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The Final Frontier: International Relations and Politics through Star Trek … by Joel R. Campbell & Gigi Gokcek (2019)

The Final Frontier: International Relations and Politics through Star Trek … by Joel R. Campbell & Gigi Gokcek (2019)

Man’s curious nature that powered the exploration of the seas, jungles, and deserts of the planet finally also led him into extraterrestrial territories. However, long before the first satellite or test probe even got close to the moon, other ways of purely fictional exploration were at work. Prominent in the approach to understand and categorize […]

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 […]

Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America by Wendy A. Woloson (2020)

Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America by Wendy A. Woloson (2020)

To uncover the motivation behind the purchase of millions of basically purpose-free small “crap” objects, Wendy Woloson describes in great detail the giant industry behind the “novelties” and “labor saving inventions” that actually are little more than useless cutlery, buttons, dolls and other commodities. Objects that were originally produced only to convince buyers that they […]

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 […]

I’d Fight the World: A Political History of Old-Time, Hillbilly, and Country Music by Peter La Chapelle (2019)

I’d Fight the World: A Political History of Old-Time, Hillbilly, and Country Music by Peter La Chapelle (2019)

American political campaigns without music or shows would be an impossibility today. Speaking about the 20th century, neither marching band tunes, nor folk songs or hymns were the musical style employed most by political representatives running for office, but country music, as author La Chapelle proves. He finds many more details of this particular relationship […]

Teenage Thunder – A Front Row Look at the 1950s Teenpics by Mark Thomas McGee (2020)

Teenage Thunder – A Front Row Look at the 1950s Teenpics by Mark Thomas McGee (2020)

The teenager, not present in the immediate post-war years, in the early 1950s suddenly became a financial force and a very visible part of American culture. That also meant clueless parents, disgusted older generations and horrified school teachers, as teenage delinquency and violence ostensibly exploded in the mid-fifties. It did not take long before movies […]