Thinking Inside the Box
Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them
Adrienne Raphel’s hymn to the crossword begins with the first puzzle in New York World in 1913 and follows its progress from newspaper to The Cross Word Puzzle Book ($1.35, with pencil attached), into tournaments, to England and cryptic clues, through two world wars and onto the internet. Along the way we meet crossword setters and solvers, famously challenging puzzles and even British military intelligence head-hunting among the Telegraph’s cruciverbalists.
Love, War and Literature 1939–1951
This book follows the adventures of four independent young women in literary London during the Blitz: Lys Lubbock, Sonia Brownell, Barbara Skelton and Janetta Woolley. In the offices of the magazine Horizon, edited by Janetta’s lover Cyril Connolly, and at parties behind blackout curtains, they met writers such as Evelyn Waugh, Nancy Mitford and George Orwell, whom Sonia would marry.
How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World
Since their export trade was fully reestablished with tin toys in the 1950s, Japan has steadily built a global reputation for creating goods that offer entertainment and quality. From anime to the Walkman, emojis and the recent resurgence of Pokémon, Matt Alt explores the ingenuity of the people behind the country’s products, and how, over the last six decades, Japanese pop-culture has become so widespread.
A Celebration of Style and Speed
Intended to solve Italy's transport problems and appeal to the middle classes, the Vespa first appeared in 1946 and the Lambretta the following year. This celebration of the Italian design classic traces its history and its place in culture from the stylish runabout of the 1950s to British mod customizations of the 1960s and collectors, racers and enthusiasts today.
A Corner of Every Foreign Field
Cricket's Journey from English Game to Global Sport
In this thought-provoking history, Tim Brook looks at how class, politics and imperialism have shaped cricket, from its origins in the Weald to its position as a global sport. He also considers the current status of the game following the changes made since Lord Woolf’s critical review of the ICC, and what the future might hold.
The Year of Living Danishly
Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
During her first 12 months in Denmark, journalist Helen Russell recorded the ups and downs of suddenly moving abroad as well as her insights into the country’s reputation for being the happiest place on earth. While acknowledging its social problems, and including a postscript to this edition exploring terrorism, immigration and coronavirus, she concludes that there is much to recommend their way of life.
How Small Things Illuminate the World
Whether an architect’s 1:1000 site model envisioning a mile-wide build site, a toy spaceship inspiring a career in astrophysics or a general’s relief map enabling measured tactical calculations, small-scale objects serve as a powerful tool to conceptualize their full-sized counterparts. This study explores how hobbyists and professionals use the miniature to celebrate and render comprehensible things that would otherwise be overwhelming.
The Book of Christmas
Beginning with a timeline of significant moments, this is a detailed tour around festive traditions and their origins. Including carols, wreaths and the birth of Santa’s iconic outfit, as well as cricket, kissing under the mistletoe and Japan’s predilection for KFC Christmas dinners, it introduces the often bizarre stories behind the trappings of the holiday season.
Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death and Gore
Peter Laws, a Baptist minister, has a personal fascination with horror culture. In this personal odyssey he attempts to understand why people like to be scared or disgusted, journeying to Transylvania and hunting werewolves in Hull. He also discusses whether embracing the gothic and gruesome is actually the healthiest way for us to confront our fear of death. Slightly off-mint.
How Metal Changes the Way We See the World
Seeking to understand the influences and impulses that drive the heaviest and darkest of heavy metal music, this evaluation of the genre connects the style and lyrics to contemporary issues such as industrial collapse and the nuclear threat, tracing a line from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Iron Maiden, Metallica and more recent groups including Slipknot.
Fast Times and Excellent Adventures
The Surprising History of the '80s Teen Movie
With late 1970s productions such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease proving the younger market to be lucrative, the 1980s became an iconic period for teen films. From cult hits to studio blockbusters, James King’s overview reveals the role played by music, comedy and politics in the genre’s success and the intricacies of casting and timing that led to unknown actors such as Winona Ryder, Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves becoming A-list celebrities.
The Story of Woodstock Live
From Richie Havens taking the stage on Friday 15 August 1969 to Jimi Hendrix’s encore of Hey Joe the following Monday morning, Julian Bitoun’s 50th anniversary account of Woodstock records the 33 performances with details of the musicians and their sets; tells the backstage stories; notes the artists that didn’t show (Zappa said there would be too much mud); and sets the festival in the context of late-sixties counterculture.
The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy
This science fiction and fantasy anthology explores a host of forgotten, unfinished or little-known works, from early examples of the genre such as Jules Verne’s unpublished (until 1994) novel Paris in the 20th Century to George Lucas’s pre-Star Wars film THX 1138 and Andrew MacLean’s 1990s TV series Space Island One. Over 70 essays and 150 illustrations explore works covering film, literature, art, music, fashion, architecture and pop culture.
Tales of Two Londons
Stories from a Fractured City
In fiction, reportage and verse, writers including Iain Sinclair, Ali Smith, Jacob Ross and Andrew O’Hagan reflect on the diversity of contemporary London, its extremes of wealth and poverty, its streets and pubs, and its constantly evolving social landscape.
The Mammoth Book of Skulls
Skull iconography has come to occupy a central place in modern art and culture, from children’s sweets and ankle tattoos to street art. Graphic artist Ilya Illkillya curates and annotates this lavishly illustrated compendium of examples from many different art forms, while referring back to historical precedents such as medieval ossuaries and the Mexican Day of the Dead.
More Heroes of the Comics
Following the publication of the original Heroes of the Comics, this volume features 100 more portraits by cartoonist Drew Friedman, each accompanied by a brief biography. Chosen for their contributions to the comic book industry over the last 50 years, the writers, artists, editors and publishers who are depicted include Curt Swan, whose version of Superman is said to have inspired the 1978 film; Marc Swayze, a scriptwriter for Captain Marvel; and George Tuska, who drew for DC Comics.
The Social Life of Books
Reading Together in the Eighteenth-Century Home
Starting with the example of William and Dorothy Wordsworth’s cosy evening in a tavern reading ‘an odd volume of Congreve’s plays’, as recorded in Dorothy’s diary, Abigail Williams sets out to show how ‘a history of sociable reading puts books back into the lives and homes, enabling us to see literature in the round’. Discussing topics such as verse at home, drama and recital, the rise of the novel, non-fiction and religious reading, the book offers fresh insights into middle-class domestic life.
David Sedaris Diaries
A Visual Compendium
The American humourist, essayist and author of Santaland Diaries, David Sedaris writes the Foreword to this selection of illustrations from his diaries: photographs, packaging, reproductions and montages – a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ and a sourcebook for Sedaris’ work.
A Visual History of Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s horror story has inspired numerous adaptations since its publication in 1818. Designed to accompany an exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, this book provides a rich visual record of the ways her creation has been represented over the past two centuries. After exploring the novel’s background in the Gothic tradition, it examines the early stage adaptations, book illustrations, the classic film starring Boris Karloff, and more recent cinematic versions.
Time Out 50
50 Years, 50 Covers
The groundbreaking independent magazine Time Out launched in London in 1968 and spread to other major cities around the world. This celebration features classic covers from throughout the magazine's history and includes the memories of writers, photographers, designers and editors.
The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe
Sarah Churchwell’s exploration of Marilyn mythology starts by deconstructing the ways the star has been written about. By comparing different approaches taken to issues such as her parents and childhood, the casting couch, her affairs, marriages and psychological problems, her onscreen persona and her tragic death, she argues that Marilyn is both worshipped as an icon, but simultaneously trivialized.
We Sing a New Language
Many rock stars become monuments to their youthful fame, but Thurston Moore has remained innovative. In this account of the guitarist’s career, friends and colleagues discuss his work from 1978 to the present, including Sonic Youth and his free jazz improvisations.
Rock and Pop on British TV
The Six-Five Special was the BBC’s first attempt to put pop music on television, breaking new ground in 1957 with a live, dancing studio audience. Drawing on interviews and anecdotes from presenters and performers, Jeff Evans analyses the development of music programming on British television, recalling the memorable moments and revealing what went on behind the scenes on shows such as Ready, Steady Go!, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops. Slightly off-mint.
British Travellers and the Encounter with Britain
In a ‘perceptive and intelligent’ study of Britain’s cultural identities, Cramsie uses the first-hand accounts of Tudor and Stuart travellers to reveal how the complex diversity of the island’s peoples was interpreted long before post-colonial migration.
A Cultural Study of Mary and the Annunciation
From Luke to the Enlightenment
In a cultural rather than theological study of a story that has exerted a powerful hold over the Western imagination, Gary Waller uses a variety of approaches to trace the history of the multiple stories of the Annunciation, from its late insertion into the Gospel of Luke and its elevation as the initiating historical event of Christian revelation, down to the Enlightenment.
My Cool Scooter
An Inspirational Guide to Stylish Scooters
Whether it is a well-known Vespa or a classic Goggo, Chris Haddon’s inspirational tribute to the scooter depicts stylish and unusual examples from around the world. The photographs are accompanied by historical details, vehicle notes and anecdotes from owners about the varied uses they have found for scooters in both town and country.
A Guide to Scottish Luxury
Beloved by style icons from Grace Kelly to the Duchess of Cambridge, cashmere depends on three components for its production: the goat, the water and the artisan. In this illustrated volume, Lynne McCrossan explains how makers across Scotland employ centuries-old practices to craft clothing for fashion powerhouses including Hermes and Dior and offers advice on creating a cashmere capsule wardrobe.
Outsider Art, Graphics and Illustration
This portfolio of contemporary paintings, sketches and digital art celebrates the motorcycle and the many styles, tribes and fashions it has inspired. Featuring the work of 30 artists from the UK, USA, Europe, Australia and Japan, and inspired by biker subcultures such as greasers, road rockets, choppers, café racers and dirt trackers, the imagery ranges from retro poster art and atmospheric racing scenes to photomontage, cartoon characters and pin-ups.
Croatia in the Early Middle Ages
A Cultural Survey
In this first published volume in a major cultural history of Croatia and the Adriatic region, some 30 illustrated essays describe social, cultural and artistic developments, from the origins of the Croats and their settlement in the seventh century to the end of the twelfth century. After discussions of society, state and religion, the essays are arranged in chapters on language and literature, fine arts, music, and science and philosophy. Translated from the original Croatian.
Social Theory in the Tropics
Jointly written by an English scholar and a South American professor, this study examines the work of the Brazilian sociologist and anthropologist Gilberto Freyre (1900–1987). Probably the most famous public intellectual of 20th-century Brazil, Freyre is chiefly remembered for the sociological trilogy that began with the famous Casa Grande & Senzala (1933), translated as The Masters and the Slaves.
Women's Hairstyles and Culture from 1920 to 1980
Illustrated with vintage photographs, contemporary images and sketches, this visual history explores how the coiffeurs of western women evolved as social expectations gradually relaxed. The author considers the rise of fashions such as the kiss curls favoured by the dancers of the Folies Bergère, Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature bouffant, rock-n-roll beehives and anarchic punk spikes, and closes with a section dedicated to iconic hairstylists, past and present.
Life, Love and Death on Tanzania's Hanang Plains
The Barabaig are nomadic cattle herders in north central Tanzania, but the land development of recent decades has eroded their territory and threatens their survival. In the 1980s, as part of a project to highlight the threat, Charles Lane lived among the people for two years and has campaigned on their behalf ever since. Recounting his personal experiences, this photographic volume paints a portrait of their culture and lifestyle.
A Tokyo Romance
Writer, historian and journalist Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo as a film student in 1975, aged 23. There he discovered a surreal mix of traditional and modern culture: temples and shrines alongside neon signs, Japanese pop, murky old bars and cabarets. He recalls his exploits in the world of avant-garde theatre, encounters with carnival acts and fashion photographers, and moments on set with Akira Kurosawa.
The Power and the Story
The Global Battle for News and Information
From Trump’s United States to Erdogan’s Turkey, the press is under attack as never before. Can it survive the post-truth age of fake news? In this wide-ranging, documented survey, John Lloyd assesses the state of journalism around the world, and the commercial and political threats it faces, arguing that a free world is only possible with a free press.
The Murdoch Method
Notes on Running a Media Empire
Rupert Murdoch has had a huge impact on the modern media landscape and Irwin Stelzer was an adviser to him for 35 years. He describes Murdoch’s predilection for risk-taking, mistrust of the establishment and unconventional management style, while analysing turning points in his career, from his purchase of British newspapers (the News of the World, followed by the Sun) and News Corp’s takeover of Twentieth Century Fox to Myspace’s decline and the tabloid phone-hacking scandal.
Paging Through History
Although we live in an increasingly digital world, the simple technology of paper – which the Chinese consider the first of the ‘great inventions’ – remains vital. In this history of paper the author examines when and why it came into use in different cultures around the world and how it has played a role in the development not only of literacy, art and education but also of religion, media and commerce. Off-mint and American-cut pages
A City in the Jazz Age
Cathy Ross describes London in the 1920s as a city ‘shot with diversity and criss-crossed with nervous energy as it stared at an uncertain future’. Her book explores the cultural currents that circulated in the city, drawing on the Museum of London’s collections to examine the influence of America and Russia, trends in art, design and fashion, and the architecture and character of the city itself, while also discussing the social and political ideas of the decade.
The Illustrated Book of Sayings
Curious Expressions from Around the World
The Finnish idiom, ‘to pace around hot porridge like a cat’ is comparable to our ‘to beat around the bush’. Each of the 52 cross-cultural expressions in this collection is accompanied by musings on the origin and meaning – whether literal or metaphorical – and by light-hearted illustrations on the opposite page.
The Art, Literature and Material Culture of the Medieval World
Transition, Transformation and Taxonomy
Reflecting contemporary approaches to the Middle Ages as a dynamic era of social, technological and political change, this volume of 18 essays explores the ideas of transition, transformation and taxonomy in subjects as varied as ethnic identity in medieval Córdoba, Old English poetry, the sculpture series of Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House, and Simon Semeonis’ 14th-century account of his pilgrimage from Ireland to Jerusalem.
The Huns Have Got My Gramophone!
Advertisements from the Great War
Extolling the virtues of motorcycles for ‘lady war workers’ and ‘absolutely waterproof’ trench coats for soldiers, the advertisements collected and discussed here illustrate how the First World War offered companies new commercial opportunities and fundamentally changed British society.
The Husband Hunters
Social Climbing in London and New York
Between 1874, when Jennie Jerome married Randolph Churchill, and 1914, 100 American heiresses married British peers. Drawing on letters, diaries and memoirs, Anne de Courcy explores the motives of these ‘Dollar Princesses’, their ambitious mothers, and the titled husbands they sought, setting the craving of ‘new money’ for social status against the needs of a landed aristocracy impoverished by agricultural depression.
The Times: Great Letters
A Century of Notable Correspondence
Siegfried Sassoon decrying ‘political errors and insincerities’ in 1917; leg-theory in cricket; John Betjeman speaking up for threatened churches; the eccentricities of quartermasters’ vocabulary and syntax; and Theresa May on the first ascent of the Matterhorn... Covering a vast range of topics with erudition, opinion and a very British wit, this anthology of over 300 letters demonstrates why The Times letters page is renowned as a forum of debate, whether the topic be the future of education or dyed kippers.
The Fashion of Subcultures
Social changes in the early 20th century increasingly encouraged young people to develop tastes that were different from those of their parents, and to spend money on indulging their interests. Usually aligning themselves with new movements in popular music, style tribes emerged with idiosyncratic attitudes and modes of dress. This survey of youth culture identifies over 30 styles from the flappers of the 1920s and the swing kids of the 1930s, to beatniks, hippies, goths and hipsters.
Watching the English
The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
Convinced that there is such a thing as ‘Englishness’, the popular anthropologist Kate Fox looks beyond the ‘the ethnographic dazzle of superficial differences’ to reveal the unwritten rules that define English national identity and character. This is an updated edition of the 2004 international bestseller.
Through the work of contemporary photographers, writers, artists and designers, this book offers a vision of cultural life and life on the city streets of Iran today, and a glimpse of how Iranians think and feel about their country. Among the aspects of modern Iran explored in words and pictures are big housing developments or ‘slab cities’, publishing, heavy metal music, and beards.
The Art of the Book
Its Place in Medieval Worship
Drawing on examples from French, Italian and Netherlandish work of the 14th to 16th centuries, this collection of 10 essays focuses on books - breviaries, missals, choir books and books of hours - used in medieval Christian worship, both public and private.
Sympathy for the Devil
Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967
The dynamic relationship between rock music and visual art crosses continents, generations, and cultures. Beginning with Andy Warholãs involvement with The Velvet Underground in 1967, artists have maintained a strong connection to rock. Artists such as Slater Bradley, Mike Kelley, and Raymond Pettibon have created album covers and music videos for rock bands, while rock musicians such as Bryan Ferry, John Lennon, and Peter Townsend have emerged from art schools, and punk and new wave bands such as Talking Heads and Sonic Youth have shared the same social and artistic milieu as artists including Robert Longo and Richard Prince.
A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance & Redemption
Long before the corn poppy became associated with remembrance of the First World War through John McCrae's poem 'In Flanders Fields', it had grown wherever ground was broken by conflict, cultivation or burial. The opium poppy has a different affinity with war, alleviating the suffering of its victims and inciting battles over its control. In this history of the iconic plant, the author explores its differing uses and associations, from the remedies of the Ancient Egyptians to the narcotics trade in present-day Afghanistan.
Nations are often regarded as fixed, natural entities, but most nation states have been consciously created in recent centuries, and France is no exception. Divided into three sections covering French history, experience and identity, this study examines the way that revolution, social conflict, war, occupation and resistance, colonialism and decolonization, religion, gender and popular culture have all shaped the evolution and reinvention of France to create the country we know today.
Scottish Life and Society
A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, The Individual and Community Life, Vol 9
After examining the ways in which life events - birth, death, childhood and maturity - affect individuals of differing cultural backgrounds, this volume looks at various types of community, and immigration.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book provides an accessible overview of sculptural art in China, including the Terracotta Army, Buddhist sculpture, tomb carvings, architectural sculpture, exchange with foreign cultures and sculpture in China today. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.