Skip to main content

Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove: The Secret History of Nuclear War Films by Sean M. Maloney (2020)

Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove: The Secret History of Nuclear War Films by Sean M. Maloney (2020)

The Cold War, with all of its threats and visions of mass destruction and apocalyptic scenarios appears far away these days. However, when the menace of nuclear weapons that possibly would be fired if wrong decisions were made by a few incompetent men in the military back in the 1960s, stories, novels and mostly movies […]

The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination by Philip Ball (2021)

The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination by Philip Ball (2021)

The days when (ancient) myths – be they Greek, Nordic or from whatever region – were rather important to man as they served as guidelines and offered counsel are long gone; or so it seems. Because popular culture has created books, tales and stories that are inhabited by artificial men, werewolves, vampires, ghost hunters or […]

Projections of Passing: Postwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960 by N. Megan Kelley (2021)

Projections of Passing: Postwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960 by N. Megan Kelley (2021)

The debatable term of “passing,” initially used to describe a basically 19th and 20th century strategy of African-Americans to pass for white (and avoid Jim Crow laws, absurd segregationist rules and social exclusion), in the mid- 1950s took on other forms and meanings. Actually, then it depicted new ways of passing/acting out or incorporating somebody […]

Excavating Indiana Jones. Essays on the Films and Franchise by Randy Laist (ed.) (2021)

Excavating Indiana Jones. Essays on the Films and Franchise by Randy Laist (ed.) (2021)

The stories of the fictional archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. drew millions to the movie theaters, as his tales, for one reason or another, satisfied a number of interests altogether. Such as 1930s style heroic high-paced action, stereotypical enemies, mysterious riddles, occult worship, exotic settings, and the unique chance to witness the […]

Star Trek and the British Age of Sail: The Maritime Influence … by Stefan Rabitsch (2019)

Star Trek and the British Age of Sail: The Maritime Influence … by Stefan Rabitsch (2019)

The overwhelming success of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek stories to a large part is based on his good instincts to tell adventure stories in ways familiar to audiences, in this case man against nature (or the incalculable risks) while cruising uncharted regions not of the Pacific, but space. Author Stefan Rabitsch in eight chapters advocates […]

Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894-1952 by George Beck (2020)

Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894-1952 by George Beck (2020)

In this short title, author George Beck takes a close look at some movies of the first half of the twentieth century that employed representations of American law enforcement, starting with silent era productions and chronologically end with films noir. Five sections altogether and a final coda chapter on roughly 130 pages consider stereotypes, good […]

Representations of Working-Class Masculinities in Post-War British Culture: The Left Behind by Matthew Crowley (2020)

Representations of Working-Class Masculinities in Post-War British Culture: The Left Behind by Matthew Crowley (2020)

When considering his main subjects, author Matthew Crowley emphasizes that there are many different ways to live a certain working-class masculinity, as there never was just one single “traditional” experience or one simple, unified path that would lead to such an experience for every English male working-class person in the mid-20th century. In his study […]

The Rise and Fall of American Science Fiction, from the 1920s to the 1960s by Gary Westfahl (2019)

The Rise and Fall of American Science Fiction, from the 1920s to the 1960s by Gary Westfahl (2019)

Even though a title such as “The Rise and Fall” usually has readers prepared for a large, heavy volume that will provide audiences with loads of information amassed in a mostly boring manner, Westfahl’s book differs from that stereotype. In fact, the four major parts (and a short epilogue) read very much like a collection […]

Robots in American Popular Culture by Steve Carper (2019)

Robots in American Popular Culture by Steve Carper (2019)

The idea of building, commanding and using artificial creatures, based on mechanical components that would assist mankind doing anything from work, transportation or pleasure goes back to very early stories of creation such as the Gilgamesh epic. And mythology from ancient Greece and other regions. That idea also demonstrates man’s wish to become the creator […]