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11904-a-great-unrecorded-history-a-new-life-of-em-forster-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-wendy-moffat-book-review.html E.M. Forster received a third life in the 1980s when his novels Howards End and A Passage to India became art-house film hits; his second life had already begun in the ’70s with the posthumous publication of his explicitly gay novel Maurice. In her sympathetic and lucid biography, Wendy Moffat examines the...]]> A World for Kids - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11886-a-world-for-kids-book-review.html The World Almanac was the one-stop source of facts and figures in an age before Google and remains a useful compendium of information even now. The World Almanac for Kids 2011 (World Almanac Books) is designed to compete with the Internet for the attention of children ages 8-13. The format is colorful and...]]> The Phenomenon of ‘Sh*t My Dad Says’ - Justin Halpern's Twitter page in book form http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11820-the-phenomenon-of-lssh%252At-my-dad-saysrs-justin-halperns-twitter-page-in-book-form.html A year ago, the author of Sh*t My Dad Says (HarperCollins), Twitter phenomenon Justin Halpern, was a relatively unknown comedy writer who had moved in with his parents after his long-term girlfriend broke up with him. As a writer for Maxim.com...]]> ‘Freshwater Boys’ Explores Life Along Lake Michigan - Schuitema to discuss short-story collection at Boswell http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11819-lsfreshwater-boysrs-explores-life-along-lake-michigan-schuitema-to-discuss-short-story-collection-at-boswell.html Twelve million people live along the shores of Lake Michigan, a body of water that plays a vital role for residents of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Michigan, the state with the farthest-reaching freshwater coastline, is likewise the backdrop for a newly issued short-story collection, Freshwater Boys...]]> The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Sonia Shah - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11821-the-fever-how-malaria-has-ruled-humankind-for-500000-years-%2528sarah-crichton_farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-sonia-shah-book-review.html Malaria is a scourge that has never been tamed for long. The statistics cited in Sonia Shah’s The Fever show an alarming surge of malaria in many regions and the development of nastier, drug-resistant strains as the malaria parasites continue to mutate. Carried by mosquitoes, malaria can spread when environmental...]]> Michael Clemens Reveals ‘Secrets of Abu Ghraib’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11754-michael-clemens-reveals-lssecrets-of-abu-ghraibrs-book-preview.html Undoubtedly, the 2004 communiqués of torture and detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison are still among the most infamous of the war in Iraq. Shocking photographs involving American GIs and Iraqi prisoners wiped away the last vestiges of hope that the United States would regain a position of honor...]]> Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by Dennis McCann - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11755-badger-boneyards-the-eternal-rest-of-the-story-%2528wisconsin-historical-society-press%2529-by-dennis-mccann-book-review.html ‘How to Wreck a Nice Beach’ - Dave Tompkins traces the story of the vocoder http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11756-lshow-to-wreck-a-nice-beachrs-dave-tompkins-traces-the-story-of-the-vocoder.html In How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder From World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks (Stop Smiling Books), Dave Tompkins traces the fascinating history of this device from its use in guarding a secure phone line for Roosevelt and Churchill through...]]> Leonardo’s Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World (Da Capo), by Stefan Klein - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11757-leonardorss-legacy-how-da-vinci-reimagined-the-world-%2528da-capo%2529-by-stefan-klein-book-review.html Leonardo da Vinci was the definition of “Renaissance Man” and, as Stefan Klein maintains, the scope of his accomplishments is too wide for the academic pigeonholes of our age. In Leonardo’s Legacy, the German science writer shows that the painter of The Last Supper and the engineer of water-driven mills “regarded...]]> This Day in Music: An Everyday Record of Musical Feats and Facts (Omnibus Press), by Neil Cossar - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11742-this-day-in-music-an-everyday-record-of-musical-feats-and-facts-%2528omnibus-press%2529-by-neil-cossar-book-review.html Human Kindness Day? The event didn’t make a lasting impression, but it was the setting for a concert at the Washington Monument by Stevie Wonder before 125,000 fans on May 10, 1975. This is one of thousands of odds and ends found in This Day in Music. Compiled by British musician and DJ Neil Cossar, This Day...]]> Rock That Defined the Decades - New Books on the Beatles, Pink Floyd http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11744-rock-that-defined-the-decades-new-books-on-the-beatles-pink-floyd.html The fans keep writing rock books in a never ending, detail-focused scrutiny of personal lives and performances, recording sessions and releases. Two of the latest from Omnibus Press concern the band that defined the ‘60s and the group that set the boundaries for the ‘70s—unwittingly helping precipitate a...]]> ‘Bradbury Report’ at Boswell - Plus: Freveletti's ‘Running Dark' at Books & Company http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11679-lsbradbury-reportrs-at-boswell-plus-frevelettis-lsrunning-dark-at-books-company.html The year is 2071. The country is America. For the past 20 years every U.S. citizen has been enmeshed in a classified government-sponsored cloning program, and today roughly 250 million clandestine...]]> From ‘Pink Flamingos’ to ‘Role Models’ - The eccentric world of John Waters http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11680-from-lspink-flamingosrs-to-lsrole-modelsrs-the-eccentric-world-of-john-waters.html Anyone who has ever felt like a misfit, an outsider or a hopeless dweeb needs to adopt John Waters as his or her fairy godfather. Waters put himself on America’s reverse cultural map with Pink Flamingos, in which his star, Divine, snacks on dog feces. He subsequently went on to more conventional fame with the...]]> Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (Random House), by Jonathan Phillips - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11681-holy-warriors-a-modern-history-of-the-crusades-%2528random-house%2529-by-jonathan-phillips-book-review.html In 1095 Pope Urban II launched the first of several crusades to seize the Christian holy places of Palestine; the Muslim world responded with a jihad against the invaders, pitting holy war against holy war. But as University of London history professor Jonathan Phillips insists, the conflict was never as simple as...]]> ‘Search for the Perfect Tomato’ at Boswell Book Co. - Plus: Tim McNulty to appear at Haggerty, Woodland Pattern http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11610-lssearch-for-the-perfect-tomators-at-boswell-book-co-plus-tim-mcnulty-to-appear-at-haggerty-woodland-pattern.html Tomatoes, those sweet, succulent fruits that are often (alas, incorrectly) referred to as "vegetables" in grocery stores and cookbooks, have grown to become America’s most popular garden...]]> The ‘Theatre’ World According to David Mamet - Playwright lashes out in slender, muscular book http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11611-the-lstheatrers-world-according-to-david-mamet-playwright-lashes-out-in-slender-muscular-book.html David Mamet is almost as blunt-spoken as the gritty, street-bound characters he introduced in Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo. One of the great playwrights to emerge in the closing decades of the 20th century, Mamet has also been prolific in other fields, writing and directing for film and television...]]> The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation (W.W. Norton), by Steven W. Semes - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11612-the-future-of-the-past-a-conservation-ethic-for-architecture-urbanism-and-historic-preservation-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-steven-w-semes-book-review.html In The Future of the Past, Steven Semes persuasively argues for a particular aesthetic of preservation and construction. The University of Notre Dame architecture professor illustrates his call for harmony between old and new, for building within the context of what already exists, with many photographs of what works...]]> Milwaukee’s Early Architecture (Arcadia), by Megan E. Daniels http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11563-milwaukeerss-early-architecture-%2528arcadia%2529-by-megan-e-daniels.html Love Blossoms in ‘Dear Bob, Dear Betty’ - Personal letters detail romance during the Great Depression http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11544-love-blossoms-in-lsdear-bob-dear-bettyrs-personal-letters-detail-romance-during-the-great-depression.html In a 21st-century world dominated by high-tech convenience, a love letter today, if such a curiosity still exists, most likely would be delivered as a cursory Facebook message...]]> New York’s ‘Dark Harbor’ of Organized Crime - Nathan Ward on Malcolm Johnson's classic expos http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11545-new-yorkrss-lsdark-harborrs-of-organized-crime-nathan-ward-on-malcolm-johnsons-classic-expos%25E9.html People who hate newspapers, whose number appears to be legion, choose to forget that newspapers often have been the catalyst for useful, needed reform in American life. Instances of such newspaper-induced reform, while not similarly legion, have been many, but few have been as influential as the reporting...]]> Cleopatra: A Biography (Oxford University Press), by Duane W. Roller - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11546-cleopatra-a-biography-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-duane-w-roller-book-review.html No woman of ancient times is better known nowadays than Cleopatra, yet most of us know little about her beyond Elizabeth Taylor and William Shakespeare. As Duane W. Roller writes in his brief, readable biography, we “lose Cleopatra as she becomes tangled up in the encumbrance of her reputation.” Sticking...]]> Herlihy Sheds Light on ‘The Lost Cyclist’ - ‘Epic Tale of an American Adventurer' at Boswell Book Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11477-herlihy-sheds-light-on-lsthe-lost-cyclistrs-lsepic-tale-of-an-american-adventurer-at-boswell-book-co.html When bicycles were introduced in the 19th century, they were largely condemned as hazardous fads; nevertheless, by the end of the century, bicycling had become not only a crucial mode of transportation, but also a popular pastime. That popularity increased after the invention of a new, safer...]]> America’s ‘War Lovers’ - Evan Thomas satirizes Roosevelt, Lodge and Hearst http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11478-americarss-lswar-loversrs-evan-thomas-satirizes-roosevelt-lodge-and-hearst.html The War Lovers (Little, Brown), Evan Thomas’ provocatively titled, satirical look at three colorful individuals who became prime movers in the birth of American imperialism...]]> Yvon’s Paris (W.W. Norton), by Robert StevensYvon’s Paris (W.W. Norton), by Robert Stevens - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11479-yvonrss-paris-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-robert-stevensyvonrss-paris-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-robert-stevens-book-review.html The Paris of dreams was a favorite subject of the photographer called Yvon. No mere shutterbug, Yvon roamed the city streets, often in the quiet hours, composing scenes of haunting beauty. Yvon’s Paris collects many of his black-and-white photos from between the world wars, many of them unseen for many...]]> Former CIA Agent Visits Mystery One Bookstore - Barry Eisler brings political thriller ‘Inside Out' to Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11389-former-cia-agent-visits-mystery-one-bookstore-barry-eisler-brings-political-thriller-lsinside-out-to-milwaukee.html Fictional characters whose lives read like real-life news stories about war and political intrigue are brought into sharp focus in Inside Out, the new cutting-edge novel by Barry Eisler. Given their relevancy to today’s political climate, stories of torture, “ghost detainees” and...]]> ‘The Art of the LP’ - Morgan, Wardle package ‘Classic Album Covers' from 1955 to 1995 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11390-lsthe-art-of-the-lprs-morgan-wardle-package-lsclassic-album-covers-from-1955-to-1995.html Pop culture often celebrates what is no longer available in the 21st century. Take albums. Recording a body of songs as a unified work of art seems like an idea that has gone and cannot be brought back. With the advent of...]]> The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music (W.W. Norton), by Richard Williams http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11391-the-blue-moment-miles-davisrss-kind-of-blue-and-the-remaking-of-modern-music-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-richard-williams.html In his lucidly written account of the making and legacy of a particular recording session, British music critic Richard Williams argues that Kind of Blue is one of the last century’s most influential albums. The 1959 Miles Davis LP is perhaps the most popular jazz album ever; the author observes that it’s the sole jazz...]]> Exploring Wisconsin’s Past - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11378-exploring-wisconsinrss-past-book-review.html Next Chapter Bookshop Hosts Author of ‘Backseat Saints’ - Plus: Youth poetry camp at Woodland Pattern http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11313-next-chapter-bookshop-hosts-author-of-lsbackseat-saintsrs-plus-youth-poetry-camp-at-woodland-pattern.html In Backseat Saints, novelist Joshilyn Jackson powerfully spotlights a nondescript minor character from her best-selling debut, Gods in Alabama. The tale’s...]]> Vertigo Crime’s Soul-Searching Violence - Graphic novels like ‘Area 10,' ‘Bronx Kill' appeal for mercy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11314-vertigo-crimerss-soul-searching-violence-graphic-novels-like-lsarea-10-lsbronx-kill-appeal-for-mercy.html Distinguished by arresting black-and-white art, DC Comics’ Vertigo Crime imprint shares a high-contrast look, fast action, and a macabre allure with DC’s incipient 1930s comic books. Like many early DC stories, two of Vertigo Crime’s six newest graphic novels, Area 10 and The Bronx Kill, take...]]> Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson (Da Capo), by Nelson George - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11315-thriller-the-musical-life-of-michael-jackson-%2528da-capo%2529-by-nelson-george-book-review.html With Thriller, Nelson George views the significance of Michael Jackson in light of his best-selling album, perhaps the last long player with the capacity to define an era. A veteran R&B reporter, George chronicled Jackson’s ascent from star to superstar in Billboard. He offers many penetrating insights in the space of this...]]> Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (Cornell University Press), by Robert Jervis http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11290-why-intelligence-fails-lessons-from-the-iranian-revolution-and-the-iraq-war-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-robert-jervis.html To the cynical, “American intelligence” is an oxymoron, given the apparent failure of the CIA and other agencies to assess the weakness of the Soviet Union, the probable outcome of Vietnam, the likelihood of 911. Onetime CIA analyst and Columbia international politics professor Robert Jervis examines two failures...]]> Local and National Artists Plant the Seed - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11257-local-and-national-artists-plant-the-seed-book-preview.html A Poetry Menagerie at Milwaukee County Zoo - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11239-a-poetry-menagerie-at-milwaukee-county-zoo-book-preview.html How wonderful when ways can be found to get the under-appreciated art of poetry across to the general public. In past years, poems have appeared among the ads that ran along the insides...]]> The Times and Music of the ‘Texas Tornado’ - Jan Reid remembers Doug Sahm http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11240-the-times-and-music-of-the-lstexas-tornadors-jan-reid-remembers-doug-sahm.html Doug Sahm evolved seamlessly from slicked-back hipster to long-haired cosmic cowboy during a career that began in the early 1950s as a steel guitar prodigy on the knee (literally) of Hank Williams and did not end until his death more than five decades later. The guy was a force of nature...]]> Death to the Dictator! (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Afsaneh Moqadam - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11241-death-to-the-dictator_-%2528sarah-crichton-books_farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-afsaneh-moqadam-book-review.html A year after the massive protests against the rigged re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his regime remains in power and opposition leaders have been silenced—or at least the Western media has turned its ears elsewhere. Written under a pseudonym, this slim book by an Iranian...]]> The Prints of Warrington Colescott: A Catalogue Raisonne, 1948-2008 (University of Wisconsin Press), by Mary Weaver Chapin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11210-the-prints-of-warrington-colescott-a-catalogue-raisonne-1948-2008-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-mary-weaver-chapin-book-review.html Warrington Colescott’s 1949 arrival at UW-Madison as an art instructor coincided with a rising interest in high cultural circles for his medium of choice, printmaking. The extensive and profusely illustrated catalog of his work by Milwaukee Art Museum curator Mary Weaver Chapin provides a detailed chronicle of his...]]> Justin Cronin, Dan Chaon at Bay View’s Sugar Maple - Authors to discuss ‘The Passage,' ‘Await Your Reply' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11145-justin-cronin-dan-chaon-at-bay-viewrss-sugar-maple-authors-to-discuss-lsthe-passage-lsawait-your-reply.html Two macabre new releases filled with memorable characters will be discussed in a double author appearance this week at the Sugar Maple bar in Bay View.]]> Furst Returns With ‘Spies of the Balkans’ - Best book yet from master of World War II novels http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11146-furst-returns-with-lsspies-of-the-balkansrs-best-book-yet-from-master-of-world-war-ii-novels.html Alan Furst has been writing novels about World War II for almost four times as long as the war lasted. Beginning with Night Soldiers in 1988, he has written 11 excellent espionage novels set during the war and the years leading up to it. Long may he prosper. There may be no more sincere praise than to say that a writer...]]> Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures, 1940-1980 (Abrams), ed. by Dan Nadel - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11147-art-in-time-unknown-comic-book-adventures-1940-1980-%2528abrams%2529-ed-by-dan-nadel-book-review.html Dan Nadel has assembled an anthology consisting of forgotten comic books from artists who became better known for other work in the field, including H.G. Peter (Wonder Woman) and Harry Lucey (Archie). All of the stories he gathered for Art in Time trade in adventure, whether with crime, sci-fi or superheroes...]]> Forgotten Tales of Wisconsin (The History Press), by Martin Hintz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11125-forgotten-tales-of-wisconsin-%2528the-history-press%2529-by-martin-hintz.html Record Store Days - Remembering the hi-fidelity era http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11079-record-store-days-remembering-the-hi-fidelity-era.html If Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo’s book were written more carefully and with more extensive and better research, it would be an...]]> Three Looks at Glenn Taylor and ‘The Marrowbone Marble Company’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11078-three-looks-at-glenn-taylor-and-lsthe-marrowbone-marble-companyrs.html Tocqueville’s Discovery of America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Leo Damrosch - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11080-tocquevillerss-discovery-of-america-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-leo-damrosch-book-review.html Dispatched by the French government in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville was on a mission to study American prisons. He inspected Sing Sing as promised, but was more interested in investigating the country as a whole. The backdrop to his often quoted classic, Democracy in America, is the subject of Tocqueville’s...]]> Riding the Waves of Lake Michigan in Some Like It Cold - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11057-riding-the-waves-of-lake-michigan-in-some-like-it-cold-book-preview.html Located over 2,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Lake Michigan isn’t a likely Mecca for surfing aficionados; however, in the 1960s, the Williams brothers created a “Malibu of the Midwest” in Sheboygan, WI and their amazing tale that revolutionized surfing culture comes alive in William Povletich’s Some Like It Cold...]]> The Value of Generosity - Peter Buffett's Good Life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11056-the-value-of-generosity-peter-buffetts-good-life.html Sustainability has become a crucial theme ecologically and economically. But without sustainable values, little good can be accomplished as a society or as individuals. Peter Buffett joins the values discussion with Life is What You Make It (Harmony Book). Despite its chicken soup for the soul title, Buffett has some valuable ideas to impart from his own experience...]]> Glenn Taylor’s Tale of Civil Rights Redemption, in A Marble Factory - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11027-glenn-taylorrss-tale-of-civil-rights-redemption-in-a-marble-factory-book-preview.html Cold, Fearful Places - The Haunting of Shirley Jackson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11015-cold-fearful-places-the-haunting-of-shirley-jackson.html In the best ghost stories, often the real haunted entity is not a place or an object, but the central character—haunted, that is, by the character’s psyche. Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House is one of the best. The Haunting is one of two novels included in a new collection, Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories...]]> The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present (W.W. Norton), ed. by Peter Constantine, Rachel Hadas, Edmund Keeley and Karen Van Dyck - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11016-the-greek-poets-homer-to-the-present-%2528ww-norton%2529-ed-by-peter-constantine-rachel-hadas-edmund-keeley-and-karen-van-dyck-book-review.html Everyone knows Homer, if only from video games and bad movies; anyone who cares about modern poetry has read Cavafy and Elytis. Less familiar is the poetry of Greece from the thousands of years in between. Greek Poets: Homer to the Present fills the gap, anthologizing verse from the entire timeline of...]]> Green Travel Guide to Southern Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press), by Pat Dillon and Lynne Diebel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11004-green-travel-guide-to-southern-wisconsin-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-pat-dillon-and-lynne-diebel.html Green tourism? For Milwaukeeans, what could place less strain on the environment than exploring our own backyard? In Green Travel Guide to Southern Wisconsin, travel writers Pat Dillon and Lynne Diebel sketch out socially conscious vacations in the state’s lower tier of counties from Lake Michigan to the...]]> The Man Behind the Blues - Mysteries of Lightnin' Hopkins http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-11006-the-man-behind-the-blues-mysteries-of-lightnin-hopkins.html Like many blues singers of his time, Lightnin’ Hopkins started with a homemade guitar in the deep squalor of segregated Southern poverty, made his way to the big city, discovered amplification and became one of the rough-sawn bridges between the weird old America and rock’n’roll...]]> The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Anil Ananthaswamy - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10986-the-edge-of-physics-a-journey-to-earthrss-extremes-to-unlock-the-secrets-of-the-universe-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-anil-ananthaswamy-book-review.html Between dark energy and dark matter, 90 percent of what constitutes the universe is unknown to us. And that isn’t all of it. Astronomers now believe that the universe is expanding, and the rate of expansion is speeding up. In The Edge of Physics, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy travels to remote locations where...]]> Wisconsin’s Monster Fire - Putting Out the Flames in Minong http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10952-wisconsinrss-monster-fire-putting-out-the-flames-in-minong.html In a far northwest corner of Wisconsin, a massive forest fire raged for nearly 24 hours, engulfing 13,000 acres. Little remembered today, at least here in southeast Wisconsin, the catastrophe is...]]> Fixing Pro Sports? - Media, Corruption and Lies http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10929-fixing-pro-sports-media-corruption-and-lies.html Lately, sports fans have been given many reasons to suspect the worst about the games they love. Between athletes who get away with murder, club owners blackmailing cities to build new...]]> 'Dragon Haven’ Author at Boswell, Next Chapter http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10934-dragon-havenrs-author-at-boswell-next-chapter.html Harry Potter may have brought mainstream America to greater awareness of magic, spells and wizardry, but J.K. Rowling isn’t the only author with a handle on the fantastical. Author Robin Hobb recently released Dragon Haven, the second work in the trilogy known as “The Rain Wild Chronicles...]]> ‘Midnight at the Barrelhouse’ With Johnny Otis - Greek R&B musician identified with black culture http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10935-lsmidnight-at-the-barrelhousers-with-johnny-otis-greek-rb-musician-identified-with-black-culture.html Johnny Otis was among the top-selling R&B acts of the 1950s and the author of many hit songs, some of them, such as “Willie and the Hand Jive,” familiar to baby boomer audiences through cover versions in the ’60s and ’70s. A drummer, vibraphonist, pianist, singer and bandleader, Otis was one of the crucial links between R&B...]]> The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare: A Tale of Forgery and Folly (Da Capo), by Doug Stewart - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10936-the-boy-who-would-be-shakespeare-a-tale-of-forgery-and-folly-%2528da-capo%2529-by-doug-stewart-book-review.html In 1795, a 19-year-old London law clerk presented his pretentious, social-climbing father with a gift, a deed signed by Shakespeare. The lad had forged the document with some skill, hoping to win his father’s favor. It worked. Soon enough, the boy produced a glut of Shakespeare forgeries, including previously unknown poems...]]> Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection (Fulcrom Books), ed. by Matt Dembicki - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10912-trickster-native-american-tales-a-graphic-collection-%2528fulcrom-books%2529-ed-by-matt-dembicki-book-review.html The Nature of ‘NurtureShock’ - Parenthood without pop psychology http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10860-the-nature-of-lsnurtureshockrs-parenthood-without-pop-psychology.html The aptly titled book NurtureShock is a riveting look into the mysterious minds of children and the teachings of myth-guided parents. Po Bronson, best-selling author...]]> Fractured Tales of Milwaukee’s East Side: A True Story About the Germans, the Poles, the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, and the Greeks (AuthorHouse), by Thelma “Queen Tillie” Kamuchey and Jim “Rabbi” Hanley - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10861-fractured-tales-of-milwaukeerss-east-side-a-true-story-about-the-germans-the-poles-the-irish-the-jews-the-italians-and-the-greeks-%2528authorhouse%2529-by-thelma-ldqueen-tillierd-kamuchey-and-jim-ldrabbird-hanley-book-review.html During the 1960s the East Side became Milwaukee’s hipster mecca; before then, it was a typical, closely packed working-class neighborhood. Jim Hanley and Thelma Kamuchey, children growing up on the East Side in the 1940s and ’50s, recount their memories in Fractured Tales of Milwaukee’s East Side...]]> Next Chapter Bookshop Hosts Jean Kwok - ‘Girl in Translation' author captures immigrant experience http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10865-next-chapter-bookshop-hosts-jean-kwok-lsgirl-in-translation-author-captures-immigrant-experience.html Jean Kwok offers a fresh, clever take on the immigrant experience in her debut novel, Girl in Translation. At the heart of this semi-autobiographical tale is Kimberly, a bright young girl who moves from Hong Kong to Brooklyn at the age of 11. Like many newly arrived...]]> Beatles Solo Mania - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10843-beatles-solo-mania-book-review.html The Beatles have yet to exhaust the imagination of fan writers and cultural historians, but if library shelves groan beneath the weight of the Fab Four, fewer books have offered a side by side examination of their solo careers. Robert Rodriguez, who previously added to the weight on the Beatles’ shelf with Fab Four...]]> Die Again! - Murder Writer at Mystery One http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10835-die-again_-murder-writer-at-mystery-one.html On May 11, thrill writer Andrew Grant’s newest release, Die Twice, will hit the stands and the author himself will make a Milwaukee appearance at Mystery One Bookshop. Die Twice, Grant’s second publication, is already being heralded as an adrenaline-raising page-turner, brimming with...]]> Louisa May Alcott as Jo March - ‘Little Women' author stars in Kelly O'Connor McNees' historical fiction http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10779-louisa-may-alcott-as-jo-march-lslittle-women-author-stars-in-kelly-oconnor-mcnees-historical-fiction.html The finest literary collection would not be complete without Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic, Little Women. Perhaps no other fiction writer is more strongly connected to a character of her own creation than Alcott is with Jo March. It is no secret that Alcott...]]> ‘Music From the Streets of New York’ - Tony Fletcher's look at the vitality of live performance http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10780-lsmusic-from-the-streets-of-new-yorkrs-tony-fletchers-look-at-the-vitality-of-live-performance.html Bruce Springsteen recently played the Super Bowl; Patti Smith did a fashion show; The Rolling Stones re-released Exile On Main St. at prices ranging from fairly reasonable to slightly fair to awfully expensive. All of this comes from artists who were once edgy, countercultural performers. Tony Fletcher’s All Hopped Up...]]> Enlightening the World: The Creation of the Statue of Liberty (Cornell University Press), by Yasmin Sabina Khan - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10781-enlightening-the-world-the-creation-of-the-statue-of-liberty-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-yasmin-sabina-khan-book-review.html The Statue of Liberty looms not only over New York Harbor, but also over America and the world. France’s gift to the United States became a universally cherished monument, a colossal representation of the best American values—not greed and self-interest, but generosity and the pursuit of freedom...]]> Hard Luck Music - Photos of the Weird Old America http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10806-hard-luck-music-photos-of-the-weird-old-america.html Greil Marcus’ weird old America still flourished when photographers from a New Deal agency, the Farm Security Administration, set forth to document everyday life in the 1930s and ‘40s. Edited by Rich Remsberg, Hard Luck Blues: Roots Music Photographs from the Great Depression (University of...]]> Behind the Songs - The Restless Giant of Publishing http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10758-behind-the-songs-the-restless-giant-of-publishing.html With the exception of the firsthand accounts by Arnold Shaw, who worked for music publishers during the 1950s, song publishing is usually marginalized if not demonized by historians of popular music. Bar Biszick-Lockwood explores the role of publishing with Restless Giant: The Life and Times of Jen...]]> A Child’s Guide to Frank Lloyd Wright - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10712-a-childrss-guide-to-frank-lloyd-wright-book-review.html Frank Lloyd Wright was Wisconsin’s great contributor to world architecture. In the latest installment of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Badger Biographies Series, author Bob Kann approaches the towering figure with a child’s eyes. Frank Lloyd...]]> Amy Lou Jenkins’ ‘Five Seasons’ - Plus: Richard Cutler's memoir and a poetry reading http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10690-amy-lou-jenkinsrs-lsfive-seasonsrs-plus-richard-cutlers-memoir-and-a-poetry-reading.html The enchantment of our natural surroundings grows stronger in spring, when the sight of flowers blooming, the sound of birds returning north and the smell of greening lawns and gardens heighten the senses. Amy Lou Jenkins, author of the upcoming Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air...]]> The Middle East’s ‘World of Trouble’ - Patrick Tyler delves into region's history, foreign policy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10691-the-middle-eastrss-lsworld-of-troublers-patrick-tyler-delves-into-regions-history-foreign-policy.html Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design (University of Minnesota Press), by Greg Castillo - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10692-cold-war-on-the-home-front-the-soft-power-of-midcentury-design-%2528university-of-minnesota-press%2529-by-greg-castillo-book-review.html During the Cold War, the battle for the world’s future was waged not only by nuclear physicists and rocket scientists, but also by designers of home furnishings and household appliances. In Cold War on the Home Front, Greg Castillo explores the little-understood campaign waged by the United States and the...]]> Superior States? - The Ones That Never Made the Map http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10674-superior-states-the-ones-that-never-made-the-map.html As recently as the 1970s, there was serious talk of establishing a 51st state, to be called Superior, by combining Upper Michigan with a few forested counties of northern...]]> Making the Invisible Visible: Essays by the Fellows of the International Leadership Forum (Greenway Communications), edited by Richard Farson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10652-making-the-invisible-visible-essays-by-the-fellows-of-the-international-leadership-forum-%2528greenway-communications%2529-edited-by-richard-farson-book-review.html Predicting the future through rational analysis of the present has not been a fruitful science. Most futurists have usually been wrong. In Making the Invisible Visible, editor Richard Farson blames the failure on lack of true understanding of the present and commissions some 30 essayists to explore now in their areas of...]]> ‘Backing Into Forward’ With Humor and Chutzpah - Jules Feiffer describes his singular journey http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10618-lsbacking-into-forwardrs-with-humor-and-chutzpah-jules-feiffer-describes-his-singular-journey.html To hear Jules Feiffer tell it, he all but had to be talked into writing Backing Into Forward (Talese/Doubleday), one of the most entertaining memoirs you’re likely to read this (or any other) year. The prizewinning cartoonist and playwright, novelist, movie scriptwriter, children’s book author/illustrator...]]> Busy Week of Events for Milwaukee Book Lovers - Ralph Nader, Paul Salsini, Earth Day celebrations among highlights http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10617-busy-week-of-events-for-milwaukee-book-lovers-ralph-nader-paul-salsini-earth-day-celebrations-among-highlights.html 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and it remains as vital as ever before. Every day we confront new challenges posed by climate change and our addiction to fossilt...]]> The Book of Firsts: 150 World-Changing People and Events from Caesar Augustus to the Internet (Anchor), by Peter D’Epiro - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10619-the-book-of-firsts-150-world-changing-people-and-events-from-caesar-augustus-to-the-internet-%2528anchor%2529-by-peter-drsepiro-book-review.html Everything started somewhere, sometime, by someone. In identifying the most important “everythings,” Peter D’Epiro acknowledges that his scope was restricted by editorial considerations. He eliminated anything B.C.E. because many of the sometimes and someones have been forgotten. He wanted 300 firsts...]]> Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet (Public Affairs), by Joseph Menn - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10591-fatal-system-error-the-hunt-for-the-new-crime-lords-who-are-bringing-down-the-internet-%2528public-affairs%2529-by-joseph-menn-book-review.html The proliferation of spam is the least of the Internet’s problems. In Fatal System Error, the Financial Times’ cyberspace correspondent tells the story of Barrett Lyon, a hacker-turned-computer security consultant. Employed by the wiseguys running an offshore Internet gambling casino to protect them from...]]> Boswell Book Co. Hosts Pete Nelson, Joe Meno - Plus: Milwaukee names its newest poet laureate http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10485-boswell-book-co-hosts-pete-nelson-joe-meno-plus-milwaukee-names-its-newest-poet-laureate.html Dysfunctional families and lovable down-and-out characters have inspired many best-selling novels, and two new works of fiction continue the tradition of these winning plotlines. Up-and-coming authors Pete Nelson and Joe Meno deliver keen observations on human nature and family dramatics in their books I Thought You Were Dead and The Great Perhaps, respectively...]]> The ‘High Society’ Life of Grace Kelly - From Hollywood royalty to princess of Monaco http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10486-the-lshigh-societyrs-life-of-grace-kelly-from-hollywood-royalty-to-princess-of-monaco.html According to Donald Spoto’s provocative new biography, High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly (Harmony Books), the actress was full of grace, a trait that defined her every movement on screen. No actress boasting such delicate patrician features had ever radiated such warmth. But the girl hovering over a sleeping James Stewart in Rear Window was every man’s fantasy...]]> The Rise & Fall of EMI Records - (Omnibus Press), by Brian Southall http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10487-the-rise-fall-of-emi-records-%2528omnibus-press%2529-by-brian-southall.html As the original home of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Radiohead, Britain’s EMI Records boasts a rich musical history. But away from the recording studio, the label has been a mess for at least the past two decades...]]> American Dams - Costs, Benefits and Architecture http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10382-american-dams-costs-benefits-and-architecture.html Dams, once a titanic symbol of modern man’s ability to harness nature, have been exposed as a mixed blessing. As Dalhousie University architecture professor Christine Macy writes in her new book, the structures have “turned deserts into orchards, slacked the thirst of millions,” but have also “prevented...]]> Calling Mr. Pickles - Milwaukee's Michael Drake entertains the kids http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10389-calling-mr-pickles-milwaukees-michael-drake-entertains-the-kids.html Michael Drake is like a house with many additions, with each new wing flowing openly into the original floor plan. The Milwaukeean made his name in music, playing Latin jazz and upbeat fusion before latching on to what he calls...]]> ‘In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans’ - Simon Winder's take on all things Germania http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10390-lsin-wayward-pursuit-of-the-germansrs-simon-winders-take-on-all-things-germania.html In the publisher’s advance catalog, the title of Simon Winder’s book is listed as Save Yourselves! The Gnome Has Gone Crazy! A Personal History of the Germans. At some point someone presumably thought better of it, for it has been published as Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans...]]> The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death (Abrams), by Todd Hignite - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10391-the-art-of-jaime-hernandez-the-secrets-of-life-and-death-%2528abrams%2529-by-todd-hignite-book-review.html Love and Rockets, the comic book introduced in 1981 by brothers Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez, marked a turning point in comics and pop culture. Its everyday stories of ethnically diverse youth in California’s punk milieu were unlike anything seen before then, grounded in the classic style of American...]]> Echoes of Pink Floyd - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10365-echoes-of-pink-floyd-book-review.html The platinum success of Dark Side of the Moon turned Pink Floyd into the standard bearer for ‘70s album rock and a lumbering bullseye for the nascent punk movement. It was a strange journey for a band whose members were...]]> Broad Vocabulary Reopens http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10347-broad-vocabulary-reopens.html April 3 marks the re-opening of A Broad Vocabulary, Milwaukee's feminist bookstore recently. Closed since November 2008, this spring brings a new space on the East Side, a new ownership structure, new ideas, and new...]]> Little Richard Deserves Better - David Kirby's biography without merit http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10310-little-richard-deserves-better-david-kirbys-biography-without-merit.html After reading David Kirby’s Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll (Continuum), it’s clear that Little Richard is in need of a quality biography. The only other book, Charles White’s...]]> Milwaukee Area Hosts ‘The Big Read’ - Program highlights Jack London's ‘The Call of the Wild' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10309-milwaukee-area-hosts-lsthe-big-readrs-program-highlights-jack-londons-lsthe-call-of-the-wild.html We’ve all heard the names—Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Charlotte Bront, Ernest Hemingway—but sadly many of us have not read the works. In fact, according to a 2004 report from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), studies of the written word in America are declining across all ages. Perhaps even more disturbing...]]> A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars (Oxford University Press), by Nicholas Rankin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10311-a-genius-for-deception-how-cunning-helped-the-british-win-two-world-wars-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-nicholas-rankin-book-review.html Nicholas Rankin is happy to stereotype his own people. “The British enjoy deceiving their enemies,” he writes in the opening line of his book. And while offering much evidence that his country’s enemies were also adept at deception, his focus is on the United Kingdom’s many efforts to fool its foes in both world...]]> Spellman Detective Drama at Boswell Book Co. - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10234-spellman-detective-drama-at-boswell-book-co-book-preview.html If you think your life is complicated, meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, a private eye who continually finds herself in insane situations. Izzy has come a long way since being homeless and barred from her place of employment (a family business, no less) because of a restraining order. Izzy...]]> Britain in ‘Our Times’ - A.N. Wilson measures the changes http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10235-britain-in-lsour-timesrs-an-wilson-measures-the-changes.html A.N. Wilson has always been a hard one to pin down politically, at least if the pins and boards come off the shelf at the Wal-Mart of ready-made ideas. In recent years the award-winning British biographer has turned his attention to interpreting the history of his island kingdom from the post-Napoleonic through the post-modern...]]> Havana Revisited: An Architectural Heritage (W.W. Norton), by Cathryn Griffith - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10236-havana-revisited-an-architectural-heritage-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-cathryn-griffith-book-review.html Havana has long been a jewel among Caribbean cities; it could be argued that its distressed beauty has been preserved from “development” as an unintended consequence of Castro’s revolution. In the profusely and colorfully illustrated Havana Revisited, photographer Cathryn Griffith and a half-dozen essayists survey the city’s architecture...]]> Changing Times: The Life of Barack Obama by Glen Jeansonne & David Luhrssen - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10182-changing-times-the-life-of-barack-obama-by-glen-jeansonne-david-luhrssen-book-review.html Since 2001, political books penned by American liberals have flourished, but most have been critiques of the Bush-Cheney administration, the attacks on 9/11 and the Iraq War, interrupted briefly by the 2004 Kerry campaign. The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama, however, gave hopeful writers a new topic...]]> Local Author Events Abound - People's Books, Next Chapter, Boswell all host writers this week http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10151-local-author-events-abound-peoples-books-next-chapter-boswell-all-host-writers-this-week.html A trio of local literati will visit bookstores across the city this week. Valerie Laken, author of Dream House, moved to Milwaukee in 2006 and served two years as the writer in residence at Carthage College before...]]> ‘Why We Read Jane Austen’ - Great writers discuss the sense behind the sensibility http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10152-lswhy-we-read-jane-austenrs-great-writers-discuss-the-sense-behind-the-sensibility.html Britain's literary tradition of fine writers has left a legacy rich in classic storytelling with timeless characters that have become common names. Marley's ghost...]]> There Is No Freedom Without Bread: 1989 and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), by Constantine Pleshakov - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10153-there-is-no-freedom-without-bread-1989-and-the-civil-war-that-brought-down-communism-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-constantine-pleshakov-book-review.html In 1988, no one expected the East Bloc to disintegrate within a year. In Russian historian Constantine Pleshakov’s cheeky, sharply worded account of the last days of the Evil Empire, none of the key players—not Reagan, Bush or John Paul II—had any idea where events would lead. Pleshakov’s...]]> MATC-Mequon Discusses Sinclair Lewis’ ‘Babbitt’ - Plus: Boswell Book Co. welcomes Chang-rae Lee for ‘The Surrendered' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10092-matc-men-discusses-sinclair-lewisrs-lsbabbittrs-plus-boswell-book-co-welcomes-chang-rae-lee-for-lsthe-surrendered.html Long before Oprah started her signature book club, readers all over the country would gather in groups to discuss their favorite books. Milwaukee Area Technical...]]> A Closer Look at ‘The Worst Car in History’ - Jason Vuic details rise and fall of the Yugo http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10093-a-closer-look-at-lsthe-worst-car-in-historyrs-jason-vuic-details-rise-and-fall-of-the-yugo.html It was the little car that couldn’t, and the most enjoyable part of Jason Vuic’s book, The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History (Hill & Wang), is the jokes that were made about it: Q: What’s the difference between a Yugo and a golf ball? A: You can drive a golf ball 200...]]> The Devil and Mr. Casement: One Man’s Battle for Human Rights in South America’s Heart of Darkness (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), by Jordan Goodman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10094-the-devil-and-mr-casement-one-manrss-battle-for-human-rights-in-south-americarss-heart-of-darkness-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-jordan-goodman.html Sir Roger Casement is remembered chiefly as an Irish patriot, hanged by the British for treason for his part in the rebellion of 1916. As Jordan Goodman reminds us, Casement had previously been known as a British diplomat with a conscience, “the most universally lauded investigator of human rights abuses of his...]]> Discovering the Classics - The Gramophone Guide http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10025-discovering-the-classics-the-gramophone-guide.html One of the daunting problems for casual or novice fans of classical music comes down to the embarrassment of variety. Simply put: how to chose from the hundreds of recordings of Beethoven’s 3rd, assuming you don’t want to own them all?]]> Next Chapter, Boswell Debut ‘Postcards from a Dead Girl’ - Plus: Jodi Picoult at Oconomowoc Arts Center http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10010-next-chapter-boswell-debut-lspostcards-from-a-dead-girlrs-plus-jodi-picoult-at-oconomowoc-arts-center.html Most everyone loves to receive postcards from family or friends traveling abroad on fantastic adventures. Postcards sent from an ex-girlfriend you haven’t heard from in a year, however, are a different story entirely. It’s this second scenario that is happening to Sid Higgins, the mainl...]]> The Music Business of ‘Selling Sounds’ - David Suisman documents the rise and fall of aural culture http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10011-the-music-business-of-lsselling-soundsrs-david-suisman-documents-the-rise-and-fall-of-aural-culture.html David Suisman’s Selling Sounds (Harvard University Press) accurately and with remarkable insight traces the rise of the modern music industry at a time when it is...]]> Concerning E.M. Forster (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), by Frank Kermode - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10012-concerning-em-forster-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-frank-kermode-book-review.html E.M. Forster was one of Britain’s best-selling literary authors a century ago, and is known nowadays to art house lovers from film adaptations of Howards End, A Passage to India and Maurice. In his perceptive and critical analysis, Frank Kermode writes that Forster “wanted to write books that would please creative...]]> The Black Princess - Nina Simone in Life and Music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-10003-the-black-princess-nina-simone-in-life-and-music.html Nina Simone was a bewitchingly powerful singer, infusing her material with emotional nuance as well as dusky drama. Record companies marketed her in the late 1950s as a jazz singer but as her new biography spells out, Simone never wanted to be a jazz artist. A classically trained pianist...]]> ‘Just Kids’ Reveals Patti Smith’s Artful Prose - Robert Mapplethorpe prominent among evocative memories http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9945-lsjust-kidsrs-reveals-patti-smithrss-artful-prose-robert-mapplethorpe-prominent-among-evocative-memories.html Patti Smith is known for making mediocre poetry and music that exposes the sound of poetry in a furious rock ’n’ roll setting. It’s a pleasing shock to find that her prose is evocative, finely structured and elegantly delicate. In Just Kids (Ecco/HarperCollins), she is more than a mere...]]> ‘The Five Ancestors’ at Next Chapter Bookshop - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9944-lsthe-five-ancestorsrs-at-next-chapter-bookshop-book-preview.html History inspires great fiction, and tales of young heroes who succeed against insurmountable odds often top best-seller lists. In the collection The Five Ancestors, history and heroism come together in seven captivating young adult novels by Jeff Stone. Set in 17th-century China, these legends bring to life a very real and interesting period of world history in a narrative...]]> How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamites (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), by John Cassidy - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9946-how-markets-fail-the-logic-of-economic-calamites-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-john-cassidy-book-review.html When the financial tailspin of 2008 forced Alan Greenspan to confess that he was mistaken about the unshakable rationality and self-correcting nature of the economy, it was as if a Roman Catholic cardinal publicly doubted the divinity of Christ. As The New Yorker’s John Cassidy argues so well in How Markets Fail, Greenspan was the gnomic...]]> Talk About the Blues - The Best of the Chicago Annual http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9947-talk-about-the-blues-the-best-of-the-chicago-annual.html From 1989 through 1995 Lincoln T. Beauchamp, Jr., an African-American musician and writer, published a thick journal called the Original Chicago Blues Annual. OCBA included poetry and fiction but focused on interviews with blues and jazz artists along with cultural essays on the black experience in America...]]> Out of Our Heads - Drugs and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9923-out-of-our-heads-drugs-and-drugs-and-rocknroll.html According to George Case, one of the most significant dates in the chronicle of the 1960swas that day in August, 1964 when Bob Dylan shared his stash of pot with the Beatles. At their first meeting, the distance between the pop sensations and the esteemed folksinger was crossed on the rope bridge of cannabis...]]> John Gilman: Milwaukee’s ‘Footsoldier for Peace’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9864-john-gilman-milwaukeerss-lsfootsoldier-for-peacers-book-preview.html The old adage says that with age comes wisdom. In the autobiography Footsoldier for Peace and Justice, John Gilman shares the wisdom that has come as a result of his life experiences...]]> ‘Bette Davis: Larger Than Life’ - Schickel, Perry explore the mystique of a great star http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9865-lsbette-davis-larger-than-lifers-schickel-perry-explore-the-mystique-of-a-great-star.html Judging a book by its cover could not be more gratifying than with a quick glance at the imposing coffee-table book Bette Davis: Larger Than...]]> Meeting the Demands of Reason: The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov (Cornell University Press), by Jay Bergman - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9866-meeting-the-demands-of-reason-the-life-and-thought-of-andrei-sakharov-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-jay-bergman-book-review.html Jay Bergman argues that policemen and scientists “were the Soviet citizens the Soviet leadership needed most.” Among the latter group, physicists won the greatest autonomy, both for the abstract nature of their work and its practical application in nuclear weapons. In his deeply researched and largely laudatory account of Andrei Sakharov, the father of the Soviet H-bomb turned prominent dissident, Bergman...]]> Milwaukee Public Library’s Read-In Celebration - Plus: ‘Rock and Roll' at Boswell Book Co. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9780-milwaukee-public-libraryrss-read-in-celebration-plus-lsrock-and-roll-at-boswell-book-co.html February is Black History Month and reading is one of the finest ways to celebrate and honor the contributions of African Americans. This year the Milwaukee Public Library will host a “Read-In”...]]> Deborah Blum Delivers ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ - Tracking murder through forensic science http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9776-deborah-blum-delivers-lsthe-poisonerrss-handbookrs-tracking-murder-through-forensic-science.html As a professor of science journalism at UW-Madison, Deborah Blum has not lost the storytelling skills she honed as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. She put them to excellent use a couple of years back in Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death, a wonderful...]]> Rainbow in the Night: The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa (Da Capo), by Dominique Lapierre - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9777-rainbow-in-the-night-the-tumultuous-birth-of-south-africa-%2528da-capo%2529-by-dominique-lapierre-book-review.html South Africa had been a racial battleground since Dutch settlers arrived in the 1600s, and old antagonisms only worsened in the 1940s when the white minority government imposed the apartheid regimen of strict segregation and subjugation. As journalist/author Dominique Lapierre writes in A Rainbow in the Night, the generation of leaders...]]> Artavina Gallery Hosts ‘Unsung Love Songs’ - Plus: Open Book presents ‘Work Makes Me Sick' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9703-artavina-gallery-hosts-lsunsung-love-songsrs-plus-open-book-presents-lswork-makes-me-sick.html Poetry is synonymous with affairs of the heart; ergo, an evening of fine wine, gourmet chocolate and poetry sounds like a perfect way to show your love this Valentine’s season. This year Cupid has sent his arrow to the Artavina Gallery in Waukesha, where romance will take flight in the form...]]> ‘Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong’ - Terry Teachout looks at the musician and the man http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9705-lspops-a-life-of-louis-armstrongrs-terry-teachout-looks-at-the-musician-and-the-man.html Terry Teachout’s previous biographical subjects are George Balanchine and H. L. Mencken, so it’s a boon to Louis Armstrong fans that Teachout chose the great man for this new life story. Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) brims with insightful quotes...]]> Becoming Faulkner: The Art and Life of William Faulkner (Oxford University Press), by Philip Weinstein - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9706-becoming-faulkner-the-art-and-life-of-william-faulkner-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-philip-weinstein-book-review.html For William Faulkner, destiny was a grim piper, forcing humanity to dance like puppets to the tune of a broken instrument. Swarthmore English professor Philip Weinstein sets out to find the melody linking the dour tone of the great writer’s fiction with the dour facts of his life. Becoming Faulkner is a compact biographical analysis that benefits...]]> Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2009 Contest - Also: Woodland Pattern's annual marathon benefit http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9635-council-for-wisconsin-writersrs-2009-contest-also-woodland-patterns-annual-marathon-benefit.html “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you,” Ray Bradbury said. It is debatable as to whether Bradbury was actually advocating abstinence by choosing the pen as poison, but no matter what you find intoxicating...]]> Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s ‘Never-Ending Highway’ - Hank Reineke sheds light on an elusive legend http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9617-ramblinrs-jack-elliottrss-lsnever-ending-highwayrs-hank-reineke-sheds-light-on-an-elusive-legend.html Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is a seminal and frequently overlooked character in the folk music revivals of Britain and America in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s not hard to discern why he has been overlooked, given that he is such an elusive and unreliable character...]]> Perfect Rigor: A Genius The Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Masha Gessen - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9618-perfect-rigor-a-genius-the-mathematical-breakthrough-of-the-century-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-masha-gessen-book-review.html Most of us imagine mathematical geniuses as mad eccentrics with unkempt Einstein hair and almost total unawareness of everyday society. The stereotype fits Grigori Perelman like a comfortable shoe. After posting online the solution to one of math’s most challenging problems, the Russian recluse refused to accept...]]> Wisconsin Stars in ‘A Reliable Wife’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9552-wisconsin-stars-in-lsa-reliable-wifers-book-preview.html Everyone knows that Wisconsin winters consist of blankets of snow and frigid temperatures. Author Robert Goolrick has used this well-known frozen tundra as the backdrop for his novel A Reliable Wife, a turn-of-the-20th-century tale that...]]> The RZA’s ‘Tao of Wu’ Explores Faith and Practice - A rapper's spiritual guide http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9553-the-rzarss-lstao-of-wurs-explores-faith-and-practice-a-rappers-spiritual-guide.html When New York rap artist Jay-Z says, “Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends,” he touches on the twofold conundrum of faith and practice that is explored in The Tao of Wu (Riverhead). New York rappers know about sin in their city, and the internal struggles of breaking through. They wear the hard knocks of their lives—violence, drugs...]]> Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (W.W. Norton), by Linda Gordon - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9554-dorothea-lange-a-life-beyond-limits-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-linda-gordon-book-review.html During the Great Depression, the federal government commissioned photographers to document the impoverished and the disadvantaged, forming a stark record in black and white of the 1930s. Dorothea Lange, one of the era’s great photographers of ordinary Americans, is the subject of a magisterial biography by New York...]]> Long Lost Blues - The Tangled Roots of American Music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9544-long-lost-blues-the-tangled-roots-of-american-music.html Anyone interested in American music knows that the cotton fields of Mississippi were fertile ground for the blues; as the Delta soil was carried down river to New Orleans, the blues helped shape the emergence of jazz; and when the blues traveled by rail to Chicago...]]> Soul Rebel - Bob Marley on Camera http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9470-soul-rebel-bob-marley-on-camera.html When photojournalist David Burnett went to Jamaica for Time magazine in 1976, reggae was a rumor at best for most Americans. But with ears and eyes open, Burnett encountered...]]> Audrey Niffenegger and ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9475-audrey-niffenegger-and-lsher-fearful-symmetryrs-book-preview.html What’s more basic than the need to be known? Best-selling author Audrey Niffenegger asks this question in her 2009 release, Her Fearful Symmetry, which digs deep into various forms of love, including the oppressive closeness of twins and a surprising form of beyond-the-grave intimacy...]]> Should We Bring Back Communism? - Slavoj Zizek: Unfashionable thoughts from a fashionable philosopher http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9476-should-we-bring-back-communism-slavoj-zizek-unfashionable-thoughts-from-a-fashionable-philosopher.html The Chronicle of Higher Education hailed Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek as the “Elvis of cultural theory” for his status as one of the most famous philosophers currently living. He is certainly one of the most fashionable, perhaps in part due to his method of illustrating philosophy and psychoanalysis with...]]> On Rumors (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Cass R. Sunstein - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9477-on-rumors-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-cass-r-sunstein-book-review.html The Internet has been called the universal marketplace of ideas. But as Cass Sunstein asserts in On Rumors, the World Wide Web has also worsened the human tendency toward destructive, misleading gossip. The Harvard Law professor identifies the cascading effect of the Internet, allowing rumors...]]> Exploring Wisconsin - A Milwaukee Writer's Guide http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9465-exploring-wisconsin-a-milwaukee-writers-guide.html Entertaining visitors from out of state or out of town? Hand them a copy of Mollie Boutell-Butler’s Wisconsin: An Explorer’s Guide (published by Countryman Press). It’s an informative overview of the Badger State, a place with a little bit...]]> Milwaukee’s City Hall - Photos From a Local Landmark http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9447-milwaukeerss-city-hall-photos-from-a-local-landmark.html Pop Goes to Court: Rock ’N’ Pop’s Greatest Court Battles (Omnibus), by Brian Southall http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9415-pop-goes-to-court-rock-rsnrs-poprss-greatest-court-battles-%2528omnibus%2529-by-brian-southall.html One of the most entertaining recent rock books goes behind the music into the courtrooms where stars bright and small battled with agents, publishers, parents of suicidal fans and each other...]]> Les Paul Legacy - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9414-les-paul-legacy-book-review.html When photojournalist Robb Lawrence made his 1979 film documentary, The Wizard of Waukesha, Les Paul had not yet gained his stature as the zany elder uncle of electric guitar and recording...]]> The Restored New Testament? - More Perspectives on Ancient Writings http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9367-the-restored-new-testament-more-perspectives-on-ancient-writings.html New translations of the Bible continue to roll off the presses 500 years after Gutenberg and Luther and the pace has only accelerated during the past half century. Some of the new translations were in response to new scholarship concerning ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Most were composed to make a particular point or two. If God provided the original inspiration...]]> ‘Blues & Chaos,’ ‘Heroes and Villains’ - Robert Palmer, David Hajdu cast culture in new light http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9357-lsblues-chaosrs-lsheroes-and-villainsrs-robert-palmer-david-hajdu-cast-culture-in-new-light.html A good critic’s job isn’t to tell you how to spend your money by deciding which movies to watch, music to purchase or books to read. If critics are worth considering at all, it’s because they are able to cast our world in a new light, causing us to consider the value and meaning of cultural figures and the artifacts and ideas they produce...]]> The Good Soldiers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by David Finkel - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9358-the-good-soldiers-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-david-finkel-book-review.html Historic Lake Michigan - Photos From the Region's Past http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9346-historic-lake-michigan-photos-from-the-regions-past.html By the time Milwaukee was incorporated in 1846, photography was poised to become the prevalent means of documenting reality. Lynda Twardowski’s handsome coffee table book, Historic Photos of Lake Michigan...]]> King of the Queen City - The Story of an Indie Label http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9299-king-of-the-queen-city-the-story-of-an-indie-label.html Syd Nathan was no visionary. When James Brown came to his studio in 1956 to cut his first record, “Please, Please, Please,” King was outraged. He stopped the session, called the song “a piece of shit” and threatened to fire everyone involved in signing Brown to his label, King Records. Just to prove his point, the apoplectic...]]> The ‘DownBeat’ Interviews - 75 years of great jazz and more http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9293-the-lsdownbeatrs-interviews-75-years-of-great-jazz-and-more.html DownBeat is one of the great music fanzine successes and probably the oldest-running publication of its kind. Started in 1934 by devotees of the still-disreputable music called jazz, a sound deemed unworthy of serious consideration in the...]]> The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World (Random House), by Holger H. Herwig - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9294-the-marne-1914-the-opening-of-world-war-i-and-the-battle-that-changed-the-world-%2528random-house%2529-by-holger-h-herwig-book-review.html Canadian historian Holger Herwig rightly calls the Battle of the Marne (1914) the military turning point of the 20th century. It was round one of World War I, a conflict that devastated many existing societies and set the stage for catastrophes to come such as Bolshevism, World War II, the Holocaust and the Cold War. It’s been written...]]> Against all Fundamentalists - What Atheists and Evangelicals Share http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9268-against-all-fundamentalists-what-atheists-and-evangelicals-share.html Have you ever noticed that New Atheists and Evangelical Christians sometimes sound the same? Sure, their words can be different but their tone is often in the identical key of absolute certainty. Boiled down to a bumper sticker, their thinking amounts to: “I’m right, you’re stupid.” If you’re tired of their arguments, you might want to entertain the elemental questions of existence...]]> Reyna Grande Spreads Her Wings in ‘Dancing With Butterflies’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9206-reyna-grande-spreads-her-wings-in-lsdancing-with-butterfliesrs-book-preview.html In some Mexican cultures, butterflies represent extraordinary spiritual, magical creations that are believed to embody the spirits of the dead and the souls of deities. Not surprisingly, many Mexican-American authors have incorporated these alluring insects into their writing, as Reyna Grande affirms in her second novel, Dancing With Butterflies. Grande, whose critically acclaimed debut...]]> ‘Real Life & Tall Tales’ in the E Street Band - Clarence Clemons: Born to be fun? http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9207-lsreal-life-tall-talesrs-in-the-e-street-band-clarence-clemons-born-to-be-fun.html Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales (Grand Central) is the first autobiography written by an E Street Band member. Remarkably, it’s by Clarence Clemons, not Little Steven or even Bruce Springsteen himself. Big Man has a foreword by the Boss, who says in bemused reference to the cover photo for his...]]> Andy Warhol (Yale University Press), by Arthur C. Danto - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9208-andy-warhol-%2528yale-university-press%2529-by-arthur-c-danto-book-review.html Arthur Danto, art critic for The Nation, calls Warhol “the artist of the second half of the twentieth century”—an artist for people who knew very little about art. Probably because he had been a successful commercial artist and understood how to manipulate images for maximum appeal, he became the superstar...]]> Chicago Folk - Photos from a Music Scene http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9218-chicago-folk-photos-from-a-music-scene.html Raeburn Flerlage was an all around presence in Chicago for many years. He was a radio announcer, political activist and record reviewer with interests in classical music, social justice, jazz and the folk-blues revival—in no particular order of priority. He turned to photography later in life, shooting album covers...]]> The Pabst Mansion - Pictures From a Milwaukee Landmark http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9158-the-pabst-mansion-pictures-from-a-milwaukee-landmark.html It was a characteristic Milwaukee story from the long, dismal mayoralty of Henry Maier. The Pabst Mansion, a local landmark and jewel of Victorian architecture, was nearly torn down to make space for a parking lot. Fortunately, the tide turned against the wholesale destruction of the city’s architectural heritage by vandals...]]> Steam & Cinders - The Story of Badger Railroads http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9107-steam-cinders-the-story-of-badger-railroads.html In 1854, the first passenger train to pull into Madison was met by two thousand spectators. Most had never seen a train except in newspaper illustrations. Soon enough, trains were no longer a novelty but socially and economically vital to the new State of Wisconsin and the U.S. The Badger chapter of early American...]]> Boswell Hosts ‘Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin’ http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9085-boswell-hosts-lsmaster-cheesemakers-of-wisconsinrs.html Even before embarking upon the obligatory kindergarten trip to the farm, Wisconsin kids know that the state is renowned for its cheese. From squeaky curds to fans sporting wedges of cheddar on their heads, Wisconsin has been perfecting this artisan craft since the 1850s. In fact, the state produces 35% of the nation’s specialty cheeses and wheels...]]> ‘Americans in Paris’ During World War II - Charles Glass describes ‘Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9086-lsamericans-in-parisrs-during-world-war-ii-charles-glass-describes-lslife-and-death-under-nazi-occupation.html Dr. Sumner Jackson was a hero in the traditional and most basic sense: a person who selflessly commits lifesaving acts for others with little regard for his own safety or well-being. He is one of a number of remarkable Americans highlighted in Charles Glass’ fascinating history, Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation...]]> The Poetry of Rilke (North Point Press), translated by Edward Snow http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9087-the-poetry-of-rilke-%2528north-point-press%2529-translated-by-edward-snow.html Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) wrote some of the most lustrous poetry in German since Goethe, yet spent little time in Germany. Born in Prague like Kafka, he considered Russia his spiritual homeland, worked as secretary to French sculptor Rodin and died in Swiss exile. A beautifully presented new set of translations...]]> Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed (Backbeat), by Dave Thompson http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9058-your-pretty-face-is-going-to-hell-the-dangerous-glitter-of-david-bowie-iggy-pop-and-lou-reed-%2528backbeat%2529-by-dave-thompson.html Much has been written on David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, obscure and even outcast performers when they began in the ‘60s who became defining figures in ‘70s rock. Their influence continues to be felt in the ‘00s. In Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, prolific rock chronicler Dave Thompson shows...]]> Woodland Pattern Hosts Frank X Walker, Amelia Klem Osterud http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9025-woodland-pattern-hosts-frank-x-walker-amelia-klem-osterud.html Poet Frank X Walker is officially credited with coining the term “Affrilachian,” an adjective that relates to African Americans who reside in or come from Appalachia. In so doing, this Kentucky native added new color to society’s perceptions of the multi-state region of Appalachia and has gone on to celebrate a style of verse based on this unexpected, but appropriate, idiom...]]> David Skal’s ‘Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice’ - Remembering a Hollywood class act http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9026-david-skalrss-lsclaude-rains-an-actorrss-voicers-remembering-a-hollywood-class-act.html Claude Rains, this most patrician and elegant of screen actors, still sustains a fascination for the average filmgoer. And his life story is full of surprises: He spoke cockney and had been abused as a child. In Mr. Skeffington, he tells Bette Davis that his success is a rags-to-riches story. In David Skal’s Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice (University Press of Kentucky) that parallel is made...]]> Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Michael D. Gordin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-9027-red-cloud-at-dawn-truman-stalin-and-the-end-of-the-atomic-monopoly-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-michael-d-gordin-book-review.html Government secrecy-intelligence is one theme of Red Cloud at Dawn, illustrated through the dangerous games the United States and the U.S.S.R. played over the advent of the atom bomb. The conclusion by Princeton history professor Michael D. Gordin is that American intelligence was bad and the Russians did a better job of finding what they needed, through spies...]]> Steve Basson Talks ‘Kurt Oppens on Music’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8971-steve-basson-talks-lskurt-oppens-on-musicrs-book-preview.html Music has become synonymous with the holiday season—some of it inspired, some of it trite. If you are looking for something more sophisticated than the conventional Christmas carol, tune in to Boswell Book Co. on Monday, Nov. 30...]]> John Irving’s Rich, Lyrical ‘Last Night in Twisted River’ - Bob Dylan song inspires story of cook in the great north woods http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8954-john-irvingrss-rich-lyrical-lslast-night-in-twisted-riverrs-bob-dylan-song-inspires-story-of-cook-in-the-great-north-woods.html In a logging community in the north woods of New England—a dismal, uninviting camp on the banks of Twisted River—a widowed cook works in the dining lodge, concocting the Italian dishes (Sicilian, really) that have won him a certain level of respect from the workers. Here in the cookhouse, he watches...]]> Down to the Wire (Oxford University Press), by David W. Orr - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8955-down-to-the-wire-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-david-w-orr-book-review.html David Orr doesn’t think that better light bulbs or green rooftops will be enough to curb the rising storm of ecological disaster. An environmental studies professor at Oberlin College, Orr expresses anger in Down to the Wire at politicians and the media for denying or underplaying...]]> Animals in Stone: Architectural Sculpture in New York City (W.W. Norton), by Robert Arthur King - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8968-animals-in-stone-architectural-sculpture-in-new-york-city-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-robert-arthur-king-book-review.html Similar books could be produced in any older city with many buildings that have survived the ravages of “urban renewal.” But photographer Robert Arthur King, a professor at the New York School of Interior Design, didn’t have to wander far from home to find his subject in the decorative stone carvings on the facades of buildings. King focused on black...]]> UWM Welcomes Award-Winning Authors M.K. Asante Jr., Edwidge Danticat - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8876-uwm-welcomes-award-winning-authors-mk-asante-jr-edwidge-danticat-book-preview.html Two award-winning authors will explicate the deeper meaning behind their writings this week at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Author and filmmaker M.K. Asante Jr. will lecture on his topical new manuscript, It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, on Nov. 19, followed by critically acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat on Nov. 23...]]> Marcus, Sollors’ ‘New Literary History of America’ - Anthology presents cultural vision, not new history of literature http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8877-marcus-sollorsrs-lsnew-literary-history-of-americars-anthology-presents-cultural-vision-not-new-history-of-literature.html There are more than 200 essays in A New Literary History of America (Belknap Harvard), this part-madcap, part-inventive anthology that tries to redefine American literature. Roaming from the 16th century to the present...]]> Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race (W.W. Norton), by Wayne Biddle - Book Reviews http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8878-dark-side-of-the-moon-wernher-von-braun-the-third-reich-and-the-space-race-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-wayne-biddle-book-reviews.html To Americans during the Space Age, Wernher von Braun was the German who would put the United States on the moon. Everyone knew he had directed the Nazi V-2 rocket program, but in the Cold War, pitting the United States against the U.S.S.R. in a technology race, few cared to ask questions about Braun’s past...]]> Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble - The Barnyard Sessions http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8793-levon-helmrss-midnight-ramble-the-barnyard-sessions.html Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zeppelin in Pictures http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8652-good-times-bad-times-led-zeppelin-in-pictures.html In his perceptive forward to Good Times Bad Times: A Visual Biography of the Ultimate Band (published by Abrams), veteran Rolling Stone critic Anthony DeCurtis perceptively calls Led Zeppelin “simultaneously the last band of the sixties and the first band of the seventies.” When placed on the timeline of history, Led Zeppelin represented...]]> Folk Singer Peter Yarrow, ‘Day Is Done’ Coming to Jewish Community Center - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8666-folk-singer-peter-yarrow-lsday-is-doners-coming-to-jewish-community-center-book-preview.html The 1960s come alive this week as Peter Yarrow of the popular folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary performs at Milwaukee’s Jewish Community Center (JCC) to share the message of his newest children’s book, Day Is Done. This illustrated version of Yarrow’s song of the same name is a perfect story to draw families together at the...]]> ‘American Fantastic Tales’ Explores Scary Stories - ‘From Poe to the Pulps' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8667-lsamerican-fantastic-talesrs-explores-scary-stories-lsfrom-poe-to-the-pulps.html There are scary stories, and then there are scary stories, just as there is writing, and then there is writing. Evidence supporting that fuzzy tautology is abundantly provided in the excellent two-volume collection American Fantastic Tales (Library of America), edited by Milwaukee native Peter Straub...]]> The F Word (Oxford University Press), by Jesse Sheidlower - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8668-the-f-word-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-jesse-sheidlower-book-review.html First things first: “Fuck” did not enter the language as an acronym for “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.” The F Word’s author, Jesse Sheidlower, an editor for the estimable Oxford English Dictionary, easily dispatches that urban legend. He identifies the once-unprintable word as Germanic in origin; it originally meant...]]> Jewish History, Jewish Stories in Milwaukee - John Gurda, Michael Corenthal's intriguing new books http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8580-jewish-history-jewish-stories-in-milwaukee-john-gurda-michael-corenthals-intriguing-new-books.html Jewish writing and writing about Milwaukee’s Jews fill the coming week with the release of Michael G. Corenthal’s Jewish Stories: The Goldberg Variations and John Gurda’s much anticipated One People, Many Paths: A History of Jewish Milwaukee. Alongside his career as a dealer in used books and records, Corenthal built an eclectic catalog...]]> The Biggest Tall Tale - Paul Bunyon's Wisconsin Roots http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8558-the-biggest-tall-tale-paul-bunyons-wisconsin-roots.html Everyone’s heard of the big guy and his blue animal companion, but who knows where America’s favorite tall tale, Paul Bunyan, came from? Badger State historian Michael Edmonds follows the trail of the axeman and his blue ox in Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)...]]> David Small’s Candid, Absorbing ‘Stitches’ - Graphic memoir depicts troubled life saved by art http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8563-david-smallrss-candid-absorbing-lsstitchesrs-graphic-memoir-depicts-troubled-life-saved-by-art.html On the frontispiece of David Small’s graphic memoir, Stitches (W.W. Norton), is a wonderful, three-panel sequence picturing a young boy on the floor with paper and art supplies. In the first panel, he is standing on his head, balancing on the blank page in front of him. In the following two panels, he disappears into the page...]]> Uncage Me (Bleak House Books), edited by Jen Jordan - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8564-uncage-me-%2528bleak-house-books%2529-edited-by-jen-jordan-book-review.html Uncage Me is billed by Wisconsin’s Bleak House publishers as an anthology of short stories delving into boundaries and limits in the legal, moral, aesthetic and sexual facets of the modern world. It wants to test new fictional realms, to expand literature beyond yesterday and today, and into the vast unknown of the future, with themes ranging from salvation...]]> Grateful Dead Scrapbook - Documents of a Pop Culture Phenomenon http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8487-grateful-dead-scrapbook-documents-of-a-pop-culture-phenomenon.html The Grateful Dead became the enduring institution of the 1960s San Francisco scene, much as Jerry Garcia and company might have resisted becoming institutionalized. The Dead roadshow that continued through Garcia’s death in 1995 became the object of obsessive Deadhead devotion...]]> Boswell Presents Barbara Ehrenreich at Alverno College - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8470-boswell-presents-barbara-ehrenreich-at-alverno-college-book-preview.html Alverno College’s Pitman Theatre, which has played host to the likes of writers Chuck Palahniuk and Jodi Picoult, will welcome best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m., in an event sponsored by Boswell Book Co. Ehrenreich, who has penned more than 15 books...]]> From ‘Manga Kamishibai’ to ‘The Art of Osamu Tezuka’ - Nash, McCarthy explore the roots of Japanese animation http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8471-from-lsmanga-kamishibairs-to-lsthe-art-of-osamu-tezukars-nash-mccarthy-explore-the-roots-of-japanese-animation.html Anime cast a lengthening shadow over the imagination of animators and animation fans from around the world in the closing years of the 20th century. The distinctly Japanese style in television and film was rooted in manga, the voluminous graphic stories that dominated Japan’s popular culture after World War II...]]> North Africa: A History From Antiquity to the Present (University of Texas Press), by Phillip C. Naylor - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8472-north-africa-a-history-from-antiquity-to-the-present-%2528university-of-texas-press%2529-by-phillip-c-naylor-book-review.html Aside from ancient Egypt, North Africa usually receives short shrift in accounts of world history. Marquette University history professor Phillip Naylor hopes to remedy that with his remarkably succinct, lucid account of the region from the pharaohs through the 21st century...]]> Wisconsin in World War II - Local Author Honors the Dead http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8445-wisconsin-in-world-war-ii-local-author-honors-the-dead.html Trust (Omnibus Press), by Jim Marshall http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8434-trust-%2528omnibus-press%2529-by-jim-marshall.html Jimi Hendrix squatting as he sets fire to his guitar and the free wind blowing through Janis Joplin’s hair are probably the most famous images collected in photographer Jim Marshall’s impressive coffee table book. But there are many more, including some that had never...]]> Piecing It Together: The Original Frankenstein (Vintage Classics) by Mary Shelley (with Percy Shelley) - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8427-piecing-it-together-the-original-frankenstein-%2528vintage-classics%2529-by-mary-shelley-%2528with-percy-shelley%2529-book-review.html What is actually a macabre tale, unraveling the consequences of a man’s reckless endeavor to create life from dead flesh, has become one of the most familiar visages of the Halloween season: Frankenstein and his monster. The question of Frankenstein’s authorship has been a source of literary...]]> Next Chapter Bookshop’s Haunted Attractions - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8376-next-chapter-bookshoprss-haunted-attractions-book-preview.html Halloween is approaching with haste and no spooky season is complete without festive costume parties and scary tales. This week offers an array of opportunities for book lovers to revel in the spine-chilling and hair-raising stories they love to fear, as Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon hosts a pair of haunted attractions...]]> ‘Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II’ - David Faber talks Germany and Czechoslovakia http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8377-lsmunich-1938-appeasement-and-world-war-iirs-david-faber-talks-germany-and-czechoslovakia.html The attitude of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and other British politicians toward Czechoslovakia in 1938 veered awfully close to the oxymoronic expression, “We must destroy this country to save it.” So desperate were they to avoid war with Germany that they abandoned Czechoslovakia to a Nazi fate, as David Faber shows in Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II...]]> George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait (University of Illinois Press), by Walter Rimler - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8378-george-gershwin-an-intimate-portrait-%2528university-of-illinois-press%2529-by-walter-rimler-book-review.html George Gershwin never lacked ambition. Starting as a hustler of tunes on Tin Pan Alley during the World War I era, Gershwin became a successful author of Broadway musicals in the 1920s. He might have rested on his résumé as a hit songwriter, but Gershwin kept his eyes on the horizon...]]> Loving Neil Diamond - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8359-loving-neil-diamond-book-review.html Running with a joke from the Bill Murray comedy What About Bob, David Wild insists that “there are two type of people in the world: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t.” In He is … I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond (out now in paperback from Da Capo), Wild...]]> Les Paul’s Guitars http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8346-les-paulrss-guitars.html It’s hard to credit author Tony Bacon when he writes, “there are still fans…who are unaware that Les Paul is not only a name emblazoned in script lettering on the head of each one of these guitars, but also a real person.” The guitar historian must have written those words for the first edition of The Les Paul Guitar Book...]]> Encore for Wisconsin’s Grand Theaters - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8317-encore-for-wisconsinrss-grand-theaters-book-review.html When it was dedicated in 1895, the Pabst Theater was a monument to the philanthropy of its namesake as well as a symbol of Milwaukee’s cultural status. It’s no surprise that Wisconsin’s biggest city should have reared such a structure, but as shown in Encore! The Renaissance of Wisconsin Opera Houses...]]> David Wroblewski’s ‘Story of Edgar Sawtelle’ at Boswell, Next Chapter - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8303-david-wroblewskirss-lsstory-of-edgar-sawtellers-at-boswell-next-chapter-book-preview.html In 2008, David Wroblewski’s debut novel became an instant best seller and received honors from Oprah’s Book Club. Wroblewski’s fictional account of a family who breeds dogs in a quaint northern Wisconsin town, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, chronicles a mute boy’s struggle to understand the enigmas surrounding a family tragedy. Wroblewski, who grew...]]> Milwaukee Book Festival - Oct. 9 – Oct. 18, 2009 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8252-milwaukee-book-festival-oct-9-ndash-oct-18-2009.html Great Discoveries: Explorations That Changed History (Time Books) - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8225-great-discoveries-explorations-that-changed-history-%2528time-books%2529-book-review.html From the discovery of a hobbit-like species living in Indonesia 18,000 years ago to the observation of a comet crashing into Jupiter, this book from the editors of Time magazine covers the distance in time and space. The title is a bit misleading...]]> Prestige Album Covers - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8213-prestige-album-covers-book-review.html If music didn’t shrink with the advent of the CD, perhaps the experience of listening has diminished? Did music look larger in a wider format? And to drop the tone arm on the proper groove demanded a modicum of effort repaid in pleasure; if nothing else, the packaging for the music became smaller. Sure, some graphic artists rose...]]> Ethan Gilsdorf Follows ‘Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8214-ethan-gilsdorf-follows-lsfantasy-freaks-and-gaming-geeksrs-book-preview.html Long before hobbits and “The Boy Who Lived” made the fantasy genre so astoundingly popular, and eons before the Internet heralded in addictive online games like “Warhammer” and “World of Warcraft,” role-playing games entertained millions of whimsical individuals who wanted to travel to unique realms...]]> Greg Milner’s Brilliant ‘Perfecting Sound Forever’ - An insightful history of recorded music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8215-greg-milnerrss-brilliant-lsperfecting-sound-foreverrs-an-insightful-history-of-recorded-music.html Greg Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music (Faber & Faber) is a brilliantly researched and mindfully provoking text on the history of capturing sound. A genealogy of recorded music, it stimulates awareness of the evolution of recorded sound and how we have deployed it in our own lives. Perfecting Sound...]]> Gilded Youth: Three Lives in France’s Belle Epoque (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Kate Cambor - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8216-gilded-youth-three-lives-in-francerss-belle-epoque-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-kate-cambor-book-review.html They are not familiar to most of us, but their associations are well known: Jeanne Hugo was Victor Hugo’s granddaughter, Jean-Baptiste Charcot was the son of a respected neurologist who mentored Sigmund Freud, and Leon Daudet was the son of popular...]]> Phil Hanrahan Explores ‘Life After Favre’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8139-phil-hanrahan-explores-lslife-after-favrers-book-preview.html For many Wisconsinites, memories of football have always included Brett Favre as the heralded figure leading the green and gold at Lambeau Field. More than a decade after Green Bay’s Super Bowl win in 1997, car owners continue to proudly wave Packers championship flags atop their vehicles and display No. 4 stickers...]]> Ned Sublette Chronicles New Orleans in ‘The Year Before the Flood’ - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8140-ned-sublette-chronicles-new-orleans-in-lsthe-year-before-the-floodrs-book-review.html Although Ned Sublette has been an accomplished songwriter and recording artist in New York for years, his influence has been greater as a presenter and interpreter of other cultures. As a producer for the seminal public radio program “Afropop Worldwide,” he has helped to expose many Americans...]]> An Oresteia (Faber & Faber), translated by Anne Carson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8141-an-oresteia-%2528faber-faber%2529-translated-by-anne-carson-book-review.html Since our ideas of drama and melodrama originated in ancient Greece, it’s no wonder new translations of 2,500-year-old Athenian plays continue to appear. Not all hit the mark as well as others. An Oresteia, a fresh rendering of a trio of thematically related tragedies...]]> Springsteen and the Milwaukee Bomb Threat - Remembering a Great Rock'n'Roll Night http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8129-springsteen-and-the-milwaukee-bomb-threat-remembering-a-great-rocknroll-night.html The night of October 2, 1975 has lived on in local memory. It was the first Milwaukee concert by Bruce Springsteen, an East Coast songwriter-singer just catapulted from obscurity on the strength of a great new album, Born to Run, and unprecedented...]]> The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side (Voyageur), by Jim DeRogatis - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8047-the-velvet-underground-an-illustrated-history-of-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-%2528voyageur%2529-by-jim-derogatis-book-review.html The black velvet strip along the cover is cute, but the visual wealth of this illustrated history is inside the covers. A Walk on the Wild Side is packed with great photos—Andy Warhol working on his banana design for the first Velvet Underground album, rare shots of the band in all their dark majesty, even unusual promo picture... ]]> Dava Sobel’s Tour Through ‘The Planets’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8055-dava-sobelrss-tour-through-lsthe-planetsrs-book-preview.html In The Planets, Dava Sobel, best-selling author of Galileo’s Daughter and Longitude, sheds light on difficult scientific concepts as she weaves together a compelling series of essays on our solar system. Sobel’s book imbues the scientific text with entertaining and poetic stories, as each chapter mixes science fiction, mythology, literature...]]> 'Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture' - Ellen Ruppel Shell exposes the damage from ‘low-price' goods http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8056-cheap-the-high-cost-of-discount-culture-ellen-ruppel-shell-exposes-the-damage-from-lslow-price-goods.html At the very moment of sitting down to write this review of Ellen Ruppel Shell’s Cheap: The High Cost of DiscountCulture (Penguin Press), I received an e-mail from a friend warning me about a cheap pair of Chinese-made flip-flops at Wal-Mart that had caused severe, unsightly rashes. Wal-Mart withdrew the merchandise, but the coincidence...]]> Khrushchev’s Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform After Stalin (Cornell University Press), by Miriam Dobson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-8057-khrushchevrss-cold-summer-gulag-returnees-crime-and-the-fate-of-reform-after-stalin-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-miriam-dobson-book-review.html Stalin’s policies led to the imprisonment of millions, and when those policies were denounced by his successor, Khrushchev, everyone expected those millions to be freed—but not everyone was happy with the idea. Miriam Dobson closely examines little-known aspects of what followed through meticulous archival research, unearthing...]]> Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Inherent Vice’ a Must-Read - Detective novel filled with exquisite detail, explosive energy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7964-thomas-pynchonrss-lsinherent-vicers-a-must-read-detective-novel-filled-with-exquisite-detail-explosive-energy.html Are you sitting down? Thomas Pynchon—post-surreal political hippie/punk slinger of prose full of history, hilarity, piss, vinegar and exquisite, often distracting detail—has written an old-fashioned detective novel, Inherent Vice (Penguin), and it’s less than a thousand pages... ]]> Teen Runaway Propels Nami Mun’s ‘Miles from Nowhere’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7963-teen-runaway-propels-nami-munrss-lsmiles-from-nowherers-book-preview.html Fictionalized accounts of teenage runaways usually depict drugged-out, tough-talking boys plagued by inner demons and explosive anger. Seldom are they given the voice of someone like Joon, a 13-year-old girl and Korean immigrant trying to survive in the New York underbelly of the 1980s, a time when the city was known for being especially dodgy. In the book Miles from Nowhere...]]> The Master Muralist - Painting the Capitol with Symbols http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7959-the-master-muralist-painting-the-capitol-with-symbols.html Gaze up at the interior of the Wisconsin State Capitol’s dome and you’ll pick out a tightly packed mural of figures arranged in a garland of symbolism. It’s probably easier to...]]> The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal (Da Capo), by Mark Ribowsky - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7965-the-supremes-a-saga-of-motown-dreams-success-and-betrayal-%2528da-capo%2529-by-mark-ribowsky-book-review.html The Tsar and the President: Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln, Liberator and Emancipator, edited by Marilyn Pfeifer Swezey - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7925-the-tsar-and-the-president-alexander-ii-and-abraham-lincoln-liberator-and-emancipator-edited-by-marilyn-pfeifer-swezey-book-review.html The University of Wisconsin Press has published many monographs on Russian culture, literature and history in recent years. One of the latest, The Tsar and the President, is the catalog of an exhibition sponsored by the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation and held at the Oshkosh Public Museum. Drawing from collections...]]> Kings of Swing - Milwaukee Writer Remembers the Bands http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7884-kings-of-swing-milwaukee-writer-remembers-the-bands.html The swing era had already ended before John R. Tumpak discovered the music. In When Swing wasthe Thing (Marquette University Press), Tumpak recounts that his moment of discovery was seeing an already nostalgic film, The Glen Miller Story (1954)...]]> Meg Boren’s Circle of Empowerment - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7893-meg-borenrss-circle-of-empowerment-book-preview.html Circle of Empowerment, an international outreach program developed by Grafton native Meg Boren, comes full circle when Boren returns from her current home in Nicaragua—where she works as a humanitarian health care worker—to speak at Mequon’s Next Chapter Bookshop on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. With core values...]]> ‘Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion’ - Author James E. Perone misses the mark http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7894-lsmods-rockers-and-the-music-of-the-british-invasionrs-author-james-e-perone-misses-the-mark.html Purporting to be an analysis that places the British Invasion within musical as well as cultural contexts, with a special emphasis on exactly why certain British bands dominated the charts and how these artists influenced American music of the era, Mods, Rockers, andthe Music of the British Invasion (Praeger) is...]]> Grimoires: A History of Magic Books (Oxford University Press), by Owen Davies - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7895-grimoires-a-history-of-magic-books-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-owen-davies-book-review.html Words are powerful. No one believes it more fervently than a sorcerer casting a spell. In Grimoires, British social historian Owen Davies examines magical texts from Babylonia through “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” finding connections between conjuration, religion, science and politics. Along with pornography and political tracts, grimoires have...]]> “It’s 1969, OK?” - Remembering Rock's Great-Bad Year http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7857-lditrss-1969-okrd-remembering-rocks-great-bad-year.html For many, 1968 was the most momentous year of a decade memorable for being momentous—for all that accelerated social change and overall upheaval. Veteran rock critic Bruce Pollock turns the calendar ahead one year...]]> John Koethe’s ‘Ninety-Fifth Street’ Poetry - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7816-john-koetherss-lsninety-fifth-streetrs-poetry-book-preview.html Countless authors have ruminated darkly on the passage of time, but John Koethe's newest collection of poems remembers the promise of youth in a captivating lyrical medium that he describes as reflections of an "aging child of sixty-two." ]]> ‘1789: The Threshold of the Modern Age’ - David Andress examines historic year for politics http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7817-ls1789-the-threshold-of-the-modern-agers-david-andress-examines-historic-year-for-politics.html In 1789, a Paris mob stormed the Bastille and George Washington, acclaimed by triumphal arches and crowds singing a rewritten rendition of "God Save the King," assumed office as the first president of the United States. The U.S. Congress was preparing to add the Bill of Rights to the Constitution as the French National Assembly proclaimed the more radical Declaration of the Rights of Man... ]]> The Marvelous Hairy Girls: The Gonzales Sisters and Their Worlds (Yale University Press), by Merry Wiesner-Hanks - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7818-the-marvelous-hairy-girls-the-gonzales-sisters-and-their-worlds-%2528yale-university-press%2529-by-merry-wiesner-hanks-book-review.html They stare enigmatically from portraits, furry-faced but in Renaissance finery, looking like Baroque werewolves. They were the Gonzales women, afflicted with a rare hirsute condition and displayed in the courts of 16th-century Europe. UW-Milwaukee history professor Merry Wiesner-Hanks writes not so much about the Gonzales family (on which little documentation exists) but the...]]> Anthology ‘Bitten’ By Love and Lust - Susie Bright's collection of dark erotic fiction http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7745-anthology-lsbittenrs-by-love-and-lust-susie-brights-collection-of-dark-erotic-fiction.html The Cambridge Dictionary defines erotica as themes that produce sexual desire and pleasure. Bitten (Chronicle Books) delivers all that and more. Billed as gothic, the stories chosen for this anthology... ]]> The New Solar System: Ice Worlds, Moons, and Planets Redefined (National Geographic), by Patricia Daniels - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7746-the-new-solar-system-ice-worlds-moons-and-planets-redefined-%2528national-geographic%2529-by-patricia-daniels-book-review.html The post-9/11 world has been hard on Pluto, which was knocked off its throne as the outermost planet and demoted to "dwarf planet" status. But if you are the asteroid Ceres, it was the best of times. Now you too can proudly call yourself a "dwarf planet," a step up from being a big rock in the asteroid belt. In The New Solar System, science writer Patricia Daniels states with good humor that while...]]> Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Leonard Zeskind - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7747-blood-and-politics-the-history-of-the-white-nationalist-movement-from-the-margins-to-the-mainstream-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-leonard-zeskind-book-review.html Leonard Zeskind is guardedly pessimistic. In the preface to Blood and Politics, he predicts "a mid-twenty-first century conflict within the United States as white people become a minority within a nation of minorities." An activist who has shadowed white supremacists and anti-Semites for TheNewYork Times and other publications...]]> The Golden Rule of Analysis - Psychiatry, Philosophy and Ethics http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7732-the-golden-rule-of-analysis-psychiatry-philosophy-and-ethics.html Sigmund Freud wanted psychoanalysis to be an ethical enterprise and was disappointed that his theory did not, in his own words, make "the analysts themselves better, nobler or stronger of character." According to Paul Marcus in Being for the Other (Marquette University Press), Freudian analysis and its offshoots...]]> Franklin, Wisconsin RFD - Looking at a Local Community http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7670-franklin-wisconsin-rfd-looking-at-a-local-community.html Franklinis a good example of the transformation of large stretches of the American landscape from rural to suburban in the second half of the last century. As recently as the 1950s, Franklin's children were educated in one-room schoolhouses and a single town constable patrolled the roads. Worried about being annexed by Milwaukee, the residents applied...]]> Deyan Sudjic’s ‘Language of Things’ - Author tells of a time when design meant for life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7661-deyan-sudjicrss-lslanguage-of-thingsrs-author-tells-of-a-time-when-design-meant-for-life.html Once there was a time when a photographer could count on his brilliantly functional Nikon as a lifelong possession. It was a camera capable of surviving the ascent of Everest and the Vietnam War. In those years, a television set in its heavy wood veneer cabinet was the flickering hearth of the family room and worth repairing when...]]> Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification (Hill & Wang), by David Waldstreicher - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7662-slaveryrss-constitution-from-revolution-to-ratification-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-david-waldstreicher-book-review.html Slavery is never mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but the compromises hammered out over the question are integral to the document. In a succinct but carefully reasoned study, TempleUniversity history professor David Waldstreicher shows how slave state delegates to the Constitutional Convention...]]> Draeger and Speltz recall ‘The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7663-draeger-and-speltz-recall-lsthe-glory-days-of-wisconsin-gas-stationsrs-book-preview.html Gas stations have become dull places-mini-malls for the purchase of junk food, cigarettes and aspirin. No one looks forward to the experience of being there, especially given the price of a gallon. But before the 1960s, gas stations were often little Chinese pagodas or Art Deco wonders; they were fascinating as examples of vernacular architecture. A book published recently... ]]> Wisconsin Fish Stories - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7608-wisconsin-fish-stories-book-review.html The bottom dwelling sturgeon is a curious fish in more ways than one. The primeval creature can grow to the size of a human adult and live a hundred years. They are also curious about other shapes and objects in the water. Native Americans of the Great Lakes were already fashioning sturgeon decoys from mussel shells centuries...]]> Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music in Indonesia, 1997-2001 (University of Wisconsin Press), by Jeremy Wallach http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7580-modern-noise-fluid-genres-popular-music-in-indonesia-1997-2001-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-jeremy-wallach.html Aside from having been home to Barack Obama in his grade school days, Indonesia is a country of interest where diverse local cultures are colliding with Western influences, including alternative rock and metal. Bowling Green ethnomusicologist Jeremy Wallach's account of recent music in the archipelago nation...]]> Sprechen Sie Deutsch? - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7552-sprechen-sie-deutsch-book-preview.html Albums R.I.P. - The Loss of the Long-Playing Record http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7553-albums-rip-the-loss-of-the-long-playing-record.html The long-playing record arrived in 1948 and by the '60s had become an art object as well as a carrier of sonic material. However, the process by which we listen to music within the last decade has changed and therefore so has the cultural significance of the record album...]]> Jerusalem’s Traitor: Josephus, Masada, and the Fall of Judea (Da Capo), by Desmond Seward - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7554-jerusalemrss-traitor-josephus-masada-and-the-fall-of-judea-%2528da-capo%2529-by-desmond-seward-book-review.html A narrow strip of land along the Eastern Mediterranean shore, fought over by Israelis and Palestinians for over half a century, has exerted an influence over the world disproportionate to its size. Desmond Seward's study of Josephus, a first-century chronicler who joined the Jewish rebellion against Rome, only to switch sides, is interesting less for what it...]]> American Radical - Remembering I.F. Stone http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7506-american-radical-remembering-if-stone.html I.F. Stone's reputation has survived as a touchstone of journalistic integrity. He made no claim to objectivity, that illusive Platonic goal that has been so misused by the mainstream media. Stone was an unabashed activist, yet the campaign for social justice he waged in print was bound by fairness and a commitment to facts. His writing was interpretive...]]> Magical Storytelling at Arab World Fest http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7493-magical-storytelling-at-arab-world-fest.html No need to say "open sesame" to enter an enchanted world of magicians, djinns and flying carpets at Arab World Fest this weekend. Simply walk into the storytellers' tent for a magical ride through One Thousand and One Nights.Also called The Arabian Nights, the book is a compilation of fables... ]]> The Dixie Rebels of ‘The State of Jones’ - Jenkins, Stauffer tell of ‘Small Southern County that Seceded from the Confederacy' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7494-the-dixie-rebels-of-lsthe-state-of-jonesrs-jenkins-stauffer-tell-of-lssmall-southern-county-that-seceded-from-the-confederacy.html Nothing secedes like secession. At one point during the Civil War, the state of Georgia, having seceded from the Union, contemplated seceding from the Confederacy. Georgia didn't succeed in secondarily seceding, but Jones County, Miss., did, effectively if not officially, as Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer show in their exceedingly readable and...]]> Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation (Hill & Wang), by Tim Hamilton http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7495-ray-bradburyrss-fahrenheit-451-the-authorized-adaptation-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-tim-hamilton.html One of last century's most important novels, Fahrenheit 451 bridged science fiction and the mainstream, as well as popular and literary fiction, as if the gap never existed. Ray Bradbury's classic parable of intellectual and emotional conformity in a society that prefers comfort above all has now been transformed into a graphic novel...]]> Marijuana is Safer - Denouncing Reefer Madness http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7475-marijuana-is-safer-denouncing-reefer-madness.html Alcohol fuels violence and pot does not. That's at the core of the argument in the self-explanatory Marijuana is Safer:So Why Are Driving People to Drink? (published by Chelsea Green). Authors Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert are marijuana reform activists with a professed agenda. Their position is buttressed in the foreword, where...]]> Beyond Kosciuszko Park - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7429-beyond-kosciuszko-park-book-review.html In Milwaukee, Kosciuszko is the name of a South Side park, and the subject of an equestrian statue. The city acknowledged the Revolutionary War officer in order to honor the contribution of Poland... ]]> Patricia Fara’s ‘Four Thousand Year History’ of Science - Philosophy, science and the search for truth, then and now http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7414-patricia-fararss-lsfour-thousand-year-historyrs-of-science-philosophy-science-and-the-search-for-truth-then-and-now.html Some scientists believe that rape was an urge encoded in the genes of man during the Pleistocene Age, with the thought that rapists gained an evolutionary edge by spreading their seed more widely. At least that's the hypothesis of a certain segment of evolutionary biologists, the fashion setters in science since the 1980s. Although anthropologists...]]> The Art of Harvey Kurtzman (Abrams), by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7415-the-art-of-harvey-kurtzman-%2528abrams%2529-by-denis-kitchen-and-paul-buhle-book-review.html Nowadays, pop-culture parody is everywhere. But when MAD magazine began in 1952, it was a radical break with the mainstream. As the man behind MAD, cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman could be called the grandfather of "The Simpsons." More directly, he helped Robert Crumb and Terry Gilliam get started. Milwaukee expatriate underground cartoonist Denis Kitchen and Brown University historian Paul Buhle trace...]]> Historian John Gurda Explores ‘The World of the Brumders’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7423-historian-john-gurda-explores-lsthe-world-of-the-brumdersrs-book-preview.html This year marks the 170th anniversary of the arrival of Germans in Milwaukee, and last weekend the city celebrated with its 29th annual GermanFest. In the years prior to the First and Second World Wars, before sauerkraut became known as "liberty cabbage" and Germany became part of the Triple Alliance and synonymous with Nazism, Germans...]]> Mary Nohl’s Independent Spirit, ‘Inside & Outside’ - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7350-mary-nohlrss-independent-spirit-lsinside-outsiders-book-preview.html During the past quarter-century, the exhibition of outsider art has encompassed artists' domestic spaces. Notably, Wisconsin's own Kohler Arts Center... ]]> Is Velvet Underground America’s Greatest Band? - Richie Unterberger delivers ‘White Light/White Heat' http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7339-is-velvet-underground-americarss-greatest-band-richie-unterberger-delivers-lswhite-light_white-heat.html "Name your favorite Velvet Underground album," I once challenged a friend."Which Velvet Underground?"he responded. From the relentless, mind-crushing throb of "Sister Ray" to the delicate strum of "I'll Be Your Mirror" to the...]]> The Blaue Reiter (Taschen), by Hajo Duchting - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7340-the-blaue-reiter-%2528taschen%2529-by-hajo-duchting-book-review.html Daring canvases by the artists known as the Blue Rider advanced the cause of Modernism in Germany. But as shown by art historian Hajo Duchting in his beautifully illustrated overview, much of the impetus for the movement, cut short by World War I, was Russian. At the lead was Wassily Kandinsky, whose folkloric...]]> You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby - Lilly Goren looks at modern-day feminism http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7264-yoursve-come-a-long-way-baby-lilly-goren-looks-at-modern-day-feminism.html Most of us were not alive to remember a time in America when women couldn't vote, and many are too young to recall when they marched for equal pay and reproductive rights in the 1970s. The stakes were higher then, and today there is more... ]]> Inside the Record Industry - Surviving Music Business Scams http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7269-inside-the-record-industry-surviving-music-business-scams.html Producer-engineer Moses Avalon cautions anyone thinking of entering the music business to beware: the vultures are everywhere. The title of the new, 4th edition of his Confessions of a Record Producer (published by Backbeat Books, an imprint of Milwaukee's Hal Leonard), is actually a misnomer. Avalon admits...]]> W.C. Handy: The Man Who Made the Blues - David Robertson explores the genre's origins http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7248-wc-handy-the-man-who-made-the-blues-david-robertson-explores-the-genres-origins.html W.C. Handy is called the "Father of the Blues," but what he fathered might have been something else again. W.C. Handy: The Life and Times of the Man Who Made theBlues (Knopf) grapples with the music's origins and definition. In a telling anecdote in this well-researched and -written book, rife with copious notes and cogent text, Mississippi bluesman Charlie Patton...]]> So Long as Men Can Breathe: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Da Capo), by Clinton Heylin http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7249-so-long-as-men-can-breathe-the-untold-story-of-shakespearerss-sonnets-%2528da-capo%2529-by-clinton-heylin.html Shakespeare's writings have attracted almost as many interpreters as the Bible. Reading Clinton Heylin's extended essay on Shakespeare's sonnets, one can't help but conclude that the entire apparatus of Shakespeare scholarship amounts to little more than a library of historical fiction. Heylin, a historian of Elizabethan England, has previously written insightfully on Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and other major figures in rock. Aside from deflating a great...]]> German Milwaukee - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7235-german-milwaukee-book-review.html Milwaukee was once a German city-at least north of Wisconsin Avenue. Traces of the past are apparent even today in the older architecture and the long-noted preference of our citizens for beer and bratwurst. Many books have already been written on Milwaukee's German heritage. The latest, German Milwaukee (from Arcadia Publishing)...]]> Milwaukee Guidebook - Loving Our City http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7220-milwaukee-guidebook-loving-our-city.html Many of us have a love-hate relationship with Milwaukee, but when pressed, love usually wins. Author Thomas Huhti is rooting for love. His guidebook Milwaukee & Madison (published by Moon Handbooks) actually covers a wider swath of Wisconsin than just its two biggest cities. Spring Green and Beloit are included, and Huhti combs the shoreline... ]]> Mighty Milwaukee - Planning the City's Growth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7181-mighty-milwaukee-planning-the-citys-growth.html A library shelf could easily be filled with recently published scholarly books on Milwaukee. Anyone familiar with the city's past will immediately recognize the reason: Milwaukee has a unique history as a Midwest outpost of Central Europe with socialist mayors for many decades. The title of Making Milwaukee Mightier: Planning and the Politics of Growth 1910-1960...
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Aleksandar Hemon’s “Love and Obstacles” - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7187-aleksandar-hemonrss-ldlove-and-obstaclesrd-book-preview.html Like Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov, two novelists lauded for their success in adopting English as a second language and adding to its literary canon, Aleksandar Hemon outstrips most writers for whom English is the native tongue. Though his prose is not as fervid or rigorous as the Russian forebear, Hemon mines his adopted language for dusty gems, requiring the average reader (this one not excepted) to keep a dictionary...]]> In the Land of Invented Languages - Esperanto speaks to linguist Arika Okrent http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7171-in-the-land-of-invented-languages-esperanto-speaks-to-linguist-arika-okrent.html If there were no Esperanto, the language invented in the 1880s by Ludwik Zamenhof, there likely would be no George Soros, the Hungarian-born American billionaire. That may or may not represent an averted tragedy, according to your opinion of Soros, but it does illuminate the sometimes quixotic, far-reaching...]]> Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918 (Knopf), by Grigoris Balakian - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7172-armenian-golgotha-a-memoir-of-the-armenian-genocide-1915-1918-%2528knopf%2529-by-grigoris-balakian-book-review.html The eyewitnesses to genocide produced a large body of literature in the 20th century, and current events in Darfur promise more to come. Armenian Golgotha is the memoir of an Armenian Orthodox priest who managed to elude the death marches of the Turkish regime by disguising himself as a German (he spoke the language fluently) and with...]]> Les Leopold Explains the Looting of America - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7084-les-leopold-explains-the-looting-of-america-book-preview.html As the lengthy title of his second book would suggest, Les Leopold, author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity and What We Can Do About It, aims to do two things: describe the financial collapse of 2008 in plain terms, and provide a road...]]> Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited - Molly Haskell examines the classic film http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7064-frankly-my-dear-gone-with-the-wind-revisited-molly-haskell-examines-the-classic-film.html The beautiful black-and-white photo of Vivien Leigh on the cover of Molly Haskell's compelling new book, Frankly, My Dear:Gone With the Wind Revisited (Yale University Press), casts an eerie shadow on the dust cover. It's an ominous reminder of the exhausting two-year search for the right actress to portray Scarlett O'Hara and of Leigh's own mortality, but the haunting photo gives no hint at the brilliance...]]> Agitate! Educate! Organize! American Labor Posters (Cornell University Press), by Lincoln Cushing and Timothy W. Drescher - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7065-agitate_-educate_-organize_-american-labor-posters-%2528cornell-university-press%2529-by-lincoln-cushing-and-timothy-w-drescher-book-review.html Relatively cheap to reproduce and easily circulated, a good poster is an effective way to flag a message. The best posters also have aesthetic merit and, historically, have drawn from a wide range of visual sources. Agitate! Educate! Organize! is an interesting study of one of the less examined fields of poster art: their use as propaganda...]]> Pro Tools or Pro Producers - The Case Against Home Recording? http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-7034-pro-tools-or-pro-producers-the-case-against-home-recording.html Nowadays many musicians, especially younger ones, assume that with Pro Tools and other digital devices, everyone can be his own George Martin. It's not so. Howard Massey's Behind the Glass, Vol. II: Top Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits (published by Backbeat Books) collects interviews with some 50...]]> The Curious Chuck Klosterman - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6988-the-curious-chuck-klosterman-book-preview.html At the risk of sounding like a brainwashed acolyte of social networking sites, I recommend scrolling through the three pages' worth of Facebook groups devoted to Chuck Klosterman. Only then can you truly gauge the vehement emotions that the pop-culture critic is capable of arousing-which luckily for him veer mostly toward the positive, if slightly disturbing. For every one that dismisses him as an "overrated moron," five more want...]]> Jimmie Rodgers: The Original Roots Music Hero - Barry Mazor documents this chameleon of authenticity http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6973-jimmie-rodgers-the-original-roots-music-hero-barry-mazor-documents-this-chameleon-of-authenticity.html The period when Jimmie Rodgers changed American popular music was one of immense cultural and social upheaval. During his lifetime, he achieved prominence concomitantly with the rise of radio and moving pictures, the popularity of the phonograph and a huge interest in live entertainment by commoners with uncommon songs...]]> Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Charles Bowden - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6974-some-of-the-dead-are-still-breathing-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-charles-bowden-book-review.html American journalist Charles Bowden's newest memoir is a rambling stream of consciousness that weaves his experiences as a young boy in a small town with his time spent running with heroin dealers in Mexico. The main theme revolves around lessons learned about migratory birds, elephants and rattlesnakes...]]> Dylan Goes to College - Highway 61 Interpreted http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6937-dylan-goes-to-college-highway-61-interpreted.html Bob Dylan once dismissed college as the graveyard of human imagination. Ironically, Dylan has become a hot topic for academics eager to parse his lyrics and politics, to sound out his cultural resonance and interrogate the man behind the many masks. In 2007, the University of Minnesota sponsored a Dylan symposium. Scholars from the diverse fields of English, African-American studies, music theory, American and Italian studies... ]]> Pirates With a Libertarian Bent - Peter Leeson explores “The Invisible Hook” http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6904-pirates-with-a-libertarian-bent-peter-leeson-explores-ldthe-invisible-hookrd.html

Even pirates need to make a profit. That, really, is what piracy is all about, Peter T. Leeson explains in his delightful and instructive The Invisible Hook: TheHidden Economics of Pirates (Princeton University Press), which joins...]]> C.J. Box’s Hot New Thriller, “Below Zero” - Also: Wade Rouse brings his rustic tales to Milwaukee http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6903-cj-boxrss-hot-new-thriller-ldbelow-zerord-also-wade-rouse-brings-his-rustic-tales-to-milwaukee.html

We've all come across them, in the headlines or in person: activists whose passion for a cause borders on obsession. In Below Zero, C.J.Box's new thriller in the popular Joe Pickett series, the author ventures into the provocative territory of activism gone awry. When a large man bearing a warm and reassuring disposition lumbers into a couple's RV, little do they suspect he's being...

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Antimatter (Oxford University Press), by Frank Close - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6905-antimatter-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-frank-close-book-review.html Dan Brown popularized the notion of an antimatter bomb in his potboiler Angels & Demons, but even if the U.S. military bought the idea, Frank Close will have none of it. In his guide to a fascinating sector on the fringe of science, the Oxford physics professor harrumphs at claims that the mysterious particles could be a source of world-transforming energy or world-destroying weaponry. Antimatter succinctly summarizes conventional...]]> Snickeyfritz, Roawr! Will Delight Little Ones - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6837-snickeyfritz-roawr_-will-delight-little-ones-book-preview.html The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe may never have stumbled into Narnia. The same might be said of the perky protagonists of Snickeyfritz, a children's book by local author Andrea Skyberg.]]> Black Noir’s Appeal Is No Mystery - Otto Penzler captures great African-American storytelling http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6838-black-noirrss-appeal-is-no-mystery-otto-penzler-captures-great-african-american-storytelling.html The state of book editing appears precarious. Editor Otto Penzler's Black Noir (Pegasus), an anthology of "dark" fiction by black American writers, spans more than 100 years, and much of it is great. But look out for punctuation, formatting and spelling mistakes, including the embarrassing instance of a gun's report printed...]]> This Business of Urban Music (Billboard Books), by James L. Walker Jr. - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6839-this-business-of-urban-music-%2528billboard-books%2529-by-james-l-walker-jr-book-review.html R&B, soul, gospel and hip-hop artists in Milwaukee (or anywhere) would do well to study entertainment lawyer James L. Walker Jr.'s extensive guide to getting one's business together in making a career out of urban music. Walker combines personal anecdotes from working with his firm's high-profile clientele with rigorous, technical expositions of most every aspect of business and professional life...]]> How the Beatles Destroyed Rock - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6774-how-the-beatles-destroyed-rock-book-review.html The title of this book is meant to grab readers, especially Baby Boomers, by the collar. Music writer Elijah Wald, in How theBeatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll (Oxford University Press), isn't actually saying the most heralded rock band ever was bad. Rather, Wald's thesis is that the Beatles not only pushed the focus away from live music to the craft of the recording studio, but inadvertently caused a musical split between... ]]> After Mandela - South Africa's uncertain future http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6751-after-mandela-south-africas-uncertain-future.html In the miracle year of 1990, everything seemed possible. The Berlin Wall had just been torn down, Mikhail Gorbachev was presiding over the end of the Soviet Bloc and in Czechoslovakia the dissident philosopher playwright, Vaclav Havel, was installed as president in the castle that was the setting for one of Kafka's greatest stories. But the jubilation wasn't...]]> Family Secrets: The Case That Crippled the Chicago Mob (Chicago Review Press), by Jeff Coen - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6752-family-secrets-the-case-that-crippled-the-chicago-mob-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-by-jeff-coen-book-review.html The threat of being killed at any time, regardless of your best precautions, helped the bosses of Chicago's underworld keep the mob in line-at least before the 2000s, back when the Outfit "was a ruthless organization of extraordinary reach." So says Chicago Tribune crime reporter Jeff Coen, recalling a time in America when much of urban life was under the sway of organized crime, virtually a shadow government...]]> The Moth in Milwaukee - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6757-the-moth-in-milwaukee-book-preview.html New Thoughts on Old Milwaukee - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6711-new-thoughts-on-old-milwaukee-book-review.html Milwaukee has become a topic of scholarly interest, with several books on our city's past rolling off the academic presses this year alone. Perspectives onMilwaukee's Past, published by the University of Illinois Press, is a collection of essays selected by a pair of UWM history professors... ]]> Splendid to the End - John Updike's final poems http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6656-splendid-to-the-end-john-updikes-final-poems.html The number seven is said to be lucky, and it certainly is for the many fans of the recently deceased John Updike, who, in his final seven years, honed Endpointand Other Poems (Knopf). Best known for some 60 books (ranging from poetry to novels to short stories to criticism), his first book of poetry, The Carpentered Hen, was published in 1958...]]> To Be, Or Not…To Bop (University of Minnesota), by Dizzy Gillespie with Al Fraser - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6657-to-be-or-nothellipto-bop-%2528university-of-minnesota%2529-by-dizzy-gillespie-with-al-fraser-book-review.html Dizzy Gillespie did more than revolutionize jazz as a bebop pioneer in the 1940s. He also crafted a new way of being African American-cool, intellectual and willfully inscrutable, an influence on everyone from Miles Davis to Spike Lee. The reissue of his autobiography is an opportunity to see his accomplishments through his own bespectacled eyes and gain an additional sense of his style. He wrote like he...]]> Bitter in Plaid - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6658-bitter-in-plaid-book-preview.html "She may not be everyone's cup of tea," admits one of Jen Lancaster's ardent online followers, referring to the author's unlovable persona. But you've got to hand it to the corporate-high-flier-turned-blogger-turned-author: She doesn't sugarcoat her past to lend it a more flattering hue. To the contrary, the memoirist who won...]]> Musical Monopoly - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6630-musical-monopoly-book-preview.html Chicago Tribune...]]> Last Word on the Stones? - Out from under their thumb http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6586-last-word-on-the-stones-out-from-under-their-thumb.html At age 16 in 1978, Bill German began to steal time on his high-school mimeograph machine to produce the magazine Beggars Banquet-and for the subsequent 17 years, he kept at it...]]> Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War (Hill & Wang), by Marc Egnal http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6589-clash-of-extremes-the-economic-origins-of-the-civil-war-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-marc-egnal.html The Civil War was among the great defining events in American history. Its causes were many and are still debated. In Clash of Extremes, York University history professor Marc Egnal challenges the popular view that the war was primarily about slavery. Egnal looks instead to economic factors, pointing out that most Northerners...]]> Chronicles of Bob: Dylan and Marley - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6566-chronicles-of-bob-dylan-and-marley-book-review.html The faces of popular music and popular culture the world over were changed by a couple of guys named Bob. Bob Dylan and Bob Marley were born during World War II, a time when the distance between Hibbing, Minnesota, and Nine Miles, Jamaica, was almost interplanetary. They may have shared a few common influences in the form of 1950s R&B, but their musical roots could otherwise not have been more different. And yet both were spiritual...]]> Fighting for Civil Rights - The incomplete victory http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6517-fighting-for-civil-rights-the-incomplete-victory.html The story of the civil rights struggle in the United States is almost always told with a Southern accent-with good reason. The region, with its history of slavery and repressive Jim Crow policies, provided the nation with the perfect backdrop for a large-scale morality play on race and rights in America. Yet Thomas J. Sugrue's Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (Random House) cogently reminds us that racial inequality did not cease to exist at the Mason-Dixon Line, and his...]]> An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons & True Stories, Vol. 2 (Yale University Press), ed. by Ivan Brunetti - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6518-an-anthology-of-graphic-fiction-cartoons-true-stories-vol-2-%2528yale-university-press%2529-ed-by-ivan-brunetti-book-review.html The scope of Ivan Brunetti's second anthology of contemporary cartooning from North America will astonish anyone whose idea of comics is confined to the DC Universe. Sure, some of the work collected in this handsomely assembled book spoofs the familiar cast of superheroes; however, most comes from entirely different worlds. The editor, a University of Chicago/comic book artist, chose from familiar names... ]]> Milwaukee Marched for Justice - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6524-milwaukee-marched-for-justice-book-preview.html Anyone living in Milwaukee in the '60s and old enough to be aware will recall a time of sharp tension. A riot erupted in the inner city during the summer of 1967, a year of unrest around the nation, and a white Roman Catholic priest organized black youth to march against the segregation that confined African Americans to Milwaukee's poorest, most run-down quarter. Whites responded with violence. And the police were not amused...]]> London’s Burning - Punk Rock's Rise and Fall http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6508-londonrss-burning-punk-rocks-rise-and-fall.html When it started in the late '70s, punk rock wasn't an option on the entertainment menu. Punk involved a degree of difficulty, even danger. By becoming a punk, you were breaking with the mainstream. You'd certainly be at odds with most of your peers. Walk down the wrong street and you could be in for a fight. And if you didn't mind your step, you might lose... ]]> Mary Nohl - Inside the Witch's House http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6426-mary-nohl-inside-the-witchs-house.html Back in the '70s it was a ritual for many Milwaukee high school students-the drive to farthest Fox Point to check out the "Witch's House." Whether or not anyone believed that the dweller in the lakeside cottage practiced the black arts, she was widely rumored to be an old eccentric, a hermit toiling in the more obscure fields...]]> The Reich Falls - A definitive history http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6420-the-reich-falls-a-definitive-history.html A little more than halfway through The Third Reich at War (Penguin Press), the concluding volume in Richard J. Evans' mammoth and masterful trilogy of the history of Nazi Germany, appears a statement that could serve as its central theme: "The obsessive pursuit of the Jewish population all over occupied Europe continued, irrespective of the economic utility or otherwise of their extermination."]]> Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From the Biology of Consciousness (Hill & Wang), by Alva No - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6421-out-of-our-heads-why-you-are-not-your-brain-and-other-lessons-from-the-biology-of-consciousness-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-alva-no%25EB-book-review.html Alva No is rethinking the way we think about thought. Specifically: that consciousness doesn't arise from tissue encased inside our skulls, the standard view of science, but from living in the context of the wider world. Consciousness for No is an ecology of mind, body and spirit. One of the Berkeley philosopher-cognitive scientist's several surprising observations concerns the much trumpeted brain-scan technology, which he says...]]> Growing Up - Local musician turns children's author http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6422-growing-up-local-musician-turns-childrens-author.html Trumpeter Michael Drake is a familiar name to longtime music fans around town, a Latin-smooth-Caribbean-jazz player with eight CDs and 30-plus years on his rsum. But recently the Milwaukee musician took an unanticipated turn: He became a children's book author. The biggest...]]> Understanding Eno - Mysterious Universes of Music http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6400-understanding-eno-mysterious-universes-of-music.html Brian Eno would be one of rock's most fascinating figures if the already broad definition of rock were wide enough to contain him. While a member of one of the '70s most venturesome bands, Roxy Music, Eno was spotted eagerly working with pencil and notebook while his bandmates remixed a track...]]> Purple Predators - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6335-purple-predators-book-preview.html Centuries have passed since the Roman Catholic Church held inordinate power over the hearts and minds of its flock. Nevertheless, the idea of the church being answerable only to itself seems too deeply entrenched to be... ]]> Welcome to the Errordome - Doing the wrong thing by Public Enemy http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6341-welcome-to-the-errordome-doing-the-wrong-thing-by-public-enemy.html Long Island, N.Y., rap crew Public Enemy is an elite musical entity: a long-lasting group that jolted popular music out of its apolitical stupor and inspired black Americans to learn their history and redirect their future. It's no mere trivia tidbit that Barack Obama's first date with Michelle was Do the Right Thing, a film sonically structured around Public Enemy's rhetorical gut-punch "Fight the Power."]]> Columbine (Twelve), by Dave Cullen - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6342-columbine-%2528twelve%2529-by-dave-cullen-book-review.html Just about everything we thought we knew about the 1999 Columbine school massacre is wrong. Dave Cullen spent years doing the careful spadework few journalists have time for, going over every story and turning over every stone, following the trail left by spree killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Turns out they weren't goths or bullied outcasts; they weren't targeting Christians, jocks, blacks or anyone special. The perpetrators...]]> Seattle Rocks: Kingsmen Through Nirvana - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6259-seattle-rocks-kingsmen-through-nirvana-book-review.html Seattle was all the rage for a few years in the early '90s-until Kurt Cobain killed himself and people realized that most of the "grunge" acts signed in the wake of Nirvana's success sucked. Sonic Boom: The History of Northwest Rock, from "Louie Louie" to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Backbeat Books) is a reminder that grunge wasn't the region's first contribution to rock'n'roll...]]> Highway of Amnesia - Old folks on memory lane http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6248-highway-of-amnesia-old-folks-on-memory-lane.html Imagine being a fly on the wall of a renegade R.V. traveling down historic Route 66. At the helm of this aging ship is John Robina, an octogenarian with Alzheimer's. His terminally ill wife, Ella, is navigating. The couple has kidnapped themselves from their grown kids and doctors, jumped (or, hobbled, as it were) into their "Leisure Seeker" camper van...]]> The Way of Herodotus: Travels With the Man Who Invented History (Da Capo), by Justin Marozzi - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6249-the-way-of-herodotus-travels-with-the-man-who-invented-history-%2528da-capo%2529-by-justin-marozzi-book-review.html Herodotus may be the father of history, but many contemporary historians have no use for him-especially those academic featherbedders who've never had an interesting thought or written a clear sentence. Justin Marozzi thumbs his nose at tenured mediocrities throughout his travelogue along the steps of history's first historian. A correspondent for the Financial Times and The Economist, Marozzi is always lucid...]]> Vonnegut and Buckley - Great Gone Authors http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6251-vonnegut-and-buckley-great-gone-authors.html Bob Dylan Approximately - Online Exclusive http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6169-bob-dylan-approximately-online-exclusive.html Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan 1957-1973 (Chicago Review Press) by showing that so many previous books have been so bad. One motif running through Heylin's song-by-song assessment of the '60s bard is how little is really known about him and his muses. The puzzle is compounded by the bad reporting and spurious analysis... ]]> Psychedelic Eyes - The man who designed the '60s http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6171-psychedelic-eyes-the-man-who-designed-the-60s.html London in the 1960s was a great place for artists, and every survivor of the decade has a story or two to tell. Alan Aldridge has dozens. In The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Art of Alan Aldridge (Abrams), he recounts encounters with Cream (he designed the cover of Goodbye), the Who (the cover of A Quick One), the Rolling Stones (a poster for their ill-fated Rock and RollCircus) and the Beatles (an illustrate...]]> The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror (Oxford University Press), by Beverly Gage - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6172-the-day-wall-street-exploded-a-story-of-america-in-its-first-age-of-terror-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-beverly-gage-book-review.html On Sept. 16, 1920, one of the world's first car bombs was detonated. The vehicle was a horse cart and the apparent target was the House of Morgan in New York's financial district. In The Day Wall Street Exploded, Yale historian Beverly Gage explores an episode notorious in its day but long ago swept under the rug of American amnesia. The bombing, killing 38 bystanders and wounding hundreds more, was part of a chain of terrorist acts ascribed to radical trade unionists, violent anarchists and Bolsheviks. Painstakingly researched...]]> The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by John Merriman - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6173-the-dynamite-club-how-a-bombing-in-fin-de-siecle-paris-ignited-the-age-of-modern-terror-%2528houghton-mifflin-harcourt%2529-by-john-merriman-book-review.html Violence is a dangerous path for terrorists to follow. It can both publicize their cause and turn the public against them. When a disgruntled middle-class intellectual called Emile Henry blew up a busy Paris restaurant in 1894, his trial and execution for murder triggered a mixed response. Yale history professor John Merriman investigates this once-celebrated incident, including the terrible working-class poverty Henry claimed to speak... ]]> The Land of Forgetting - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6174-the-land-of-forgetting-book-preview.html Golden Guitars - The mania of collecting http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6062-golden-guitars-the-mania-of-collecting.html Tony Bacon's intriguing book, Million Dollar Les Paul: In Search of the Most Valuable Guitar in the World (Jawbone Press), is based on the reality that one day a Les Paul will sell for a million. But the text is about much more than guitar collecting, exploring the players who made these guitars famous in ways nobody could have predicted. It is ultimately about a generation losing its collective peace of mind and winding up as collectors of...]]> A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley (Backbeat), by Jeff Apter - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-6063-a-pure-drop-the-life-of-jeff-buckley-%2528backbeat%2529-by-jeff-apter-book-review.html Jeff Buckley met his father, the lauded'60s-'70s troubadour Tim Buckley, only a few times. But destiny set father and son on the same path of acclaimed cult-hood cut short by early death. Both sublimated their unmet emotional needs surrounding cold or absent fathers into song. And yet, as Australian rock critic Jeff Apter...]]> Albums That Changed the World - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5998-albums-that-changed-the-world-book-review.html One of the fun things about 101 Albums That ChangedPopular Music (Oxford University Press) is that by the end of the introduction its author anticipates almost every possible objection to the ends and the... ]]> In Search of Lost Worlds - A real-life adventure http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5984-in-search-of-lost-worlds-a-real-life-adventure.html When you were younger, did you enjoy reading novels of dangerous exploits in fabulous, far-off parts of this world or others-the kind of adventures found in works by H. Rider Haggard, Jules Verne and Arthur Conan Doyle? If you want to recapture some of that blood-stirring reading experience, look no further than David Grann's The Lost City of Z (Doubleday). And better yet, all of it is true...]]> Russia’s Rome: Imperial Visions, Messianic Dreams, 1890-1940 (University of Wisconsin Press), by Judith E. Kalb - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5985-russiarss-rome-imperial-visions-messianic-dreams-1890-1940-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-judith-e-kalb-book-review.html From the 1890s through the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia underwent a cultural renaissance historians call the "Silver Age." Russian studies professor Judith Kalb explores one particular literary facet of that era in the form of a half-dozen novelists who used allegories of Rome in their work. Subjecting their texts to deep analysis, Kalb understands that the idea of Rome had a particular significance in Russia (whose Orthodox Church elevated...]]> Local Limelight - Remembering Milwaukee Theater http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5975-local-limelight-remembering-milwaukee-theater.html Badger State Myth - The Robe in Nicolet's Knapsack http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5923-badger-state-myth-the-robe-in-nicolets-knapsack.html Many Points of View - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5925-many-points-of-view-book-preview.html The use of multiple narratives has a history reaching back to the European epistolary works of the mid-1600s. Within the last century the device was memorably explored by authors like Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner to not only examine more fully the motives behind their characters' thoughts and actions in complex streams of consciousness but also, in Faulkner's case, to create an indelible impression of the environment that shaped them. In her debut novel, Mudbound, Hillary Jordan ventures...]]> Psycho Recording Industry - Digital killed the musical star http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5926-psycho-recording-industry-digital-killed-the-musical-star.html Psychoacoustics is the study of how the brain perceives sound. One point of Steve Knopper's insightful Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age (Free Press) is that psychoacoustics also has to do with sounds the brain leaves out. As early as the 1930s, all sound transfer media were dedicated to cramming into their designs as little information as possible...]]> I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto (Backbeat Books), by Dave Thompson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5927-i-hate-new-music-the-classic-rock-manifesto-%2528backbeat-books%2529-by-dave-thompson-book-review.html Precious little quality rock 'n' roll has been made since 1976. That's the premise of cranky British writer Dave Thompson's I Hate New Music. Subtitled "The Classic Rock Manifesto," this biting 225-page diatribe argues that Foghat trumps Foo Fighters, Blue yster Cult outshines The White Stripes and Steve Miller kicks Dave Matthews' ass. Even though he recognizes the excess of the live double...]]> An Unseen World War - Africa ignored (once again) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5848-an-unseen-world-war-africa-ignored-%2528once-again%2529.html One of the most fascinating things about Africa's World War is Prunier's passionately stated, sometimes harsh assessment of the international community's reactions to the Rwandan... ]]> Austen’s Powers - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5847-austenrss-powers-book-preview.html Jane Austen remains one of the best-loved authors in the English language. Her novels possess a perennial appeal for anyone drawn to the quaint customs of Regency England, or seduced by Austen's indelible mix of refined badinage and blissful endings. Many Austen fans would give anything to enter the charming...]]> Is God a Mathematician? (Simon & Schuster), by Mario Livio - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5850-is-god-a-mathematician-%2528simon-schuster%2529-by-mario-livio-book-review.html Two grand theories of mathematics compete in Is God a Mathematician? One: Math is a product of human thought, and Two: Math is a universal constant discovered but not invented by man. Astrophysicist Mario Livio (of the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute) moderates the debate with good humor and...]]> Generation on Trial - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5786-generation-on-trial-book-preview.html Can young people today get as angry and outspoken about social inequity as they did in the '60s and '70s for civil rights or the Vietnam War? According to Molly Ubbesen, a spokeswoman for Milwaukee's Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), yes they can. "The social climate created by the Bush administration reflects that of the conformity of America before the counterculture revolution of...]]> Reckless Brando - An actor's remarkable life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5769-reckless-brando-an-actors-remarkable-life.html Marlon Brando, often labeled as the greatest American actor, is revisited in a concise new biography, Somebody:The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando (Knopf). Stefan Kanfer's refreshingly readable examination pays due homage to the Brando persona and gives an insightfully critical look at the legendary performer's life...]]> Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq (PublicAffairs), by Charles Duelfer - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5770-hide-and-seek-the-search-for-truth-in-iraq-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-charles-duelfer-book-review.html As a U.N. weapons inspector in pre-war Iraq, Charles Duelfer saw up close the repression of Saddam Hussein. But he was no supporter of George Bush's bungled regime change. Hide and Seek is a nuanced reckoning by a man who knew Iraq intimately, an eyewitness before and after the invasion. According to Duelfer, Saddam Hussein was a threat to his neighbors and profited handsomely from...]]> Twentieth-Century Milwaukee - TV, trains and memories http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5685-twentieth-century-milwaukee-tv-trains-and-memories.html

Every Milwaukeean over a certain age remembers Albert the Alley Cat, the loquacious puppet who helped deliver the weather forecast on TV6, but who knew that the station now called TMJ-4 was America's first applicant for a commercial television broadcast license, all the way back in 1938? Or that TMJ-4 once occupied Channel 3? Milwaukee Television History: The Analog Years(Marquette University Press) is packed with information on the development of TV in our city, from

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Tradition: Concept and Claim (ISI), by Josef Pieper - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5686-tradition-concept-and-claim-%2528isi%2529-by-josef-pieper-book-review.html Some believe progress is at odds with tradition, but Josef Pieper argues otherwise. In this essay collection, the eloquently simple-spoken German philosopher makes meaningful distinctions between tradition and social habits, tradition and knee-jerk conservatism. Learning can't proceed without memory and Pieper puts forward...]]> Writers’ Magic - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5695-writersrs-magic-book-preview.html In 2006 Keith Donohue published his first novel, TheStolen Child. Based on a Yeats poem and recasting the enduring changeling myth in 1950s America, the book became a national best seller. This year Donohue follows up his debut success with another novel that treads the fine line between reality and myth. In Angels of Destruction a 9-year-old girl turns up at the doorstep of a widow still mourning...]]> Phantom Country - The culture of an alternative http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5623-phantom-country-the-culture-of-an-alternative.html Old Roots, New Routes: The Cultural Politics of Alt.Country Music(University of Michigan Press) is a collection of in-depth essays approaching the subject matter with the best of intentions. Each explores characteristics of the music from thoughtful and well-researched perspectives. But most if not all leave no hint that they are investigating a musical idiom that possibly exists nowhere except in the minds of those for whom... ]]> Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group (Tate/Abrams), Ed. by Robert Upstone - Ben Nicholson (Tate/Abrams), Ed. by Chris Stevens http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5624-modern-painters-the-camden-town-group-%2528tate_abrams%2529-ed-by-robert-upstone-ben-nicholson-%2528tate_abrams%2529-ed-by-chris-stevens.html Britainwasn't the birthplace of modern art, but responded in the early 20th century to developments on the European continent. The Camden Town Group was a short-lived band of Londoners who (in 1911-1912) took up the call to paint the modern world. Modern Painters, the catalog for a recent retrospective at Tate Britain, shows that members of the Town Group were not avant-garde but worked key elements...]]> Alleged Art - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5625-alleged-art-book-preview.html Stylish Crime - Sam Spade returns http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5529-stylish-crime-sam-spade-returns.html In 1956, five years before he died following decades of bad health-fostered by even more decades of heavy drinking-Dashiell Hammett told an interviewer, "I stopped writing because I was repeating myself. It is the beginning of the end when you discover you have style." Taking his view, the beginning of the end must have occurred 22 years earlier, when he published his fifth and last crime novel, The Thin Man... ]]> Madison (Wisconsin Historical Society), by Zane Williams - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5530-madison-%2528wisconsin-historical-society%2529-by-zane-williams-book-review.html Madisonis unique among Wisconsin cities, and not only for its status as state capital. Built on an isthmus between lakes, the natural beauty has been the setting for a vibrant culture. Local photographer Zane Williams captures some of the city's life and sense of place in a slender book of color photos. Shown are the four seasons, the crowded bustle of State Street, the winding, leafy bicycle lanes, the architecture of Frank Lloyd...]]> Poetic Migration - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5532-poetic-migration-book-preview.html James Liddy fluid passage from place to place or past, present and unknowable future was not something to be feared but embraced. Last November he passed away, and though no chronicle of this final journey can exist, three books published posthumously help deepen our understanding of the spatial, spiritual and intellectual sojourns that colored his language and his life, and the fellow travelers...]]> Animals in Art - Surveying American wildlife http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5449-animals-in-art-surveying-american-wildlife.html Some people have dismissed wildlife art as sentimental kitsch fit only for hotel lobbies or illustrating bird-watcher's handbooks. David J. Wagner might just change that perception with American Wildlife Art, a magisterial volume lavishly illustrated with more than 300 pictures, most in color. His text eruditely surveys the visual representation of North American fauna from the 16th century through the present. A director for many years of Wausau's Woodson... ]]> Poems About Guilt and Redemption - Scorsese and his movies http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5450-poems-about-guilt-and-redemption-scorsese-and-his-movies.html The cover of Roger Ebert's Scorsese by Ebert (University of Chicago Press) shows the filmmaker looking at us from a controlled, elegant pose while reaching into his coat pocket with out-of-focus hands. What will he pull out? A gun? An envelope? A pack of cigarettes? Something lurks under the surface, and Ebert attempts to reveal it to us. Already a revered film critic, Ebert is also one of the most perceptive writers living... ]]> Sashenka (Simon & Schuster), by Simon Montefiore - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5451-sashenka-%2528simon-schuster%2529-by-simon-montefiore-book-review.html Simon Montefiore wrote the best biographies of Stalin to date, shedding light on a furtive figure whose personality had always been shrouded. With Sashenka, the prodigious biographer applies his insights to fiction with mixed results. With the heft but not the depth of a great Russian novel, Sashenka is the story of an idealistic schoolgirl from a wealthy family who embraces Bolshevism for adventure and to repudiate her parents' dubious values...]]> And the Manuscript Surfaces - Kerouac and Burroughs' lost novel http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5370-and-the-manuscript-surfaces-kerouac-and-burroughs-lost-novel.html In 1944, years before On the Road and Naked Lunch made them household names, 22-year-old Jack Kerouac and 30-year-old William S. Burroughs took turns writing chapters of a novel. They envisioned the story, based on actual events between close friends, as a dime-store page-turner. The title of this would-be potboiler: And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Burroughs and Kerouac submitted the book to Random House and Simon & Schuster, both of whom refused it. The manuscript remained unpublished until issue... ]]> The Future’s So Bright, I Can’t Bear To Look (Nation Books/The Perseus Books Group), by Tom Tomorrow - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5371-the-futurerss-so-bright-i-canrst-bear-to-look-%2528nation-books_the-perseus-books-group%2529-by-tom-tomorrow-book-review.html If laughter is the best medicine, then prepare for a healthy dose of healing with Tom Tomorrow's new collection of "This Modern World" comic strips, where President Bush and Vice President Cheney are secretly radical left-wingers and Hillary Clinton won't take a hard stand on state-approved torture. The "comedy" is often tinged with the ambiguity that has shaped America's political and social landscape. While Tomorrow could be considered a mad prophet of comic doom, his humor, while provocative, is still humor at heart and seeks...]]> Crazy Over Comics - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5372-crazy-over-comics-book-preview.html Despite the occasional incident, it seems society as a whole has developed a much thicker skin when it comes to dealing with the seamier aspects of popular media. Sure, many parents may bemoan the toxic effects of video games and Internet chat rooms, but few mediums have sparked the same frenzied outpouring as comics did in postwar America. "No form of art or entertainment has ever stirred the kind of hysteria that comics stirred in the '40s and early-'50s," says...]]> Milwaukee’s Epic Poetry Marathon - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5304-milwaukeerss-epic-poetry-marathon-book-preview.html Loose Language - Having fun with English http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5285-loose-language-having-fun-with-english.html As the world's most hospitable language, English has welcomed words from at least 350 other tongues. English has stood accused of promiscuity because its loose grammar embraces vocabulary of all sorts. Others call it the language of imperialism for swallowing the world through political and cultural conquest. Whatever English is, its etymology and evolution is fascinating for any lover of words. A pair of recent books examines...]]> Stepping Stones: Interviews With Seamus Heaney (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Dennis O’Driscoll http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5286-stepping-stones-interviews-with-seamus-heaney-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-dennis-orsdriscoll.html Irish poet Seamus Heaney never bothered with an autobiography, but this collection of interviews with critic Dennis O'Driscoll fills the breach. In Stepping Stones the Nobel Prize winner discusses his poetry, his translations and teachings, and the people and circumstances shaping his life as a Roman Catholic growing up in Protestant-dominated Ulster. His memories are vivid and have already helped build some of his best-loved poems...]]> America and the World - Foreign policy 101 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5226-america-and-the-world-foreign-policy-101.html George W. Bush tripled U.S. aid to Africa, directing much of it to the AIDS epidemic. Otherwise, the past eight years have been a foreign policy disaster. With most of the world eagerly awaiting Barack Obama and hoping for a fresh start, it's a good time to consider America's long and complicated relationship with the rest of the planet. George C. Herring has long pondered America's global role as a University of Kentucky history professor and editor of Diplomatic History magazine. His magnum...]]> Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music (Norton), by Ted Gioia - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5227-delta-blues-the-life-and-times-of-the-mississippi-masters-who-revolutionized-american-music-%2528norton%2529-by-ted-gioia-book-review.html This is the definitive text on Delta blues, impeccably researched and written. Ted Gioia shines an equal light on folklorists and artists, historians and critics, until they all cast a single, recognizable shadow upon the development of an idiom that has been dimmed through far too many texts that obscure actual origin and evolution. Much of the material has been covered in other books, but without Gioia's grasp of history. His superior scholarship becomes...]]> Avian Obsession - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5228-avian-obsession-book-preview.html Anyone who's examined The Birds of America, a seminal ornithological compendium published between 1827 and 1838 by the artist/naturalist John James Audubon, will wonder what impelled him to create life-sized illustrations of every species of bird in North America. Birds from the swamps of the Mississippi Valley, the forests of Ohio and the coast of South Carolina were lovingly captured in exquisite...]]> Utopia and Armageddon - An age of Russian art http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5129-utopia-and-armageddon-an-age-of-russian-art.html For a long time Russia in the decades preceding the Bolshevik Revolution has been painted in the darkest colors of political repression and anti-Semitism. While those two charges are true, everyone knows that pre-Revolutionary Russia also produced Stravinsky, Nijinsky and Chagall. In recent years a fuller sense for Russia on the brink of upheaval has emerged from behind the shroud of Soviet apologetics. Art historians have called the period from the fin de siecle through World War I Russia's Silver Age; historians...]]> Winnie and Wolf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by A.N. Wilson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5130-winnie-and-wolf-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-an-wilson-book-review.html Hitler's illegitimate daughter? Although it sounds like an old tabloid headline, it's the topic of a perceptive novel by one of Britain's great living authors, A.N. Wilson. Written in the form of a disgruntled memoir penned in the bleak years of East Germany, it concerns the relationship between Winifred Wagner, daughter-in-law of the great composer, and that composer's most infamous fan. Ultimately the much-rumored...]]> Lust and Betrayal - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5131-lust-and-betrayal-book-preview.html Murder Short & Sweet (Chicago Review Press), edited by Paul D. Staudohar - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-5011-murder-short-sweet-%2528chicago-review-press%2529-edited-by-paul-d-staudohar-book-review.html Along with science fiction, fantasy and horror, the murder-mystery genre has retained an avid readership as mainstream "literary" fiction has receded. Indefatigable anthologist Paul Staudohar gathered a broad collection of mostly 20th-century stories into the aptly titled Murder Short & Sweet. It can't be called a representative survey, but the volume includes masters of the form beginning with Arthur Conan Doyle and ending with recent award-winners Clark Howard and Lawrence Block. Several stories have seldom been anthologized and may be out of...]]> Eddee Daniels' Dark Epiphany - Online Exclusive http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4991-eddee-daniels-dark-epiphany-online-exclusive.html Stories for the Season - Book Previews http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4937-stories-for-the-season-book-previews.html Fun with Murder - Anthology provides fascinating stories of true crime http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4938-fun-with-murder-anthology-provides-fascinating-stories-of-true-crime.html To quote Mark Twain: If truth is stranger than fiction, it is only because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth is not. True Crime: An American Anthology (Library of America), edited by Harold Schechter, is an outstanding collection of ghastly American crimes ranging from Puritan times to our own day. The anthology is evidence of the gruesome possibilities that truth can reach when it comes to one human being dispatching another-or, usually, many others. Truth can also be as readable as fiction. To trot out another clich, I could not stop at just one selection. By the end of three days, I had exhausted...]]> The Best Music You've Never Heard: Musical Adventures Off the Beaten Track (Rough Guides), by Nigel Williamson - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4939-the-best-music-youve-never-heard-musical-adventures-off-the-beaten-track-%2528rough-guides%2529-by-nigel-williamson-book-review.html Anyone who has searched for music beyond the top of the charts has discovered wonderful worlds of talent, including many artists who should have been contenders for greater popularity. The fun in The Best Music is comparing your list of should-have-beens with the author's. Nigel Williamson and collaborators are catholic in taste, searching obscure corners of folk and prog, blues and metal, Americana and psychedelia for forgotten nuggets-at least forgotten...]]> Hardy Book Lovers - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4851-hardy-book-lovers-book-preview.html With Christmas almost upon us, and the prematurely harsh weather conditions, it's no surprise that Milwaukee's seeing a dearth of author readings over the next couple of weeks. Of course, that doesn't stop the city's hardy book-loving community from organizing and attending a number of book clubs and children's story times. Among them is Milwaukee Art Museum's monthly Story Time in the Galleries on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 10:30 a.m. Children will hear a story relating to a piece of art in the museum's collection before creating a masterpiece of their own...]]> Swinging England - When British rock conquered the world http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4852-swinging-england-when-british-rock-conquered-the-world.html He does note that there is something special about the record, however, in that it was performed by a "vocal and instrumental quartet," and adds, "It's different." He is referring to it as being stylistically unique, but more specifically that it is performed by those who wrote it. A year later, on Feb. 9, 1964, millions watched the Beatles on CBS's "The Ed Sullivan Show" and rock 'n' roll stopped being singularly an American art form. In the United Kingdom, the famed Denmark Street (tantamount to America's Tin Pan Alley) commercial songwriting business was...]]> Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics - (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by David Grossman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4853-writing-in-the-dark-essays-on-literature-and-politics-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-david-grossman.html For many politicians and activists, "reality" is a projection of fear, desire and illusion, and nowhere is this truer than in the Middle East. Israeli novelist David Grossman argues that literature is one way of overcoming falsehood through knowing the Other-literature with fully formed human characters, free of stereotypes and impersonality, endowed with the power to surprise even their creator. To know isn't necessarily to justify, but is a way of broadening sympathy and avoiding the dehumanization of enemies. Grossman, an advocate of a just peace...]]> Peel-Apart Poetry - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4771-peel-apart-poetry-book-preview.html Poets are eminently resourceful. It seems they'll find inspiration anywhere: a well-shaped vase, a fertile patch of earth, even the unglamorous interior of a bus. It was while working as an office temp that Milwaukee poet and UW-Milwaukee graduate Keith Gaustad was provided with reams and reams of removable sticky paper, and it was while riding a bus that he finally figured out what to do with it. Inspired by the snatches of verse pasted to the luggage compartment, he decided to use his newfound stash to create a magazine made of poetry and prose that you could peel apart and apply anywhere...]]> Trials of Miles - The great trumpeter speaks http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4772-trials-of-miles-the-great-trumpeter-speaks.html Miles Davis was a musical Pablo Picasso. Like the painter, he was a great artist and an often unbearable person whose stardom became a magnet for the stray metallic debris of hangers-on and mindless admirers. Davis and Picasso both pushed their art forms forward in a sequence of easily demarcated periods but by the end remained famous for what they had once done, not for anything accomplished lately. One of the most revealing books on Davis allows the musician to tell his story in his own words-as chosen by interviewers as estimable as Nat Hentoff and execrable as Stephen Davis. Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters...]]> Fill’er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations (Wisconsin Historical Society) - by Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4773-fillrser-up-the-glory-days-of-wisconsin-gas-stations-%2528wisconsin-historical-society%2529-by-jim-draeger-and-mark-speltz.html Gas stations have become mini-malls for the purchase of junk food, cigarettes and aspirin. But in olden days they were often little Chinese pagodas or Art Deco wonders. Filled with color and black-and-white photographs of eccentric gas stations built before 1950, Fill'er Up reminds us that vernacular architecture can be dream-inducing as well as functional. Architectural historians Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz also issue a polite call to action: Save the dwindling remnants from an earlier automotive age before they disappear entirely. A few of the old...]]> Dylan in Hollywood - Rediscovering a lost gem http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4687-dylan-in-hollywood-rediscovering-a-lost-gem.html During a recent interview regarding Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric (Simon & Schuster), a book that collects Bob Dylan's early-1960s writings inspired by Barry Feinstein's celebrity photographs, Dylan was asked, "Do you consider these poems?" He answered, "You'd probably have to ask some academician about that." In the introduction for Foto-Rhetoric, the wrong academic was queried. In the misleading and inaccurate essay prefacing the book, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins rightly declares that poetry is not...]]> Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century From Europe&rsquo - (University of Wisconsin Press), by Dan Diner http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4688-cataclysms-a-history-of-the-twentieth-century-from-europers-%2528university-of-wisconsin-press%2529-by-dan-diner.html Twentieth-century Europe was the playing field for two world wars and the front line for the Cold War, but most of the trigger points were on the continent's periphery, the Balkans and the eastern lands from the Black Sea through the Baltic. Dan Diner, a historian at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, explores how East impacted West in Cataclysms, an interesting study that rambles beyond its stated theme in a concise, nuanced re-evaluation of many events, from the Bolshevik Revolution through the fall of the Berlin Wall. His most cogent point? Most of Europe's...]]> Telling Stories - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4689-telling-stories-book-preview.html Sonic Encyclopedia - Folkways of the world http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4570-sonic-encyclopedia-folkways-of-the-world.html Music has changed the world, and in the last century some of that music originated outside the big corporations on independent labels. Perhaps the most celebrated was Sun Records, where Elvis began, but the Memphis label was neither the first nor the last word in indies. Little labels operating at the margins of the entertainment industry helped shape the sound of blues and jazz, rock 'n' roll and rhythm 'n' blues, punk and grunge. A few indies grew into major labels, such as Atlantic and Motown, and eventually lost their identity...]]> Society’s Child: My Autobiography - (Penguin), by Janis Ian http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4571-societyrss-child-my-autobiography-%2528penguin%2529-by-janis-ian.html Janis Ian's autobiography, Society's Child, is an interesting read about mid-20th-century New York culture, including McCarthy-style oppression and overt racism, but she really should hire a fact-checker. Although the book serves as a wide-eyed account of show business in the 1960s and '70s, it's difficult to fully believe Ian's recollections because she makes numerous errors about the music scene. Ian states that Sam the Sham headlined Shea Stadium and The Blues Project morphed into the Chicago Transit Authority. Neither is correct. Ian had two...]]> Radio Days - Sex sells the new medium http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4513-radio-days-sex-sells-the-new-medium.html Sex sells, they say. Selling sex also sells, according to Anthony Rudel's entertaining and informative Hello, Everybody! The Dawn of American Radio (Harcourt). Three or four people stand out among the scores who were prominent in the growth of radio from a hobby and fad in the second decade of the 20th century to a big business by the mid-1930s, but none more so than "Dr." John Romulus Brinkley. Brinkley's exotic, lucrative career plays a major role in Rudel's book...]]> I Want to Take You Higher... - (Backbeat), by Jeff Kaliss http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4514-i-want-to-take-you-higher-%2528backbeat%2529-by-jeff-kaliss.html The word "funk" was already in circulation by 1968, when Sly & the Family Stone released "Dance to the Music." But with the sassy, bass-heavy track, funk as we know it today was born. Jeff Kaliss examines the man who called himself Sly Stone from his childhood roots in black gospel churches through his afterlife as an oldies act. Of most interest is that fertile period, 1968 through 1971, when Stone revolutionized music at the head of a band fully integrated in race and gender that brought soul and rock together under a groove. Band bios are mostly assembly-line hackwork nowadays, but Kaliss manages for the most part to write...]]> Refuge From the Storm - The horror of Katrina http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4437-refuge-from-the-storm-the-horror-of-katrina.html With a prominent list of post-Katrina works-Douglas Brinkley's The Great Deluge, Michael Eric Dyson's Come Hell or High Water and especially Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke-having already laid solid ground for analysis and posterity, a fictional attempt at reconstruction seems benign at best, exploitative at worst. The sheer pathos of the storm's effects captured by Lee on film, almost to the point of being unwatchable, says enough to make any lessons-learned fable seem almost petty by comparison. James Lee Burke may have pulled it off best in The Tin Roof Blowdown, using Katrina as a backdrop for a mystery/thriller that delves into the city's woes of racial tension. Even in this case, however, the aura of fabrication makes...]]> The Great Delusion: A Mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics... - (Hill & Wang), by Steven Stoll http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4438-the-great-delusion-a-mad-inventor-death-in-the-tropics-%2528hill-wang%2529-by-steven-stoll.html The mirage of unlimited economic growth has become one of the pervasive ideologies of our time. That the quest for ever-increasing profit and productivity can be dehumanizing and heedless of the planet's ecology is of no concern to the wise guys of Wall Street. According to The Great Delusion, it's also a daft dogma. Fordham University historian Steven Stoll writes with a sharp pen about the 19th-century materialist philosophies that undergird the economic world order of nowadays and examines its implications through the life...]]> James Liddy 1934-2008 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4439-james-liddy-1934-2008.html American Death Cult - Waiting for the heavenly utopia http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4354-american-death-cult-waiting-for-the-heavenly-utopia.html With its deadly accuracy, the rifled musket may have wrought unprecedented psychological terror during the American Civil War, but more influential in the hearts and minds of soldiers and their loved ones was America's culture of death. So argues Hendrix College history professor Mark S. Schantz in Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America's Culture of Death (Cornell University Press). The harshness of life in those years, worsened by urban crowding, resulted in an average white male life expectancy of 43...]]> Tycoon’s War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt... - (Da Capo), by Stephen Dando-Collins http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4355-tycoonrss-war-how-cornelius-vanderbilt-%2528da-capo%2529-by-stephen-dando-collins.html The 1980s civil war between Contras and Sandinistas was only America's most recent intervention in Nicaragua. In the 1850s an American called William Walker, backed by a small army of adventurers, made himself president of Nicaragua. Factions within the country opposed him, as did his Central American neighbors and ultimately the richest man in the United States, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose scheme to build...]]> Cross-Cultural Agenda - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4356-cross-cultural-agenda-book-preview.html What do you get when you cross a cook, a comedian and a children's book illustrator? The answer is the eighth annual Jewish Book and Culture Fair, which runs Nov. 6 through Nov. 20 at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and features all of the above and much more. For two weeks the JCC will host artistic and literary events aimed at all ages and backgrounds, including a demonstration on Nov. 13...]]> Murder and Mayhem - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4280-murder-and-mayhem-book-preview.html The Business of Rock - Remembering a world long gone http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4261-the-business-of-rock-remembering-a-world-long-gone.html With a melancholy spirit, Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business (Gotham) reflects on a time when real artists had legitimate control and the chance for exposure in the music business. It is also the story of how critics define who is authentic, along with how and perhaps why this is not the way it ought to be. One realizes that the geniuses in the book-and all of them are geniuses, going by author Danny Goldberg's reasonable definition-would have little or no chance in today's music scene, which is not so much fickle as totally fractured. Goldberg knows of what he speaks as a veteran manager and publicist for some of the world's top bands...]]> Kenya: A Country in the Making, 1880-1940 (W.W. Norton) - by Nigel Pavitt http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4262-kenya-a-country-in-the-making-1880-1940-%2528ww-norton%2529-by-nigel-pavitt.html Black-and-white photography is a uniquely suitable window to the past, capturing the outlines of reality as it once existed and stripping it of color, leaving much to the imagination. Kenya: A Country in the Making is a treat for the imagination even if you normally have little interest in Britain's East African colonies of long ago. Collected and restored after years of scrounging through attics and photo albums, Kenyan photographer Nigel Pavitt has...]]> Community of Craft - A hands-on life http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4180-community-of-craft-a-hands-on-life.html I grew up in the days when DIY (do it yourself) was a necessity rather than a hot topic in the art world. Knit one, purl two; carve a bird; construct a whatzit; stitch a sweet sampler-then sell them at the church bazaar to raise funds for new oak pews. Back then, art, craft and design were one and the same. Macram owls and beaded sandals had yet to emerge, as had T-shirts depicting someone flipping the bird. John McCain was a kid. In 2005, Faythe Levine and Kim Kisiolek unfurled the sails of Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery on South Howell Avenue. It's become the place to go for items fashioned by hand...]]> A Question of Will - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4181-a-question-of-will-book-preview.html Despite daily proof of man's capacity for cruelty, there are some who draw great sustenance from whatever morsels of humanity we can get our hands on. This wary optimism gains credence when espoused by an individual like Jan Egeland, current director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. During his previous tenure as the U.N. under-secretary-general and U.N. emergency relief coordinator, he witnessed more tragedies and acts of barbarism than most of us could dream of, yet prefaces a book published earlier this year with a message of hope...]]> Indignation (Houghton Mifflin) - by Philip Roth http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4182-indignation-%2528houghton-mifflin%2529-by-philip-roth.html About one-quarter of the way into Indignation, the protagonist almost casually announces that he is dead, and has been for who knows how long. He is narrating an account of his brief life: son of a kosher butcher from Newark, N.J., sophomore at a private college in Ohio, whose headstrong missteps led to the cancellation of his deferment and his conscription, which in turn led to his death on a spiny hillside of Korea in 1952. The sharp knives of a childhood spent in a butcher shop are only one foretaste of his fate, if fate is the right word for a chain of events formed by a series of poor decisions. Although the boy narrator, created...]]> Chasing White Lightning - Illicit highs in mountain country http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4087-chasing-white-lightning-illicit-highs-in-mountain-country.html Those who made the illicit liquor called it white mule, white lightning, popskull, mountain licka, mountain dew, stump whiskey and-at the low end of the illegal-spirits chain-rotgut, but never moonshine, and they called themselves blockaders, not bootleggers. Matt Bondurant's novel The Wettest County in the World (Scribner) offers many curious facts in the course of delivering an immensely interesting story. ]]> Point No Point - (Bleak House Books) by Mary Logue http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4088-point-no-point-%2528bleak-house-books%2529-by-mary-logue.html Averting Black Saturday http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4090-averting-black-saturday.html Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth - (Da Capo), by David Browne http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-4003-goodbye-20th-century-a-biography-of-sonic-youth-%2528da-capo%2529-by-david-browne.html During the 1980s Sonic Youth brought the fringe a little closer to the mainstream, editing the inspiration of Glen Branca's noise symphonies into rock songs of a most unconventional nature. Nationally recognized rock critic David Browne writes knowingly and interestingly about the band's husband-wife core of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon (who have led an orderly life in the eye of their own musical storm), the sources of the...]]> Believe It! - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3996-believe-it_-book-preview.html Edward R. Murrow's CBS Radio program "This I Believe" originally aired amid the alarm and suspicion of the McCarthy era. More than 50 years later it was revived on NPR during the similarly divisive post-9/11 era. The soothing tones of narrators who prompt reflection rather than dogma has buoyed the spirits of many a radio-listener flagging under the language of fear that's become the lexicon of our age. Last month the second compilation of essays from the series was published, named This I Believe II and edited by program producers Jay Allison and Dan Gediman...]]> A Coney Island of the Mind - Great Poems 50 Years Later http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3997-a-coney-island-of-the-mind-great-poems-50-years-later.html   Allen Ginsberg's Howl & Other Poems, the 50th anniversary of which was celebrated in 2006, is the most famous book by a Beat poet. A close second is A ConeyIsland of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whose fledgling City Lights Press published Howl in 1956 and defended it at the ensuing obscenity trial. That landmark First Amendment case established a legal precedent that protected controversial literary work with "redeeming social significance." In the aftermath of Howl, City Lights became the premiere hip press, faithfully publishing each subsequent book by Ginsberg in its "Pocket Poet Series," which also included luminaries from Kerouac and Corso to...]]> Ginsberg’s Life in Letters - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3906-ginsbergrss-life-in-letters-book-review.html A few years ago, I had occasion to discuss the early development of The Letters of Allen Ginsberg (Da Capo) with its editor, Bill Morgan. We were having dinner in Manhattan's East Village, and I was curious about how Morgan was faring in the yeoman task of sorting through the mountains of Ginsberg's correspondence. As the poet's bibliographer, Morgan had spent more than a decade sorting through and cataloging Ginsberg's correspondence... ]]> Waiting for an Ordinary Day: The Unraveling of Life in Iraq - (PublicAffairs), by Farnaz Fassihi http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3907-waiting-for-an-ordinary-day-the-unraveling-of-life-in-iraq-%2528publicaffairs%2529-by-farnaz-fassihi.html    In 2004 The Wall StreetJournal's Farnaz Fassihi sent an e-mail to friends and family in the States that went 'round the world, a description of just how bad life had gotten in Iraq under the U.S. occupation. The situation may have improved since then, at least provisionally and in degrees, but Waiting for an Ordinary Day stands as a...]]> Milwaukee Book Festival - October 5 - October 15 http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3887-milwaukee-book-festival-october-5-october-15.html It's that time of year again. The clamor of the summer festivals has subsided and the city sets its sights on more edifying offerings than fried cheese curds and bratwursts. Beginning Oct. 5 the Milwaukee Book Festival returns for 10 days of author readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, book-art presentations and a slew of culturally diverse literary events for young and old, hosted by festival partners across the city. ]]> The Keeper of Secrets http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3889-the-keeper-of-secrets.html If you think our nation's unmitigated access to countless avenues of exposure might have dulled its appetite for divulging secrets, you're wrong. A project founded in 2004 by part-time artist Frank Warren proves that our society's craving for confession is as strong as ever. And even the curious form of the confessional, a 3-by-5-inch postcard sent without name or address, suggests that neither emerging media nor today's cultural transparency have usurped the suggestive powers of an anonymous, handwritten note.]]> The Defiant Divas - Women of Italian film http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3794-the-defiant-divas-women-of-italian-film.html    In his forward to Diva: Defiance and Passion in Early Italian Cinema (University of Texas Press), filmmaker Guy Maddin writes beautifully, knowingly, about the female stars of Italian film before the coming of sound. Alas, he's not the author of the book. Diva is the work of Angela Dalle Vacche, film studies professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A thoughtful and intriguing account of feminine roles in a traditional society in transformation to modernity, Diva is mired nonetheless in academic cultural theory and overlooks anything...]]> Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul - (National Geographic) edited by Fredrik Hiebert and Pierre Cambo http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3795-afghanistan-hidden-treasures-from-the-national-museum-kabul-%2528national-geographic%2529-edited-by-fredrik-hiebert-and-pierre-cambo.html Museum work can be dangerous business. Just ask the staff of the Baghdad Museum, looted as U.S. troops looked on, or the National Museum in Kabul, whose curators had to conceal their collection from the Soviets and the Taliban. Hidden Treasures is the catalog to an exhibit traveling across the United States, a dazzling...]]> Movement, Music and Word - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3796-movement-music-and-word-book-preview.html A Life in Folk Music - Weaving American songs http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3668-a-life-in-folk-music-weaving-american-songs.html Erik Darling, who is best known for replacing Pete Seeger in the Weavers, died only a month ago. A virtuoso banjo and guitar player, Darling also founded and performed with two other leading folk groups, the Tarriers (with Alan Arkin, then just a little-known singer) and the Rooftop Singers. In 1956, the Tarriers had a hit with "Cindy, Oh Cindy." Keep in mind that all this was going on when rockabilly was evolving into rock 'n' roll. Even before founding these famous folk groups at the dawn of the 1950s, he formed the Folksay Trio. They recorded only four songs, but one was "Tom Dooley," which the Kingston Trio later nabbed for a hit during the Mighty Wind commercialization . . .]]> Chinese Milwaukee (Arcadia) - by David B. Holmes and Wenbin Yuan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3669-chinese-milwaukee-%2528arcadia%2529-by-david-b-holmes-and-wenbin-yuan.html Who knew that in 1889 an anti-Chinese riot broke out in Milwaukee after a pair of laundry workers were arrested for "enticing" adolescent white girls for "immoral purposes"? It's just one of the many interesting stories collected in Chinese Milwaukee, a slim but photo-packed account of Chinese Americans in the city from the . . .]]> Civil Liberties, Human Rights - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3670-civil-liberties-human-rights-book-preview.html The deployment of smear tactics and sex-centered propaganda in the run-up to the November election has helped eclipse some of the issues that genuinely deserve primacy on the public agenda. Speculation over Sarah Palin's ability to govern a region more populous than Alaska (not to mention concern over her shaky knowledge of the Jurassic period) has momentarily crowded out issues like immigration rights and border control . . .]]> Terror in Hollywood! - Murder, corruption and lies http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3576-terror-in-hollywood_-murder-corruption-and-lies.html Today's neocons would love it: Terrorists disturbing the peace and security of the United States are hunted down, not at taxpayer expense, but by a private agency for personal gain. The free market rules! Well, sort of. It was attempted a century ago, when enterprise was not so much private as it was wild and woolly, and concern for such minor legal details as individual rights was even less than it has become in our day. Eventually, of course, the government had to step in to arrest the bad guys and put them on trial-and when it did, the attendant early-20th-century corruption sounds as modern as in a John Grisham novel . . .]]> Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs... - (iUniverse Star), by Timothy English http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3577-sounds-like-teen-spirit-stolen-melodies-ripped-off-riffs-%2528iuniverse-star%2529-by-timothy-english.html It's been written that there's nothing new under the sun, and the axiom has been proven over and over in the history of rock 'n' roll. Sounds Like Teen Spirit compares and contrasts dozens of familiar songs that bear resemblance to one another. Some of them are obvious thefts, such as the transformation of Chuck Berry's. . .]]> Philosophy for Fun - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3578-philosophy-for-fun-book-preview.html Why did the chicken cross the road? What do you get when you cross a llama with a lampshade? It doesn't take a genius to work it out… or does it? In their new book, Harvard-educated philosophers Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein show unsuspecting readers the myriad philosophical concepts craftily concealed within jokes. Never again will you dismiss a lame gag without pausing to consider the metaphysical truths buried within it. And never again will you make the errant assumption that philosophy can't be a hoot . . .]]> Progressive Politics - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3506-progressive-politics-book-preview.html The United States is lamentably behind the Western and Eastern nations that have already elected powerful female leaders. And despite the dogged perseverance with which she attempted to earn a victory, Hillary Clinton's defeat in the presidential primaries earlier this year helps continue this embarrassing legacy. When Vermont's former governor Madeleine Kunin published her book Pearls, Politics & Power: How Women Can Win and Lead more than four months ago, not only was Clinton very much in the race, but she seemed set to win. Instead of dealing a decisive blow to the glass ceiling that keeps women in America . . .]]> Single in the City? - Life in the jungle of love http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3507-single-in-the-city-life-in-the-jungle-of-love.html How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo, co-author of He's Just Not That Into You, is a book that attempts to tackle the massive conundrum of single life for women: It's important to be happy while single, but who wants to spend time working on being happy and single when you can spend time finding a man to make you happy? And that, quite frankly, is the downfall of this book for me, though it might serve as satisfying chick-lit for the masses. Tuccillo, one of HBO's Emmy Award-winning executive story editor's for "Sex and the City," puts her personal spin on the single . . .]]> Beethoven’s Symphonies: A Guided Tour - (Amadeus Press), by John Bell Young http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3508-beethovenrss-symphonies-a-guided-tour-%2528amadeus-press%2529-by-john-bell-young.html Young Poets Recite - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3410-young-poets-recite-book-preview.html Any publisher will tell you that poetry-that music of the soul, that sublime agent of universal values-relies as much on successful marketing and distribution as it does on the inspirational muses if it stands any hope of reaching an attentive ear. For its summer program, ArtWorks for Milwaukee, a local nonprofit organization that provides teens with paid apprenticeships in the arts to teach them critical employment skills, attempted to familiarize students with the personal and pragmatic ends of poetry publishing. Eight high-school students from Milwaukee Public Schools were . . .]]> Rapid Fire - Mr. Gatling's weapon http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3411-rapid-fire-mr-gatlings-weapon.html When it comes to the Gatling gun, perhaps Confederate soldiers put it best: "The Yankees have a gun you load on Monday and shoot all the rest of the week." And that statement stemmed from limited observation, as the gun, despite its deadly effectiveness, was little used in the Civil War. The , patented in November 1862 by Richard Jordan Gatling, was "the world's first machine gun that actually worked," Julia Keller writes in Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It (Viking). Though the man behind it has become obscure, "Gatling gun" is still heard as a metaphor for swift, unchecked activity; "gat," the slightly outdated slang for a handgun, derives from it . . .]]> It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways . . . - (Faber and Faber), by Amanda Petrusich http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3412-it-still-moves-lost-songs-lost-highways-%2528faber-and-faber%2529-by-amanda-petrusich.html Many words have lost significance through overuse or misuse, and nowhere is this truer than in music jargon. The meaning of "Americana" is at the heart of a travelogue by music critic Amanda Petrusich. The journey takes her to Memphis and the Mississippi Delta, the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York and the homes of neo-hippie "free folk" musicians in New England. Petrusich is a little iffy on the history, often drawing . . . ]]> Defying the Odds - The Many Modes of Tom Waits http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3312-defying-the-odds-the-many-modes-of-tom-waits.html Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen all suffer from genius exhaustion. They are hip nostalgia. Neil Young's superb Greendale went into so many different idioms (album, film, novel, comic book) that our short-attention culture couldn't manage its complexity. It was lost in translation. The Stones, Police and other rock brands are on Viagra tours, artificially getting it up. Weather Report is bringing back fusion that never should have existed and still doesn't if you want to authentically get down with jazz or rock. Tom Waits jumps out in front of all of them by scuttling up from the subterranean nether culture that has permitted him to grow artistically without suffering the kind of fame that can force one to keep going when it is long past . . . ]]> Who Controls the Internet: Illusions of a Borderless World - (Oxford University Press), by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3313-who-controls-the-internet-illusions-of-a-borderless-world-%2528oxford-university-press%2529-by-jack-goldsmith-and-tim-wu.html Relative Freedoms - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3315-relative-freedoms-book-preview.html Odyssey and Oracle - Searching for Ancient Psychedelia http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3231-odyssey-and-oracle-searching-for-ancient-psychedelia.html Anyone who encountered the Lotus Eaters while reading Homer already suspects that mind-altering drugs flourished on the fringes of the ancient Greek world, the matrix for much of what we call civilization. In The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press), D.C.A. Hillman argues that the Lotus Eaters weren't confined to one isolated island but were in the mainstream of Greek and Roman society. In other words, Haight Ashbury in 1967 had nothing on Athens in 300 B.C. With degrees in the classics and bacteriology, Hillman is interested in both the natural world and the cultivated garden of humanity. The convergence makes stuffy academics uncomfortable. As the Madison author tells it, he originally hoped to present his findings on ancient drug use in his doctoral dissertation at the]]> The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 (Houghton Mi - by Christopher Duggan http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3232-the-force-of-destiny-a-history-of-italy-since-1796-%2528houghton-mi-by-christopher-duggan.html Italy is a country of many distinct regions, mutually incomprehensible dialects, squabbling political parties and great artistic fertility. The history of Italy is a lot to fit into one book, even if limited to the past two centuries, but British historian Christopher Duggan manages in around 600 well-written pages. One of his persistent themes is the country's doubtful search for identity. Even Mussolini failed. The dictator . . .]]> Dogs and Ghosts - Extraordinary debut by Wisconsin novelist http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3161-dogs-and-ghosts-extraordinary-debut-by-wisconsin-novelist.html Some books are written in such exquisite detail that even if you somehow don't care for the overall story, you can't help but enjoy reading them. Robert Coover provided a perfect example with The Universal Baseball Association Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop., in which the title character, a disappointed accountant, spends his solitary nights immersed in his own world, manipulating a kind of fantasy baseball league of his own creation wherein every action is determined by throws of the dice. Even if the book wasn't your cup of tea, you would still be fascinated by the complexities of the baseball league and the lives of its players.]]> The Domestic Scene (1897-1927): George M. Niedecken... - (Milwaukee Art Museum/University of Wisconsin), by Cheryl Robert http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3162-the-domestic-scene-%25281897-1927%2529-george-m-niedecken-%2528milwaukee-art-museum_university-of-wisconsin%2529-by-cheryl-robert.html Milwaukee was fertile ground for arts and architecture in the early 20th century, with many ideas transplanted from Europe. The new expanded edition of The Domestic Scene examines the work of George Niedecken, perhaps best known for collaborating with Frank Lloyd Wright, but also a significant force in his own right . . . ]]> The Heart of Lead Belly - A Singer to Be Reckoned With http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3092-the-heart-of-lead-belly-a-singer-to-be-reckoned-with.html Take out the amateur, needlessly placed poems by Tyehimba Jess in mawkish, embarrassing praise of Lead Belly and we have a perfect book. Lead Belly: A Life in Pictures (Steidl) is not merely a picture book at all, but is rife with brilliant essays and era-specific memorabilia that portray the complexity of the man who just might be America’s finest folksinger – because he sang anything and was no purist. Every song that came his way turned into his version and, in many instances, his copyright, from “Happy Birthday To You” (covered by the world) to “Good Night, Irene” (covered by Frank Sinatra and hundreds more). ]]> An Epitaph for German Judaism: From Halle to Jerusalem - (University of Wisconsin), by Emil Fackenheim http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3093-an-epitaph-for-german-judaism-from-halle-to-jerusalem-%2528university-of-wisconsin%2529-by-emil-fackenheim.html German Jews were a small but significant minority, contributing greatly to their country’s culture until they were murdered or driven to exile by Hitler. Emil Fackenheim escaped shortly before the outbreak of World War II and became a philosophy professor at the University of Toronto and a rabbi serving the local Jewish community . . .]]> Burmese Trilogy - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3094-burmese-trilogy-book-preview.html Endless Cities, Infinite Paradoxes - Designing for the urban age http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3016-endless-cities-infinite-paradoxes-designing-for-the-urban-age.html Cities are like organized religion: richly layered, often paradoxical and uniquely qualified to bring out the best and worst in humankind. A new book edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, titled The Endless City (Phaidon), conveys the oft-contradictory nature of cities, including their innate ability to both quell and incite social and political conflict. At least, that’s the salutary subtext of the book. Its more arrant objective is to lend fire-and-brimstone urgency to the sharp rise in the world’s urban population within the past century. Even the book’s blazing orange cover, inscribed with eye-popping statistics (75% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050!) is used to convey the apocalyptic immediacy of its appeal . . . ]]> Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels - (Abrams), by David A. Beron http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3017-wordless-books-the-original-graphic-novels-%2528abrams%2529-by-david-a-beron%25E4.html Graphic novels have been all the rage for the past 20 years, but Art Spiegelman’s groundbreaking Maus, depicting the Holocaust in drawings of Jewish mice and their feline Nazi predators, wasn’t the first original novel told primarily in pictures. Wordless Books examines several little-known artists from the early 20th century who composed “woodcut novels.” The author, who teaches at Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies . . .]]> Olympian Ideals - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-3018-olympian-ideals-book-preview.html Lost in the U.S.S.R. - Forsaken Americans swallowed by cruel Soviet system http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2880-lost-in-the-ussr-forsaken-americans-swallowed-by-cruel-soviet-system.html To fall into the clutches of the Soviet Union’s system of arrest, imprisonment and torture was infamously easy for Americans who entered the nation from the 1930s to the 1950s. To get out was well-nigh impossible—short of death—and little help was to be found from U.S. authorities. In The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia (Penguin Press), Tim Tzouliadis, a documentary filmmaker born in Greece but educated and living in Britain, has written a book to raise the ire of decent people everywhere. The outrages and horrors recounted in the book, buttressed by bristling documentation, overcome any shortcomings of its workmanlike writing style . . . ]]> Willie Nelson: An Epic Life - (Little, Brown) by Joe Nick Patoski http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2881-willie-nelson-an-epic-life-%2528little-brown%2529-by-joe-nick-patoski.html Joe Nick Patoski draws a portrait of Willie Nelson based on 35 years of covering his subject. He does an especially good job with Nelson’s early years, describing the difficulty of breaking into the music scene. Unfortunately, as the book continues, it often reads as if the journalist has stitched together his various ]]> Return to Russia - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2882-return-to-russia-book-preview.html Howling for India - Ginsberg's search for enlightenment http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2839-howling-for-india-ginsbergs-search-for-enlightenment.html In 1961 Allen Ginsberg, who proclaimed just about everything to be holy in his seminal poem “Howl,” left America for India. What he brought back would become essential to American counterculture. Deborah Baker’s A Blue Hand: The Beats in India (Penguin) is exceptionally detailed regarding what happened and what did not. In the tradition of the Beats, if something did not happen, it still did. In Blue Hand, Baker found a rare path to biography, paying close attention to Ginsberg’s 15-month quest for enlightenment in India, using what might have been his own way of writing the book, had he done so. Blue Hand is a well-researched, elegant biography written in Ginsberg’s tradition of an open field of composition, where everything counts as long as it can be accounted for in one sitting and with no revision. ]]> The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov... - (Simon & Schuster), by Peter Pringle http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2840-the-murder-of-nikolai-vavilov-%2528simon-schuster%2529-by-peter-pringle.html New Deal for the Arts - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2841-new-deal-for-the-arts-book-preview.html Postmodern Rock - Roxy Music's serious fun http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2710-postmodern-rock-roxy-musics-serious-fun.html Roxy Music was too slippery and evasive to comfortably fit into any of the usual niches of their time or ours. They flirted with glam and skirted art rock without fully committing themselves to the conventions of either. They were avant-garde and pop. The voice of Bryan Ferry was at once ironic and romantic. American audiences were baffled, at least until a touch of Roxy seeped into the mainstream through their influence on The Cars and other new wave acts... ]]> The Enchantress of Florence - (Random House), by Salman Rushdie http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2711-the-enchantress-of-florence-%2528random-house%2529-by-salman-rushdie.html Seeing Art - New Yorker critic shares his vision http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2624-seeing-art-new-yorker-critic-shares-his-vision.html A decade ago The New Yorker magazine hired Peter Schjeldahl as their visual art critic. What a coup for a chap who spent his early years in the small towns of Minnesota and South Dakota, dropped out of college and existed on the ragged edge while writing five books of poetry between 1967 and 1981. He’s taught at Harvard and received a Guggenheim fellowship. Come fall, he’ll add the 2008 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing.]]> A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the - (Broadway), by Suze Rotolo http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2625-a-freewheelinrs-time-a-memoir-of-greenwich-village-in-the-%2528broadway%2529-by-suze-rotolo.html It could be worse. At least Suze Rotolo is a likable writer. Near the end of her memoir we finally get the story behind the famous album cover of Rotolo walking alongside Bob Dylan for the folk singer’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. A Freewheelin’ Time could have revealed something about the folk-blues revival of the early 1960s and its most enduring artist, but instead spends most of its pages on Rotolo’s artwork (including baubles that hang from ladies’ boots, rejected by Bloomingdale’s at the time) and politics (hanging out in Cuba back in the day and treating Dylan as a fan treats Dylan). We have a charming but boring person on a record jacket writing a book as though she was part of the album’s music. Credit Rotolo for her voice . . .]]> Family Condition - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2626-family-condition-book-preview.html No Replacement - The band that made Minneapolis rock http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2548-no-replacement-the-band-that-made-minneapolis-rock.html Tell the Truth Until They Bleed: Coming Clean in the Dirty World - (Backbeat), by Josh Alan Friedman http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2549-tell-the-truth-until-they-bleed-coming-clean-in-the-dirty-world-%2528backbeat%2529-by-josh-alan-friedman.html During a long career as a music writer, studio gopher and musician, Josh Alan Friedman came to know some prominent singers, songwriters and musicians. Their colorful recollections and insights are collected in Tell the Truth Until They Bleed. Especially interesting are the stories told by Dr. John, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller . . .]]> Knowledge is Power - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2550-knowledge-is-power-book-preview.html Those of you who were courageous enough to attend the Locust Street Festival on a stormy June 8 had your hardiness rewarded with a performance by The Trusty Knife, a local band whose eclectic sound betrays a clear affinity for ’70s-inspired rock ’n’ roll with a somewhat glammy edge. When he’s not strumming . . .]]> Inside the Dream Factory - Classic Hollywood's star system http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2427-inside-the-dream-factory-classic-hollywoods-star-system.html Jeanine Basinger brings a fresh new level of dedication to classic film in her fascinating survey of the much-maligned studio system, The Star Machine (Knopf), a 550-page book that is difficult to set aside. Her provocative approach balances an encompassing analysis of the “dream factories” that catapulted so many stars into that celluloid stratosphere of the 1930s-’50s with biographical surveys of individual stars “under the influence” of a system unparalleled in the ingenuity of marketing. Basinger doesn’t delve into such famous names as Davis, Gable, Crawford and Cagney, concentrating instead on the less . . . ]]> Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed - (Broadway Books), by Paul Trynka http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2428-iggy-pop-open-up-and-bleed-%2528broadway-books%2529-by-paul-trynka.html Former Mojo magazine editor Paul Trynka appears to have spent 15 years, on and off, interviewing thousands of people, listening to an ungodly number of recordings and poring over tens of thousands of pages of documents and photographs, only to come up with one important revelation about singer Iggy Pop:]]> Taking On the Establishment - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2429-taking-on-the-establishment-book-preview.html Spy Games - Furst delivers next chapter of international intrigue http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2341-spy-games-furst-delivers-next-chapter-of-international-intrigue.html Alan Furst is closing in on Upton Sinclair. Between 1940 and 1953, Sinclair, acclaimed author of The Jungle, created a series of 11 “World’s End” novels that captured much of the Western world’s political history in the first half of the 20th century. For 20 years now, Furst has been turning out his own series of novels filled with international intrigue. Furst’s books are set in Europe before and during World War II, and his latest effort, The Spies of Warsaw (Random House), is the 10th novel in the series. Like its predecessors, Spies of Warsaw is highly enjoyable, particularly in the author’s remarkable ability to evoke a vanished era. ]]> Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places... (Vintage) - by Kimberly Lisagor and Heather Hansen http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2342-disappearing-destinations-37-places-%2528vintage%2529-by-kimberly-lisagor-and-heather-hansen.html The problem with unspoiled holiday destinations is that we run the risk of spoiling them by going there. Consider the Incan city of Machu Picchu, whose stones are eroding under the footsteps of backpacking tourists. Disappearing Destinations examines 37 endangered natural and human-made wonders. Aside from . . . ]]> Hyphenated Life - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2343-hyphenated-life-book-preview.html Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939-45 - (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Peter Demetz http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2271-prague-in-danger-the-years-of-german-occupation-1939-45-%2528farrar-straus-giroux%2529-by-peter-demetz.html Prague had long been a cultural, multiethnic city at the heart of Central Europe. When the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939, the city’s inhabitants were faced with the possibility of collaboration, passive or active resistance, imprisonment, death, escape or simply trying to carry on as best they could. Literary . . . ]]> Hunting for Clues - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2272-hunting-for-clues-book-preview.html Racial tensions between the white and Hmong communities came to light in Wisconsin’s 2004 hunting season. And the recent discussions surrounding the hunting of wolves, which were removed from the federal endangered species list just this year, have sharpened conflicts between those who feel hunting is an . . .]]> Cokie Roberts’ Ladies of Liberty - The women behind the rise of America http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2269-cokie-robertsrs-ladies-of-liberty-the-women-behind-the-rise-of-america.html More than two centuries after the birth of America, our nation’s founders still transfix us, says broadcaster and author Cokie Roberts. “They are so much part of our fabric as a people that I was dying to know more about them,” says Roberts, who was named one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television. The results are found in Ladies of Liberty (Morrow), the follow-up to Roberts’ best-selling book, Founding Mothers (2004), in which she examines the lives and times of some of the women who helped shape America. The author says that even though women were central to the survival of the country, female contributions have been overshadowed by the Founding Fathers. ]]> Age of Consent? - The youngest P.O.W. http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2185-age-of-consent-the-youngest-pow.html “For me, Omar’s age has always been the greatest factor,” says Michelle Shephard, a Toronto Star reporter who authored Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr (John Wiley & Sons). When Omar Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in 2002, he was 15 years old, a child soldier. While international sympathy has gone out to child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Sri Lanka and other countries, American and Canadian sympathy for Khadr has been far more muted. ]]> Milwaukee Ghosts (Schiffer Books) - by Sherry Strub http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2186-milwaukee-ghosts-%2528schiffer-books%2529-by-sherry-strub.html From North Avenue to the South Side, from Shorewood to Brookfield, the Milwaukee area has ghosts—or so says Sherry Strub in Milwaukee Ghosts. Strub takes the reader from place to place—homes, cemeteries, historic sites and even the hallowed Pfister Hotel—in a trek around the area. The interviews and stories are interesting, but they lack a sense of authority and spookiness. Accounts of people saying, “I had this ]]> The Right to Return - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2187-the-right-to-return-book-preview.html For some, the adage “home is where the heart is” is a hackneyed platitude; for others, it’s a wrenching expression of an almost filial bond. In Milwaukee native Sandy Tolan’s 2006 nonfiction book, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew and the Heart of the Middle East, a Palestinian returning to his ancestral home in Ramla uses such visceral terms to describe his connection to the land from which he was expelled 20 years earlier.]]> Lady of Spain - Discovering gazpacho http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2110-lady-of-spain-discovering-gazpacho.html Many young girls dream of being the most popular, adored girl in school. But the truth is, only a tiny fraction of them end up as the cool and popular ones, while the rest of us are left to find a different way in the social ranks, a way to define who we truly are inside. In the deliciously twisted memoir Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love and Spain (Atria), Lori L. Tharps, a native Milwaukeean now living in Philadelphia, takes readers down the winding roads of her journey of love and self-discovery across the Iberian Peninsula and back again. ]]> The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed . . . - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2111-the-great-arab-conquests-how-the-spread-of-islam-changed-book-review.html Muhammad may have been the prophet of one of the world’s great religions, but little-known developments after his death set the direction for human events even today. “The future history of much of the world was decided by the actions of a small number of men arguing and debating in the city of Medina,” writes Hugh Kennedy. In The Great Arab Conquests, the British historian investigates how the disunified Arab tribes and towns . . .]]> The F-Word - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2112-the-f-word-book-preview.html Long, Strange Trip - Finding the new world http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2003-long-strange-trip-finding-the-new-world.html It’s not true that Christopher Columbus defied the conventional wisdom of his time in thinking that the world was round. All the wise people of his time already knew that; Columbus, in fact, thought the world had the shape of a pear, complete with a stalk “like a woman’s nipple,” which was the site of the Garden of Eden. That notion came to the famed “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” one night when it seemed like he was sailing uphill; hence, the impression of a pear’s slope. The rest of the imagery perhaps is attributable to the overactive imagination of a sailor too long at sea. ]]> Lavinia (Harcourt), by Ursula K. Le Guin - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2004-lavinia-%2528harcourt%2529-by-ursula-k-le-guin-book-review.html Lavinia, a princess in Virgil’s The Aeneid, was merely a walk-on character in the historical epic. She is transformed into the reluctant protagonist of her own story in Ursula Le Guin’s novel. An acclaimed author of science fiction and fantasy, Le Guin turns to the past for an imaginative reconstruction of Italy in the days . . .]]> Humor and Pathos - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-2005-humor-and-pathos-book-preview.html For a writer, relating the immigrant experience without patronizing or perplexing the reader is no small feat. Actually making them laugh in the process is even harder. Firoozeh Dumas has been hailed by critics for being capable of delivering poignant glimpses of her experiences as an Iranian American growing up in Southern California with both sensitivity and humor. Her first book to gain wide critical acclaim, Funny in Farsi, was a series of autobiographical essays illuminating her and her family’s experience of acclimatizing themselves to American culture. Her second, released this month . . . ]]> Ardent Youth - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-1951-ardent-youth-book-preview.html It’s no coincidence that some of the most controversial and widely discussed books of the last century have been coming-of-age novels. Evidently there’s something about a young person’s path through the minefield of adolescence that can capture the anxieties of an epoch. Milwaukee native Paul McComas’ new novel, Planet of the Dates, offers readers a glimpse into the shifting political and cultural climate of the late-1970s and ’80s through the eyes of an ardent youth. It speaks of an era when the public’s anxiety . . . ]]> Deep in the Delta Mud - Missing out on the blues http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-1913-deep-in-the-delta-mud-missing-out-on-the-blues.html Just 11 pages into In Search of the Blues (Basic Books), author Marybeth Hamilton comes right out and attempts to shatter accepted visions of Mississippi Delta blues purity. She desperately wants to play the iconoclast. “In fact,” she begins, “the Delta blues was not born in the bars and dance halls of Mississippi. That Robert Johnson and Charley Patton came to dominate blues history owes more to elusive mediators and shapers of taste. ]]> Coltrane: The Story of a Sound - (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Ben Ratliff http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-1914-coltrane-the-story-of-a-sound-%2528farrar-straus-and-giroux%2529-by-ben-ratliff.html John Coltrane took jazz as far as it ever reached before his death in 1967. He remains a touchstone for young musicians and the subject of many books. The latest, by New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff, is true to its name. The Story of a Sound isn’t a compendium of anecdotes about the saxophonist’s life, but a thoughtful . . . ]]> Mystery Woman - Local author cracks the case http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-1759-mystery-woman-local-author-cracks-the-case.html Elizabeth Hewitt awakens with a strange sensation at the start of the novel Separated at Death (Berkley Prime Crime). What she feels is the close and unfamiliar banding of an engagement ring snug around her finger. She pauses to consider: Settling down with one man had never been tops on her to-do list. Hewitt isn’t the star of a romance novel, however, and the homicide detective/protagonist in the third Elizabeth Hewitt murder-mystery thriller is about to be thrust into more than marriage. Her Milwaukee author, Sheldon Rusch, has spun a web of dangerous marital discord involving unhappy couples, relationship counselors and murder victims decoupled from their heads. ]]> A Student’s Guide to Music History (ISI), by R.J. Stove - Book Review http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-1760-a-studentrss-guide-to-music-history-%2528isi%2529-by-rj-stove-book-review.html A Student’s Guide to Music History might make a good textbook. It’s inexpensive and handy enough to slip into the pocket of a parka. It’s also entertainingly opinionated, even when the opinions are goofy. Many of us will take exception to a certain slant in the Australian writer’s perspective: He seems to put the NEA under the same heading as Axis cultural agencies. Paleo-conservative politics aside, Stove is a witty writer and . . .]]> Nature and Youth - Book Preview http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-1761-nature-and-youth-book-preview.html The unmitigated awe that nature can inspire in the youthful imagination has been a subject of reflection for countless poets and authors. Transcendentalists like Walt Whitman ascribed an almost pious relevance to a child’s discovery of nature. It’s this sense of awe and wonder that writer Richard Louv believes is at stake in today’s youth, resulting largely from a dwindling contact with nature and an immersion in electronic