Hall of Mirrors -- Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s by Graham Bader, MIT Press '10, in oversized format on glossy stock, $17.95, 202 pages, ISBN #0262026473. Index, bibliography, notes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
Roy Lichtenstein's graphic, comics-inspired artwork makes one scratch one's head and say, "I know I've seen that before." Since gaining wide attention nearly a half-century ago, his popular appeal has spread through pop culture, "seen in everything from greeting cards to sitcoms." In so doing, it has proved "truly unsettling to art-world orthodoxies..." He "consistently savaged the rules of painting -- while remaining committed to the most traditional procedures and goals of the medium." The volume Graham Bader has put together includes "early reviews, artist interviews and statements (some never before published), and recent reassessments." Graham Bader is Mellon Assistant Professor of Art History at Rice University.
Page One -- Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism, Edited by David Folkenflik, Public Affairs '11 paperback. $15.99, 256 pages, ISBN #1586489607. Index, unillustrated.
As one who delivered the evening newspaper on his bicycle nearly 60 years ago, the serious prospect that print editions of such iconic dailies as The New York Times might cease publication before too long is too stunning to believe. In this companion to the documentary of the same name now in your neighborhood theater, Editor David Folkenflik has amassed a series of essays on such subjects as "The future of print," "How to stop worrying and love the blog," "Who should pay for journalism?," "The rise and recurring challenges of public radio," "Watching Al Jazeera," and "Investing in the future of news." Editor David Folkenflik is the media correspondent for NPR News. He previously covered politics and media for The Baltimore Sun.
Don't Know Much About History -- Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis, Harper '11 20th Anniversary Edition, $26.99, 719 pages, ISBN #0061960535. Index, selected reading, three appendices, unillustrated.
In the mid-1990s, I agreed to teach an adjunct American history course at a local university. When I noticed the course catalog described it as "Discovering America," I inquired of the department head, who told me, "Well, if we called it 'American History, no one would ever take it." Kenneth C. Davis's now-venerable work, with 1.6 million sales to its credit, is the best antidote to that attitude. Described by its publisher as the "classic anti-textbook," it is witty and irreverent as it tackles the past 500 years of American history in question and answer form. Since the last revised edition of Davis's book was published in 1992, this update includes events since then, from 9/11 to the Great Recession, from the financial meltdown to America's first African-American President. Kenneth C. Davis's first edition of this book spent 35 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is a frequent commentator on TV and radio.