The first major biography of an American icon, comedian Bill Cosby. Based on extensive research and in-depth interviews with Cosby and more than sixty of his closest friends and associates, it is a frank, fun and fascinating account of his life and historic legacy. Far from the gentle worlds of his routines or TV shows, Cosby grew up in a Philadelphia housing project, the son of an alcoholic, largely absent father and a loving but overworked mother. With novelistic detail, award winning journalist Mark Whitaker tells the story of how, after dropping out of high school, Cosby turned his life around by joining the Navy, talking his way into college, and seizing his first breaks as a stand-up comedian. Published on the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, the book reveals the behind-the-scenes story of that groundbreaking sitcom as well as Cosby's bestselling albums, breakout role on I Spy, and pioneering place in children's TV. But it also deals with professional setbacks and personal dramas, from an affair that sparked public scandal to the murder of his only son, and the private influence of his wife of fifty years, Camille Cosby. Whitaker explores the roots of Cosby's controversial stands on race, as well as "the Cosby effect" that helped pave the way for a black president. For any fan of Bill Cosby's work, and any student of American television, comedy, or social history, Cosby: His Life and Times is an essential read.
They left everything behind to follow their hearts. . . . True stories that illuminate the experiences of British war brides in America after World War II American soldiers stationed in the UK came away winning more than just a war, they also won the hearts of young women across Britain. At the end of World War II, more than 70,000 GI brides followed the men they'd married--men they barely knew--to begin a new life in the United States. Meet four of these women: Sylvia Bradley, a loyal, bright-eyed optimist Rae Brewer, a resourceful, quick-witted tomboy Margaret Boyle, an English beauty who faced down every challenge Gwendolyn Rowe, a brave woman ahead of her time Though all made the bold choice to leave family and the world they knew, the journey each experienced was unique--ranging from romantic to heartbreaking. Fascinating and unforgettable, GI Brides pays homage to these brave women, propelled by love and hope, who embarked on an adventure that would change their lives.
Bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything--their homes, their families, and their very lives--during the Civil War.
Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring--even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House--right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives. Abbott's pulse-quickening narrative weaves the adventures of these four forgotten daredevils into the tumultuous landscape of a broken America, evoking a secret world that will surprise even the most avid enthusiasts of Civil War-era history.
With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoléon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring--and, until now, unsung--heroines.
This volume collects the finest essays from the second half of the Believer's decade-long (and counting) run. The Believer, the McSweeney's-published four-time nominee for the National Magazine Award, is beloved for tackling everything from pop culture to ancient literature with the same sagacity and wit, and this collection cements that reputation with pieces as wildly diverse as the magazine itself. Featured articles include Nick Hornby on his first job, Rebecca Taylor on her time acting in no-budget horror movies, Francisco Goldman on the failings of memoir in dealing with personal tragedy, Megan Abbott and Sara Gran on V.C. Andrews and the secret life of girls, and Brian T. Edwards on Western pop culture's influence on Iran. Read Harder collects some of the finest nonfiction writing published in America today, from the profound to the absurd, the crushing to the uplifting. As the Believer enters its second decade, Read Harder serves as both an essential primer for one of the finest, strangest magazines in the country, and an indispensable stand-alone volume.
Sheila E., born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three, inspired by her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo. Two years later, she delivered her first solo performance to a live audience. By nineteen, she had fallen in love with Carlos Santana. By twenty-one, she met Prince. The Beat of My Own Drum is both a walk through four decades of Latin and pop music-from her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, and Ringo Starr-to her own solo career. At the same time, it's also a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive look at how the sanctity of music can save a person's life.
By now, everyone in the world knows the song "Gangnam Style" and Psy, an instantly recognizable star. But the song's international popularity is no passing fad. "Gangnam Style" is only one tool in South Korea's extraordinarily elaborate and effective strategy to become a major world superpower by first becoming the world's number one pop culture exporter. As a child, Euny Hong moved from America to the Gangnam neighbourhood in Seoul. She was a witness to the most accelerated part of South Korea's economic development, during which time it leapfrogged from third-world military dictatorship to first-world liberal democracy on the cutting edge of global technology. Euny Hong recounts how South Korea vaulted itself into the twenty-first century, becoming a global leader in business, technology, education, and pop culture. Featuring lively, in-depth reporting and numerous interviews with Koreans working in all areas of government and society, The Birth of Korean Cool reveals how a really uncool country became cool, and how a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men, and rock 'n' roll could come to mass produce boy bands, soap operas, and the world's most important smart phone.
Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock 'n' roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out -- a new language, something new under the sun. "Transmission" by Joy Division. "All I Could Do Was Cry" by Etta James and then Beyoncé. "To Know Him Is to Love Him," first by the Teddy Bears and almost half a century later by Amy Winehouse. In Marcus's hands these and other songs tell the story of the music, which is, at bottom, the story of the desire for freedom in all its unruly and liberating glory. Slipping the constraints of chronology, Marcus braids together past and present, holding up to the light the ways that these striking songs fall through time and circumstance, gaining momentum and meaning, astonishing us by upending our presumptions and prejudices.
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson's revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It's also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.
Marc Abrahams collects the odd, the imaginative, and the brilliantly improbable from around the world. Here he investigates research on the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body (brain included). This Is Improbable Too explores the odd questions that researchers are asking, such as: What's the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly? How much dandruff do soldiers in Pakistan's army have? If you add an extra henchman to your bank-robbing gang, how much more money will you earn? Why is it so impossible to estimate the number of stupid people in circulation? How many dimples will be found on the cheeks of 28,282 Greek children? Who is the Einstein of pork carcasses? This Is Improbable Too also investigates unlikely medical cases, including a boy with an "Eiffel head injury" (involving a toy tower), and even more unlikely inventions, such as a patented system for attacking your enemy with a bio-waste bomb.
Kids are natural tinkerers. They experiment, explore, test, and play, and they learn a great deal about problem-solving through questions and hands-on experiments. They don't see lines between disciplines; rather, they notice interesting materials and ideas that are worth exploring. This book is about creative experiments, in all fields, that help kids explore the world. Children gravitate toward sensory experiences (playing with slime), figuring out how things work (taking toys apart), and testing the limits of materials (mixing a tray of paint together until it makes a solid mass of brown). They're not limited by their imaginations, and a wooden spoon can become a magic wand as quickly as a bag of pom-poms can become a hot bowl of soup. This book is about helping parents and teachers of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers understand and tap into this natural energy with engaging, kid-tested, easy-to-implement projects that value process over product. The creative experiments shared in this book foster curiosity, promote creative and critical thinking, and encourage tinkering-mindsets that are important to children growing up in a world that values independent thinking. In addition to offering a host of activities that parents and teachers can put to use right away, this book also includes a buffet of recipes (magic potions, different kinds of play dough, silly putty, and homemade butter) and a detailed list of materials to include in the art pantry.
Through a series of miraculous events, a Chinese family, living in Vietnam, joins the ranks of "boat people"and overcomes oppressive struggles to raise its children in the foreign culture of America.