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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: Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition

New on our bookshelf today:

Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890–1930
Heather D. Ward

Raqs sharqi, the Egyptian dance form also known as belly dance, has for generations captured imaginations around the globe. Yet its origins have been obscured by misinformation and conjecture, rooted in Orientalist attitudes about the Middle East—a widely accepted narrative suggests the dance was created in response to Western influences and desires. Drawing on an array of primary sources, the author traces the early development of raqs sharqi in the context of contemporary trends in Egyptian arts and entertainment. The dance is revealed to be a hybrid cultural expression, emerging with the formation of Egyptian national identity at the end of the 19th century, when Egypt was occupied by the British.

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New in Softcover: Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff

Now available in softcover:

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
Gregory William Mank

Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster are horror cinema icons, and the actors most deeply associated with the two roles also shared a unique friendship. Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff starred in dozens of black-and-white horror films, and over the years managed to collaborate on and co-star in eight movies. Through dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, this greatly expanded new edition examines the Golden Age of Hollywood, the era in which both stars worked, recreates the shooting of Lugosi and Karloff’s mutual films, examines their odd and moving personal relationship and analyzes their ongoing legacies. Features include a fully detailed filmography of the eight Karloff and Lugosi films, full summaries of both men’s careers and more than 250 photographs, some in color.

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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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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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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Television Shows

New on our bookshelf today:

Encyclopedia of Television Shows: A Comprehensive Supplement, 2011–2016
Vincent Terrace

This is a supplement to the author’s Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925–2010. It covers 1,612 series broadcast between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2016. Major networks—ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox and NBC—are covered along with many cable channels, such as AMC, Disney, Nickelodeon, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, TNT, Comedy Central and History Channel. Alphabetical entries provide storylines, casts, networks and running dates. A performer index is included.

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Newly Published: The Great Sports Documentaries

The Great Sports DocumentariesNew on our bookshelf today:

The Great Sports Documentaries: 100+ Award Winning Films
Michael Peters

Sports and competition have been film subjects since the dawn of the medium. Olympic sports documentaries have been around nearly as long as the games themselves; films about surfing, boxing, roller derby, motorcycle racing and bodybuilding were theatrical successes during the 1960s and 1970s.

The author surveys the history of the sports documentary subgenre, covering more than 100 award-winning films of 40+ different competitions, from traditional team sports to dogsled racing to ballroom dancing.

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New in Softcover: Western Film Series of the Sound Era

Western Film Series of the Sound EraNow available in softcover:

Western Film Series of the Sound Era
Michael R. Pitts

The western genre touched on ideals of honor, conquest, and freedom of spirit, and its stories packed cinemas of the early sound era. This volume covers 30 western film series produced from the mid 1930s to the early 1950s. Included are such long-running series as Hopalong Cassidy, The Durango Kid and The Three Mesquiteers as well as those that had moderate or brief runs like The Singing Cowgirl and The Texas Rangers. Major genre stars like John Wayne, Ken Maynard, Tim McCoy, Buck Jones and Johnny Mack Brown headlined the popular Saturday matinee fare. The book contains a plot synopsis and analysis of each series’ place in cinema history, many photographs and illustrations and a detailed filmography.