Alex Chilton's story is rags to riches in reverse, beginning with teenage rock stardom and heading downward. Following stints leading 60s sensation the Box Tops ("The Letter") and pioneering 70s popsters Big Star ("the ultimate American pop band"--"Time"), Chilton became a dishwasher. Yet he rose again in the 80s as a solo artist, producer, and trendsetter, coinventing the indie-rock genre. By the 90s, acolytes from R.E.M. to Jeff Buckley embodied Chilton's legacy, ushering him back to the spotlight before his untimely death in 2010.
George Will returns to baseball with a deeply personal look at his hapless Chicago Cubs and their often beatified home, Wrigley Field, as it turns one hundred years old. Baseball, Will argues, is full of metaphors for life, religion, and happiness, and Wrigley is considered one of its sacred spaces. But what is its true, hyperbole-free history? Winding beautifully like Wrigley's iconic ivy, Will's meditation on "The Friendly Confines" examines both the unforgettable stories that forged the field's legend and the larger-than-life characters--from Wrigley and Ruth to Veeck, Durocher, and Banks--who brought it glory, heartbreak, and scandal. Drawing upon his trademark knowledge and inimitable sense of humor, Will also explores his childhood connections to the team, the Cubs' future, and what keeps long-suffering fans rooting for the home team after so many years of futility. In the end, A Nice Little Place on the North Side is more than just the history of a ballpark. It is the story of Chicago, of baseball, and of America itself.
There is untold wealth in library collections, and, like every good librarian, Jessica Pigza loves to share. In BiblioCraft, Pigza hones her literary hunting-and-gathering skills to help creatives of all types, from DIY hobbyists to fine artists, develop projects based on library resources. In Part I, she explains how to take advantage of the riches libraries have to offer--both in person and online. In Part II, she presents 20+ projects inspired by library resources from a stellar designer cast.
It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios' control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry's relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy -- hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America's mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?
Following Pearl Harbor, Hollywood had the chance to prove its critics wrong and did so with vigor, turning its talents and its business over to the war effort to an unprecedented extent. No industry professionals played a bigger role in the war than America's most legendary directors: Ford, Wyler, Huston, Capra, and Stevens. Between them they were on the scene of almost every major moment of America's war, and in every branch of service -- army, navy, and air force; Atlantic and Pacific; from Midway to North Africa; from Normandy to the fall of Paris and the liberation of the Nazi death camps; to the shaping of the message out of Washington, D.C. As it did for so many others, World War II divided the lives of these men into before and after, to an extent that has not been adequately understood. Like these five men, Hollywood too, and indeed all of America, came back from the war having grown up more than a little.
The inspiration for the Jedi knights of Star Wars and the films of Akira Kurosawa, the legendary Japanese samurai have captured modern imaginations. Yet with these elite warriors who were bound by a code of honor called Bushido--the Way of the Warrior--the reality behind the myth proves more fascinating than any fiction. In Samurai, celebrated author John Man provides a unique and captivating look at their true history, told through the life of one man: Saigo Takamori, known to many as "the last samurai." In 1877 Takamori led a rebel army of samurai in a heroic "last stand" against the Imperial Japanese Army, who sought to end the "way of the sword" in favor of firearms and modern warfare. Man's thrilling narrative brings to life the hidden world of the samurai as never before.