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Newly Published: The Musical Artistry of Rap

New on our bookshelf today:

The Musical Artistry of Rap
Martin E. Connor

For years Rap artists have met with mixed reception—acclaimed by fans yet largely overlooked by scholars. Focusing on 135 tracks from 56 artists, this survey appraises the artistry of the genre with updates to the traditional methods and measures of musicology.

Rap synthesizes rhythmic vocals with complex beats, intonational systems, song structures, orchestration and instrumentalism. The author advances a rethinking of musical notation and challenges the conventional understanding of Rap through analysis of such artists as Eminem, Kanye West and Jean Grae.

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Newly Published: The Call to the Hall

New on our bookshelf today:

The Call to the Hall: When Baseball’s Highest Honor Came to 31 Legends of the Sport
Kevin Warneke and David C. Ogden

The names on the cast-bronze plaques hanging in the National Baseball Hall of Fame embody the history and drama of the sport—they are the royalty of baseball. Yet many inductees believed their entry into the Hall was anything but guaranteed, and even some who waited by the phone for the fateful “call to the Hall” were stunned to hear the news. Reactions to the call varied from stoicism to overwhelming emotion, but for most of the 31 inductees interviewed in this book, it was a moment of reflection and gratitude. In other cases, the call came years too late and family members received the posthumous honor.

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Newly Published: North Korea and Myanmar

New on our bookshelf today:

North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths
Andray Abrahamian

North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) are Asia’s most mysterious, tragic stories. For decades they were infamous as the region’s most militarized and repressed societies, self-isolated and under sanctions by the international community while, from Singapore to Japan, the rest of Asia saw historic wealth creation and growing middle class security.
For Burma, the threat was internal: insurgent factions clashed with the government and each other. For North Korea, it was external: a hostile superpower—the United States—and a far more successful rival state—South Korea—occupying half of the Korean peninsula.
Over time, Myanmar defeated its enemies, giving it space to explore a form of democratization and openness that has led to reintegration into international society. Meanwhile, North Korea’s regime believes its nuclear arsenal—the primary reason for their pariah status—is vital to survival.

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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

Another Me: The Doppelganger in 21st Century Fiction, Television and Film
Heather Duerre Humann

A figure from ancient folklore, the doppelgänger—in fiction a character’s sinister look-alike—continues to reemerge in literature, television and film. The modern-day doppelganger (“double-goer” in German) is typically depicted in a traditional form adapted to reflect present-day social anxieties. Focusing on a broad range of narratives, the author explores 21st century representations in novels (Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, José Saramago’s The Double), TV shows (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, Ringer) and movies (The Island, The Prestige, Oblivion).

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Winston Churchill, Myth and RealityThe January issue of Choice features four recommended McFarland titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth
“Langworth fires a stunning barrage in the long-running battle over Churchill’s reputation…effectively demolishes many core myths…a required addition to any collection on Churchill…essential.”

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives
Brandon Fullam
“Persuasively written, coherent, and in-depth…fresh and well thought out…a fascinating account…well-researched…recommended.”

Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed
Henry H. Bauer
“Recommended.”

For the Gay Stage: A Guide to 456 Plays, Aristophanes to Peter Gill
Drewey Wayne Gunn
“Comprehensive…recommended for all theater and gay studies collections.”

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Newly Published: Quizzing America

Quizzing AmericaNew on our bookshelf today:

Quizzing America: Television Game Shows and Popular Culture in the 1950s
Mark Dunn

The 1950s television game show was a cultural touchstone, reflecting the zeitgeist of a flourishing modern nation. The author explores the iconography of the mid–20th century U.S. in the context of TV watching, game playing and prize winning. The scandals that marred the genre’s reputation are revisited, highlighting American’s propensity for both gullibility and winking cynicism.

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New today—The Half-Game Pennant of 1908

New on our bookshelf today:

The Half-Game Pennant of 1908: Four Teams Chase Victory in the American League
Charles C. Alexander

The 1908 American League pennant race was described as a “a fierce and fluctuating fight.” With five games left in the season, each of the league’s four westernmost teams still had a shot at the championship. It was the height of the Deadball Era, noted for its spectacular pitching, low scoring, quickly played games, and memorable characters. It was also a time when professional baseball truly came into its own as America’s national pastime. This lively account details a neglected chapter in the game’s history.

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Newly Published: Quintessential Jack

New on our bookshelf today:

Quintessential Jack: The Art of Jack Nicholson on Screen
Scott Edwards

After several years of small roles and experimental screenwriting during his early career, Jack Nicholson got his big break in 1969 with Easy Rider. The next year Five Easy Pieces made him a star. Since then the 12-time Academy Award nominee has won Best Actor twice (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and As Good as It Gets).

This critical study examines each of Nicholson’s film roles, as well as his screenwriting and directorial efforts. Fascinating personal insights are provided through interviews with stars such as Mews Small, James Hong, Millie Perkins, Michael Margotta, Shirley Knight, Joe Turkel, Ed Nelson, Hazel Court, the Monkees, several Apollo astronauts, Hell’s Angel Sonny Barger, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, and many more.

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Laird Cregar Receives Starred Review in Booklist

Laird CregarLaird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy
Gregory William Mank

“Based on decades of research, relying mainly on primary sources (as much as possible, given that his subject died more than 70 years ago) and archival material, the author brings Cregar back to vivid life in this culmination of an “almost lifelong” fascination with the actor… Many showbiz biographies reduce the lives of stars to formula; this one gives rich life to an unknown Hollywood story.”—Booklist (starred review)