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 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.
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.
A Chronicle of a Tribe
The Goth scene began as a semi-political youth movement in 1970s Britain and has since developed into an influential musical/fashion-based subculture. This exploration of the genre considers its impact from a worldwide perspective and includes interviews with and photographs of influential figures.
Memory of a Free Festival
The Golden Era of the British Underground Festival Scene
Beginning in the early 1960s with jazz festivals and CND marches, and following the counter-cultural free festival movement up to the early days of the Glastonbury Festival, Sam Knee’s collection of posters and informal photographs shows how, through music and protest, ‘previous generations coped and remained creative throughout political turmoil and state oppression’.
The Unauthorized Story of the Daily Mail, the Paper that Divided and Conquered Britain
The Daily Mail is Britain’s second-bestselling newspaper, and arguably one of its most divisive. This unofficial history explores the secrets of its longevity, from its creation in 1896 to today, examines a variety of controversies, and profiles the flamboyant figures who have shaped its unique brand of journalism.
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 Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain has maintained a strong influence worldwide on popular culture for many years. JK Rowling has sold more than 400 million books, Doctor Who is watched in almost every developed country, and James Bond is the longest-running film series in history. This entertaining, thought-provoking book explores the roots, meaning and global success of Britain’s popular culture, and asks what there is in the national imagination that has given birth to such riches.
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.
A Scene In Between
Tripping Through the Fashions of UK Indie Music 1980–1988
The British alternative pop scene of the 1980s took its fashion cues from 1960s garage rock and punk, with an anti-glam look of charity shop chic, anoraks and bowl haircuts, and distinctive indie guitar music in the form of bands such as Primal Scream, The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine. This portrait of the times comprises a collection of mostly unpublished images of the bands, gigs and fans on the minority scene.