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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008

(PublicAffairs), by Farnaz Fassihi

   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...
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Book Preview

During an interview earlier this year, Milwaukee Poet Laureate Susan Firer professed her goal to get more people interested in poetry-people who usually feel adrift in the aphoristic world of rhyme and cadence. This week her plan comes to fruition. On Thursday, Sept. 25, Firer and the Milwaukee Central Library host an inter-art collaboration between some of Milwaukee's most dynamic choreographers, poets and musicians.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

(National Geographic) edited by Fredrik Hiebert and Pierre Cambo

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...
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Women of Italian film

   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...
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Tonight @ the Downer Avenue Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

UWM professor and political expert Mordecai Lee is an insightful presence on his frequent NPR appearances, where he breaks down political events in a way that even casual listeners can understand. For Lee’s latest book, however, Bureaus of Efficiency: Reforming Local Government in the Progressive Era, Lee embraces his wonky...
Monday, Sept. 22, 2008

Tonight @ the Brookfield Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

The title of Benjamin Mee’s new memoir sums up the gist deftly—it’s called We Bought a Zoo. In the book, British columnist Mee and his family purchase and move into a run-down zoo, with the intentions of fixing it up and opening its gates again. The process is made more difficult by Mee’s inexperience and the tragic death...
Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

Book Preview

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 . . .
Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

by David B. Holmes and Wenbin Yuan

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 . . .
Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

Weaving American songs

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 . . .
Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Shorewood Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

In Wisconsin author Isabel Sharpe’s latest novel, As Good As It Got, a cynical woman unlucky in love finds unexpected companionship from two other women she attends a women’s retreat with, a shy woman quiet about her failed romances and a more outgoing woman who has deluded herself into believing that her . . .

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