In over thirty years of prodigious journalistic activity captured in The Scandal of the Century and Other Writings there is not much Gabriel García Márquez has not witnessed, read about, investigated, or invented. His style evolved and matured, but even his early writings never really feel like those of a young apprentice, crafted as they are with flair and a great deal of self-confidence.
Brandishing the tools of genetic criticism, Rachel Douglas illustrates how James wrote and revised texts not simply as part of his own creative development, but to recast his political insights for new audiences and changing circumstances.
As artistic profile, Dread Poetry and Freedom is successful. In fact, it also succeeds in constructing a worthwhile rubric through which political art can be viewed. Though this may be accidental, it also unveils a broader problem, albeit one well beyond the scope of the book. That is, if poetry can play a role in “informing our understanding of political possibilities,” can it play a role in widening those possibilities?
Black women, as a group, are not known for their conservatism. They are, in fact, more likely to vote Democratic and along progressive lines than Black men. So, Uprising and Blackout are worth thinking about in this context. Why are some Black women openly, even aggressively as in the cases of Owens and Diamond and Silk, identifying as conservative?
Because it is about our nation as much as it is about one city, and because Johnson frames it as “the two-hundred-year history of removal, racism, and resistance that flowed through the two minutes of confrontation on August 9, 2014”—the killing of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, which touched off Black Lives Matter—the book is for all of us and for now.
Even the most experienced and knowledgeable readers of boxing history and the life and times of Muhammad Ali will learn many new things from this engagingly written and well-researched work.
Cara Robertson compellingly documents the known facts of the Borden case, and because she strategically avoids participating in a long tradition of sensationalizing the events of the murder and its aftermath, she is simultaneously able to tell the equally captivating story of the many ways that journalists, writers, and historians have shaped the mythology of Borden murders, beginning in the hours after the crime.
In different ways, the books under review offer alternative perspectives on what is arguably the most polarizing of film genres. All three are by established film historians who have written extensively on specific eras and themes. Yet of the three texts only Hollywood Musicals You Missed opens up fresh lines of inquiry.