Books

The back cover and spine of Punk: An Aesthetic are almost entirely white, with a clean, black typeface. Seen from a distance on a bookshelf, it could be any modern art book. But the front cover — punk cartoonist Gary Panter’s illustration of the singer for The Screamers — is another matter (More…)

There’s always one or two at every metal gig I go to in London. Amid the sea of white faces there are always one or two black fans standing out from the crowd. The question I want to ask is “What are you doing here?” Not because I don’t think black people should be into metal, but because I want to know what drew them to heed metal’s call. (More…)

The Islamophobia Industry begins with a quote from the 1949 musical, South Pacific: “you’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, you’ve got to be taught from year to year. It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear, you’ve got to be carefully taught.” The implication, which runs throughout Nathan Lean’s new book, is nonetheless a hopeful one. (More…)

Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? It seems like everyone has something to say on the topic. From box office hits like 28 Days Later to video games and zombie walks, over the last decade the meme has displayed an especially widespread appeal. How do we explain it? Is it just a silly trend, or is it a sign of something more complex? (More…)

Souciant contributor Keith Kahn-Harris’s The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg is part of a “crowdfunding” model of book publishing by the U.K.-based Unbound. Through Unbound, readers decide which book projects they want to see completed by financially backing it chapter-by-chapter. (More…)

Today marks the one year anniversary of the start of Occupy Wall Street – a time when Angela Y. Davis’s latest collection, The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues, seems especially poignant.  As Robin D. G. Kelley points out in the book’s introduction, Davis has been a powerful spokesperson for and presence in the Occupy movement. (More…)

A Rough Guide to the Dark Side comes close to saying something profound – and then stops. A critique of mainstream news media, an account of corruption in post-millennial Serbia, music industry non-fiction, and a drug memoir. It tries to do too many things. Ironically, it’s the addiction theme that brings it all down. (More…)

You Can’t Be President, by Harper’s publisher John R. MacArthur is an epistolary analysis of exactly what that electoral process entails. The first line of the first chapter sets the tone: “Despite what you learn in school of in Junior Scholastic magazine, you can’t be President.” (More…)

“Sport has established itself as the spearhead of an army in battle order, which crushes anyone who is stupefied by it,” writes Marc Perelman in Barbaric Sport: A Global Plague. Fittingly, for a project rooted in Adorno and the France of May 1968, Perelman’s concern is with sports as a mass phenomenon, one he locates at the core of capitalist society. (More…)

Calling Owen Hatherley’s A New Kind of Bleak a book about architecture is like saying Orwell’s Animal Farm is a book about a farm. Yes, it’s about Hatherley’s travels through the United Kingdom, in which he analyzes edifices ranging from the National Space Centre in Leicester, (affectionately called “The Maggot,”) to Preston’s bus station. However, it’s also about gathering the evidence necessary to indict British urban planning. (More…)

Late in Dave Eggers‘ moving new novel A Hologram for the King, his protagonist Alan Clay, a onetime corporate sales manager for Schwinn who is now tenuously self-employed as a consultant, is lying on his belly in a Saudi Arabian operating room, trying to think of something other than the tumor inside him. “I sold capitalism to the communists,” he thinks. (More…)

The original title for Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s detective novel, Off Side, is El delantero centro fue asesinado at atardecer which translates to “The center forward was murdered at dusk”. The title comes from a series of florid notes sent to FC Barcelona: “Because you use your centre forward to make yourselves feel like gods who can manage victories and defeats, from the comfortable throne of minor Caesars: the centre forward will be killed at dusk.” (More…)